Why is the Global SOF Foundation necessary?

The world is growing more volatile, unpredictable and threatening. The conduct of war continues to shift: from large-scale clashes between nations to those characterized by unconventional methods, as well as long-term engagements with and against non-state transnational groups. Globalization has brought unprecedented transnational threats—be they unconventional, terrorist or criminal.

Countering these globally networked threats requires a global “good-guy” network that can innovate and operate at speeds that traditional governments cannot. The Global SOF Foundation (GSF), a non-profit organization, is forging this “good-guy” network among the world’s special operations forces (SOF). It brings together military, government, industry and intellectual leaders from around the world for the purpose of advancing the capability and efficacy of SOF.

What is the relationship between the Foundation and USSOCOM and/or other national Special Operations Forces?

The GSF has no formal relationship with, nor does it speak for, any government or military. It is a non-governmental, non-profit, non-partisan organization based in the U.S., but with members from 58 countries. Much like organizations such as AUSA or the Navy League in the U.S., the GSF serves as a non-governmental voice for joint and multi-national special operations personnel.

Countering globally networked threats requires a global “good-guy” network that can innovate and operate at speeds that traditional governments often cannot. The Foundation focuses on this informal network among SOF stakeholders — and goes beyond just military personnel. The GSF includes the private sector and other non-governmental entities.

Who serves on the GSF board?

There are three entities principally guiding the direction of the Foundation:

  1. The Board of Directors is comprised of a chairman (Mr. Peter Bergen) and officers (CAPT (Ret) Brian Goodwin, Ms. Lori Larsen, Dr. Keenan Yoho, and Mr. Al Di Leonardo). The Board of Directors has the fiduciary responsibility for the organization.

  2. The Advisory Council is comprised of a diverse set of people dedicated to the success of SOF globally. This group works on a strictly voluntary basis, and is not compensated. Learn more about them, here.

  3. The Strategic Committee is comprised of voting representatives of the Founding Corporate Partners as well as a one representative from each of the other levels of Partnership: Strategic, Sustaining, Patron Small Business, Small Business, and Academic.

What type of non-profit is the GSF? Is it a charity? Is it tax-exempt?

The GSF is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization registered in Florida. The GSF is not a philanthropic organization that aims to help wounded warriors or veterans’ families. Instead, it is a professional association for the international special operations community.

The Foundation has started a transition from a private foundation to a public charity. It has always operated as a public charity, but the initial filing with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was incorrect. By the end of 2019, the required notification period will be complete and the GSF will be considered a public charity by the IRS.

How is the GSF’s money spent?

The GSF strives to ensure that our membership, sponsorship and Corporate Partner dues are spent in a way that furthers the SOF community.  Our first audit was completed in November 2016 and determined that 88% of the GSF’s funding feeds directly into GSF Programming.

Fact Sheet