Thursday, June 9, 2011

Update on Greg Mortenson, "Three Cups of Tea and the Central Asia Institute

by Gary Snyder

As readers of Nonprofit Imperative will remember, Greg Mortenson is the embattled Bozeman (MT) author of the bestselling "Three Cups of Tea," and the leader of the nonprofit Central Asia Institute. He underwent open-heart surgery last week.

There are new revelations about his charity and book. A Daily Beast/Newsweek article reported that: 1. Two unnamed former CAI associates said they had been contacted by an agent with U.S. Secret Service, which investigates fraud at the federal level; 2. Bozeman police were called April 25 to Mortenson's home, where his wife reported he was "assaultive" and "screaming"; that the police report noted Mortenson was under a doctor's care and taking medications that contributed to the disturbance; and that he was allowed to remain at home under the care of his doctor and a therapist; 3. CAI had hired Burson-Marsteller, a global public relations firm, with Karen Hughes, former President George W. Bush communications advisor, when it became the target of damning media reports, but terminated the relationship after the initial media crush.

Anne Beyersdorfer, acting director of CAI during Mortenson's absence, said donations continue to come in, though she had no numbers, and CAI is focusing on building a large number of new schools overseas this year. "There is a large population of CAI supporters who have not lost faith," she said. "We're still very busy overseas.... The mission continues. “













Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, B, USA Today Topics, , Newsweek.com, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more • Nonprofits: On the Brink (iUniverse, 2006)
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