The Institute of Global Environment and Society, Inc. (IGES) is a Rockville, Maryland-based 501(c)(3) non-profit climate research and social change organization incorporated by Indian meteorologist Jagadish Shukla in 1991. Since its founding, IGES has been supported almost entirely by federal grants (over 99.5% in 2014)* Shukla has been a climate professor at Washington, D.C.’s George Mason University since 1994.
In 2015, IGES, with Shukla as its president, fell under congressional investigation for violating non-profit law with “partisan political activity” by “requesting a RICO (“racketeering influenced and corrupt organization”) investigation of companies and organizations that disagree with the Obama administration on climate change,” according to the House Science, Space and Technology committee.
The RICO request was addressed to President Obama, the U.S. Attorney General, and the White House Science Advisor, posted on the IGES website and signed by Shukla and 19 other climate academics, IGES removed the letter from its website upon its discovery by Congress, claiming the posting was “inadvertent.” The letter remains in the Internet Archive.
Science Committee Chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), asked in a letter to Shukla what IGES has done with the $63 million in taxpayer money it has received since 2001, and to preserve “all relevant communications so they can be produced to the Committee in response to a document request.” More requests for relevant communications have been sent to the federal agencies that gave climate change profiteers in IGES millions each year for decades.
The ongoing congressional investigation of IGES has uncovered numerous financial and management irregularities in the organization’s operation, including lavish salaries for little work, according to a congressional letter to Shukla’s attorney.
Research into archival sources by Left Exposed has found at least $81.3 million in federal funding to IGES climate change profiteers since 1995. (Source: IGES 1999 IRS Form 990, Part IV-A, Support Schedule: 5-year look-back grants income)
(source: IRS Forms 990 Annual Reports and Foundation Source databank)
IGES climate change profiteers received 82 federal grants and 3 contracts from 5 agencies totaling $26,222,420 from Fiscal Year 2008 to FY 2016: (Source: www.USASpending.gov)
Federally published grant records for IGES before Fiscal Year 2008 (begins in 2007) are not available through USASpending.gov, the public portal for federal grant and contract information. Some agencies publish their grant records online going back to 1999 and can be found on their individual websites. The final sum of IGES’ federal funding is likely to be much larger than currently known.
Jagadish Shukla, founder and president of IGES, was born in 1944 in the village of Mirdha in the Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh, India. He was born into the elite Brahmin caste; his father was the only educated man in the village, as noted in a 2003 New York Times article. His given name is sometimes spelled Jagdish, which means “ruler of the world,” according to Behind the Name. Shukla simply means “white.” Jagadish Shukla received his basic education in various Ballia schools and earned an undergraduate degree and masters degree from Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi. From 1965 to 1971 Shukla worked and studied as a Junior Scientific Officer at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune. He was awarded a PhD degree as an external BHU student at the age of 27 in 1971, the year he immigrated to the U.S. He then worked as a Research Assistant at M.I.T. and Princeton, receiving a Sc.D. degree in meteorology from M.I.T. in 1976.
Shukla progressed through various academic and technical positions to his professorship at George Mason University: Research Assistant, M.I.T.; Research Associate, Princeton University; Visiting Associate Professor, M.I.T.; Senior Scientist, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center; Professor, Department of Meteorology, University of Maryland; Professor of Earth Sciences and Global Change, George Mason University; Chairman, Climate Dynamics, George Mason University. Shukla has been president of The Institute of Global Environment and Society since he founded it in 1991. See his complete Curriculum Vitae for details.
Shukla’s wife Anne has the educational background to serve as the business manager of IGES: B.S., University of Colorado (1972); M.S. in financial management, Benjamin Franklin University (merged into George Washington University 1987). “Anne” was born Anastasia S. Booras in Sheridan, Wyoming in 1950 to parents Sam G. (1923-2005) and Pauline (1924- ) Booras. She married John Owen Roads August 22, 1970 (see page 294 of linked document) while they were both undergraduate students at the University of Colorado. Her husband John took his PhD degree at M.I.T. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Both John Roads and Jagadish Shukla were M.I.T. Research Assistants during1975-1977. Shukla became a Visiting Associate Professor at M.I.T. for the next two years (1978-1979). When Shukla’s M.I.T. position ended, Shukla and Booras/Roads were married in Rockville, Maryland on October 4, 1979. Anne pursued her Masters degree in financial management after marrying Shukla. The circumstances surrounding these documented events are not known.
The Shuklas had two children, Chandran (1981-2004) and Sonia (born April 5, 1983). Sonia earned a Bachelor’s degree in film from the University of California, Irvine. She is currently a mediator for two courts and a state’s attorney’s office. Sonia’s LinkedIn profile lists work at Tribeca Mediation LLC, which was a shell company incorporated on April 7, 2010, by Anne Shukla, with the address of the family residence in Rockville, Maryland, evidently only to give Sonia a mediator credential, but the firm is now dissolved, according to Maryland corporate records.
Shukla Family IGES Salaries (source: IRS Forms 990 Annual Reports)
Jagadish Shukla George Mason University Salary
Jagadish Shukla “Double Dip” University and IGES Salary
Jagadish and Anne Shukla Combined Salaries
IGES Highest Compensated Employees
George Mason has a policy on conflict of interest, including a detailed policy on conflict of interest in federally funded research. Under such policies, non-profits are classified as “business”, a protocol meaningful when large salaries are withdrawn from both the university and the non-profit, particularly by an official who controls the non-profit’s money, which Shukla does as president of IGES. GMU paid Shukla much more in 2014 than Ed Wegman, a George Mason professor of similar seniority, which is questionable per se. Shukla’s IGES salary for 28 hours a week’s climate work is so excessive that it may be suspicious. In light of Shukla’s authority over federal climate grants to both IGES and GMU, his double dipping indeed has the appearance of a conflict of interest and a climate change profiteer.
Press Coverage of Shukla’s Accounting Practices
Lachlan Markay of The Free Beacon filed a story, “Scientist Demands Federal Investigation of Climate Change Skeptics” on September 22, 2015:
A scientist calling on the federal government to prosecute those who question his position on global climate change has paid himself and his wife millions of dollars in federal grant money, public records show.
Markay quotes Colorado University professor Roger Pielke: “With Shukla’s government salary from GMU, a public university, “that totals to $750k/yr to the leader of the RICO20 from public money for climate work & going after skeptics.”
Other critics scoffed at government backing for a scientist that they say is attempting to shut down dissent on a contentious political issue.
“It appears that Shukla enriching his family with tax dollars is not enough, he wants more tax dollars to be dedicated to prosecuting those who have committed the crime of closely examining his government-funded research and disagreeing with his alarmist conclusions,” said Jim Lakely, a spokesman for the conservative Heartland Institute.
“That takes a special brand of chutzpah,” Lakely said in an email.
James Delingpole of Breitbart News Network filed a story, “Climate Alarmist Caught in ‘Largest Science Scandal in U.S. History’” on October 2, 2015:
The plan by climate alarmists to have other scientists imprisoned for their ‘global warming’ skepticism is backfiring horribly, and the chief alarmist is now facing a House investigation into what has been called “the largest science scandal in US history.”
It drew the attention of Shukla’s critics to something which, presumably, he would have preferred to keep secret: that for nearly 14 years, he, his family and his friends have been gorging themselves on taxpayers’ money at IGES; and that this money comes on top of the very generous salary he receives for doing much the same work at George Mason University (GMU).
It’s the latter detail which has led former Virginia State Climatologist Pat Michaels – one of the skeptics who might have been affected by Shukla’s proposed RICO prosecutions – to describe this as “the largest science scandal in US history.”
Under federal law, state employees may not be remunerated for doing work which falls under their state employee remit. As a Professor at GMU, Shukla is definitely an employee of the state. And the work for which he has most lavishly been rewarding himself at IGES appears to be remarkably similar to the work he does at GMU as professor of climate dynamics.
Michael Bastach of The Daily Caller filed a story, “Congress Investigates Scientists Wanting To Prosecute Global Warming Skeptics” on October 2, 2015.
It seems like IGES’s effort to get Obama to prosecute global warming skeptics has completely backfired in the two weeks since their letter to the administration was published online. IGES has since taken down the letter and put up a message claiming the letter was “inadvertently posted” online.
“It was decided more than two years ago that [IGES] would be dissolved when the projects then undertaken by IGES would be completed,” according to the group’s website. “All research projects by IGES were completed in July 2015, and the IGES website is in the process of being decommissioned.”
IGES’ claim it had “inadvertently posted” the letter urging the president to prosecute those who don’t agree with them on global warming comes after investigations revealed the group was getting millions from taxpayers, and that its founder was getting paid huge salaries for part-time work.
Furthermore, Shukla’s receiving of funds from IGES and GMU may constitute double-dipping that’s illegal under Virginia state law as well as federal law. McIntyre noted that “as both the federal agencies (NSF, NOAA, NASA) and the university (George Mason) purport to have policies that prevent double-dipping.”
As for IGES’s claim it’s in the process of being “decommissioned,” the science blog Watts Up With That found evidence to cast doubt on that claim. They found an active National Science Foundation grant for nearly $4.2 million that was updated in June 2015 — one month before IGES had allegedly completed all its projects.
“It seems this is an active grant, good for another two years,” wrote meteorologist Anthony Watts, “and so far, that four million dollar-plus NSF grant has produced only one paper.”
Shukla created the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA) in 1983 as a phantom project dedicated to understanding climate fluctuations on short- and long-term scales, with special emphasis on the interactions between Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land surfaces, but with no legal existence, and based in Shukla’s residence.
When he became a professor at the University of Maryland in 1984, he brought COLA with him and subsequently placed it under his long-time colleague, James Kinter as “Research Scientist” from 1987-1993. But, with Shukla’s incorporation of IGES in 1991, he could give COLA tax-exempt status with a few “magic words”, which he did in 1993: “A Project of IGES”. It was technically a mere parasite sheltered by IGES’ exempt status, but on January 6, 1993, the National Science Foundation awarded three grants to IGES totaling $1.7 million, Kinter left the University of Maryland, and led COLA with Shukla as a unit of IGES.
The COLA is not incorporated; the IRS has no record of it. It is not tax exempt. It has no corporate records on file in the state of Marlyand, yet it still receives a significant amount of funding. For example, in 2009 COLA brought IGES three NSF grants: $7,202,295; $3,798,208; $1,199,506 totaling $12,200,009. (Source: National Science Foundation Grant Records,)
The 2014 Form 990 (Schedule I) shows IGES paid a $100,000 grant using federal climate grant money to the Institute for Global Education Equality of Opportunity and Prosperity, Inc. (IGEP), which was incorporated in 2006 by Anastasia “Anne” Shukla at the residence address of the Shukla family in Rockville, Maryland. The 2014 Form 990 of IGEP (Schedule F, Part II, Line 1) in turn showed a grant of $100,000 to an unnamed “educational” entity in “South Asia.” In fact the funds went to Chandran Gramin Vikas Sansthan in India. (“Chandran Rural Development Society”), a registered non-profit, tax-exempt organization under Indian law and authorized to receive U.S. grants. It is named for the Shukla’s son Chandran, who was killed in 2004 at the age of 23 when he lost control of his motorcycle on the winding mountain roads of Shenandoah National Park.
The Shukla family’s memorial to their son, the Gandhi Degree College, was established in 2000 in Chandran’s memory, under the sponsorship of CGVS in Jagadish’s birthplace, the village of Mirdha in Uttar Pradesh, India. The family had been donating to the college out of their own funds since 2000, but in 2014 donated federal grant income of IGES under direct control of Jagadish Shukla, which gives the appearance of “self-dealing,” a serious violation of the U.S. Tax Code. The chain of the 2014 grants to the family’s college project runs through legally registered tax-exempt organizations, but the apparent self-dealing of the transactions could be ruled as a violation.
On May 10, 2013, George Mason University News ran a feature headlined, Climate Science Institute to Provide New Research, Learning Opportunities. It began:
The Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES) and the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA), independent nonprofit research entities established in Maryland with long-standing partnerships with George Mason University, are joining Mason’s College of Science. An event celebrating these new groups will take place at 2 p.m. Monday, May 13, in Mason Hall, Rooms D3A and B.
The institute and center will be initially located within the College of Science. All IGES and COLA staff supported by research grants will move from Maryland to Mason, and the staff will teach and conduct their ongoing research projects at Mason.
If IGES and COLA are now part of George Mason, the question arises why IGES still obtains climate change profiteer federal grants and files its own Form 990s. COLA also brought GMU $1,499,997 in NASA grants and $4,199,932 in a 2014 National Science Foundation grant since the merger. (Source: USASpending.gov)
On September 1, 2015, Shukla, under the guise of IGES, issued a letter to the Attorney General and President along with 20 additional signatories, calling for a Federal investigation into possible “racketeering” and collaboration among entities questioning the science behind “climate change.” The letter in full:
Dear President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, and OSTP Director Holdren,
As you know, an overwhelming majority of climate scientists are convinced about the potentially serious adverse effects of human-induced climate change on human health, agriculture, and biodiversity. We applaud your efforts to regulate emissions and the other steps you are taking. Nonetheless, as climate scientists we are exceedingly concerned that America’s response to climate change – indeed, the world’s response to climate change – is insufficient. The risks posed by climate change, including increasing extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and increasing ocean acidity – and potential strategies for addressing them – are detailed in the Third National Climate Assessment (2014), Climate Change Impacts in the United States. The stability of the Earth’s climate over the past ten thousand years contributed to the growth of agriculture and therefore, a thriving human civilization. We are now at high risk of seriously destabilizing the Earth’s climate and irreparably harming people around the world, especially the world’s poorest people.
We appreciate that you are making aggressive and imaginative use of the limited tools available to you in the face of a recalcitrant Congress. One additional tool – recently proposed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse – is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change. The actions of these organizations have been extensively documented in peer reviewed academic research (Brulle, 2013) and in recent books including: Doubt is their Product (Michaels, 2008), Climate Cover-Up (Hoggan & Littlemore, 2009), Merchants of Doubt (Oreskes & Conway, 2010), The Climate War (Pooley, 2010), and in The Climate Deception Dossiers (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2015). We strongly endorse Senator Whitehouse’s call for a RICO investigation.
The methods of these organizations are quite similar to those used earlier by the tobacco industry. A RICO investigation (1999 to 2006) played an important role in stopping the tobacco industry from continuing to deceive the American people about the dangers of smoking. If corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters are guilty of the misdeeds that have been documented in books and journal articles, it is imperative that these misdeeds be stopped as soon as possible so that America and the world can get on with the critically important business of finding effective ways to restabilize the Earth’s climate, before even more lasting damage is done.
Signed September 1, 2015 by
Jagadish Shukla, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Edward Maibach, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Paul Dirmeyer, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Barry Klinger, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Paul Schopf, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
David Straus, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Edward Sarachik, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Michael Wallace, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Alan Robock, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Eugenia Kalnay, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
William Lau, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
T.N. Krishnamurti, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Vasu Misra, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Ben Kirtman, University of Miami, Miami, FL
Robert Dickinson, University of Texas, Austin, TX
Michela Biasutti, Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY
Mark Cane, Columbia University, New York, NY
Lisa Goddard, Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY
Alan Betts, Atmospheric Research, Pittsford, VT
*IGES 2014 IRS Form 900, Part VIII – Statement of Revenue, Line 1e, shows Government grants of $3,832,383; Line 2a shows Program Service Revenue from sale of publications of $13,646; Line 3 shows Investment income of $112; Line 12 shows Total Revenue of $3,846,141. The numbers show Government grants exceed 99.5 percent of IGES’ reported Total Revenue for 2014.