The Center for Advanced Defense Studies

aka C4ADS   |   Washington, DC   |  www.c4ads.org

Mission

C4ADS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing data-driven analysis and evidence-based reporting on global conflict and transnational security issues.

We use cutting-edge technologies to manage, integrate, and analyze disparate data from diverse languages, regions, and sources, incorporating our own field research from conflict zones and fragile states. We seek to engage with local and international audiences and produce compelling analysis on conflict and security issues. In doing so, we fill a critical gap left by traditional public sector and profit-driven institutions.

Ruling year info

2004

Executive Director

David Johnson

Main address

1201 I St NW Suite 200

Washington, DC 20005 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

73-1681366

NTEE code info

International Peace and Security (Q40)

Domestic National Security (includes Military and Defense Issues) (Q43)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (R05)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

C4ADS aims to address the global threats posed by illicit networks and transnational organized crime. This threat takes many forms, from the poaching and sale of illegal ivory and illicit arms shipments to Syria, to human trafficking in the fishery sector and North Korean overseas business networks, to name but a few. While the problem set is vast, we take on projects through which we believe we can add unique insight and have a strong impact.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Environmental Crimes Fusion Cell

The global trade in illicit environmental products has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Wildlife and timber traffickers have demonstrated a detailed understanding of the legal systems they abuse, moving millions of dollars of contraband through international systems of finance and transportation. Organizations seeking to combat this trade are under resourced and struggling to effectively communicate across jurisdictions, sectors, and interests. C4ADS’ Environmental Crimes Fusion Cell was built to bridge this gap.

We work with a global network of 150 partner organizations across the conservation, enforcement, and regulatory communities to transform raw field data into actionable results. We actively support enforcement and policy initiatives in a variety of ways, including through the Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The newest generation of illicit actors are inter-connected, globalized, and technologically savvy. Nuclear proliferators maintain complex webs of proxies and shell companies, while pariah states use similar networks to arm and equip their surrogates around the world. Meanwhile, international terrorist organizations and other perpetrators of mass atrocities operate multi-billion dollar commercial empires with global reach, funneling proceeds through Western jurisdictions.

C4ADS uses open data from global business directories, tax registries, property listings, court documents, intellectual property records, and trade gazettes from over 120 jurisdictions around the world. We structure and analyze this data to map and expose illicit networks around the world. Current focus areas include investigating Human Trafficking, DPRK Overseas Procurement Networks, and Latin American Corruption.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The theft and capture of state resources and public funds by political, military, and business elites is a principal driver of state instability, particularly in fragile states where corruption and violence are intertwined. Networks of well-connected elites exploit weak legal regimes, vulnerable state institutions, and poor enforcement capacity to capture revenue-rich economic sectors for personal gain. These proceeds are concealed in opaque corporate holdings and laundered through offshore jurisdictions in the form of property, corporate shares, and networks of profit-earning enterprises.

C4ADS’ Kleptocracy Cell works to unravel and expose networks of corrupt elites while generating insights that accelerate enforcement action by government entities, banking and financial institutions, and international enforcement agencies. We rely on high-advantage open data to support enforcement actions, enhance transparency, and expand public awareness on the networks that enable violent kleptocracies across East and Central Africa, as well as the Horn and the greater Middle East and North Africa.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of list subscribers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of unique website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Academics, Activists, Military personnel

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of reports written/published

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Academics, Activists, Military personnel, Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We aim to expose and disrupt the activities of illicit networks around the world.

We take a variety of approaches to disrupting illicit networks with the goal of providing actionable information to global policymakers.

We start by asking questions and challenging assumptions about the issues we look at, and our research has often had surprising results. From the vulnerability of North Korean business networks to the links between fish swim bladder smuggling and drug cartels, we have time and again found that open data research can have a powerful impact on illicit networks around the world.

We work with a wide variety of local and international organizations to ensure that our research makes its way to those who can best use it to disrupt the actors we investigate.

We conduct open source research on a variety of issues directly tied to illicit networks. Our approach to open source research is somewhat unique; we use a vast array of sources, such as public records, social media, and shipping databases.

We use the foreign language and travel experience of our analysts to find and use data that others have not previously been able to access.

We have developed unique methods of analyzing the data we collect that have proven successful across a wide array of issues, and we continually hone these methods as we are able to access new datasets and use innovative tech platforms.

We have published reports on a number of illicit networks and related issues recently. We will continue to publish on a wide array of issues in order to build the public understanding of this type of research and general understanding of these issues.

We hope to continue to grow as an organization in order to conduct research on an even wider range of topics related to illicit networks around the world and to be able to impact them similarly.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our funders,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

The Center for Advanced Defense Studies
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

The Center for Advanced Defense Studies

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Richard Wirt

Newton Howard

April Foley

Chris Kammermann

John Callery

Stephen Homoki

Sue Kelly

Sergey Kanareykin

John Pearce

Lester Hyman

David Fridovich

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/9/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/07/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.