The Federal Judicial Center Foundation is a private, nonprofit corporation that Congress established to receive gifts to support the work of the Center. The Foundation has sole authority to decide whether to accept gifts, and thereby to determine the suitability of would-be donors. The Foundation may not accept gifts earmarked for projects that have not previously been approved by the Center’s Board, and the Center has sole control over the design and conduct of activities supported by donations. The Foundation is governed by a seven-person board appointed by the Chief Justice, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. No Foundation board member may be a judge. Foundation Board members at the close of fiscal year 2017 were:
James M. Wagstaffe, San Francisco, Cal., Chair
Hon. Rebecca L. Kourlis (Ret.), Denver, Colo.
Peter A. Kraus, Dallas, Tex.
Laurie L. Michel, Washington, D.C.
Blake D. Morant, Winston-Salem, N.C.
John B. White, Jr., Spartanburg, S.C.
Benjamin L. Zelenko, Washington, D.C.
In creating the Foundation, Congress directed that in its annual report the Center describe the purposes for which Foundation gifts were used in the reporting year. The Center used the following Foundation gifts in fiscal year 2017:
- funds from the American Association for the Advancement of Science paid the travel expenses for federal judges to attend two programs on emerging issues in neuroscience;
- funds from Vanderbilt University paid the travel expenses to support federal judges' attendance at a mid-career workshop;
- funds from the Electronic Discovery Institute paid the travel expenses for judges' attendance at a program on the proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure;
- funds from the Hewlett Foundation paid the travel expenses for judges' attendance at a program on civil discourse;
- funds from the Ninth Circuit Attorney Fund paid the travel expenses for judges' attendance at a program on civil discourse; and
- funds from the Department of State covered travel expenses in providing technical assistance to the judiciary in the Republic of Namibia.