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The John Jay Legacy Society

The John Jay Legacy Society is made up of those who have made a planned gift to the Institute, for example, including IWP in their will; funding their estate gift with appreciated stocks, securities, bonds, or annuities; making us the beneficiary of retirement accounts or life insurance policies; or establishing a charitable remainder trust.

Members of the Society are united in a common goal with our students, alumni, faculty, staff, trustees, advisors, and supporters: to do their part in building a foundation for future leaders to ensure a free, secure, and prosperous America and peace with justice in the world.

Our campaign to ensure the future of our institution is an

Making a Planned Gift

Individuals wishing to donate to The Institute of World Politics in the form of trusts, bequests, or other planned giving may contact or (202) 462-2101. Sample language may be found below.

Note: If IWP is in your will, please let us know so we may acknowledge your legacy giving and add you to the John Jay Legacy Society.

General Legacy by Estate Percentage
“I give, devise, and bequeath to The Institute of World Politics (Federal Tax I.D. #52-1699641), a non-profit institution of higher education in Washington, D.C., an amount equal to _____ percent (_____ %) of my adjusted gross estate as finally determined for federal estate tax purposes.”

General Legacy by Dollar Amount
“I give, devise, and bequeath to The Institute of World Politics (Federal Tax I.D. #52-1699641), a non-profit institution of higher education in Washington, D.C., the sum of _____ Dollars ($ _____).”

Legacy of Remainder of Estate
“Following payment of all bequests, debts, taxes, and other expenses of estate administration, all the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, including property over which I shall have power of appointment at my passing, shall go to The Institute of World Politics (Federal Tax I.D. #52-1699641), a non-profit institution of higher education in Washington, D.C.”

About John Jay


John Jay, for whom the Society was named, was an American patriot, statesman, diplomat, lawyer, and Founding Father. He was the President of the Second Continental Congress, a signatory to the Treaty of Paris of 1783, the Nation’s second Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and one of the authors of The Federalist Papers.  He also served as U.S. Ambassador to Spain, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the second Governor of New York, and President of the American Bible Society.

Less well known is that Jay was the Founding Father of U.S. Counterintelligence. During the War for Independence, he headed a New York State executive body called the Committee for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies, which is recognized as the nation’s first counterintelligence agency. Jay and his Committee are credited with uncovering a plot to capture or assassinate General George Washington.

His prolific work and leadership in U.S. foreign and domestic policy throughout the late 1700s is an example of unparalleled statecraft that continues to shape the nation.

Biographical Information:

John Jay was born to a well-known New York merchant family in 1745. He graduated from Kings College in 1764 with the highest honors and soon established himself as a prominent New York attorney. His involvement in politics resulted in his election as the representative of New York in the First Continental Congress in 1774, where he advocated for a peaceful reconciliation between the colonies and Great Britain. As Britain refused to cooperate and war became increasingly likely, Jay changed his stance and fully supported American efforts to seek independence. He returned to New York in 1975 and was elected to the New York Provincial Congress.

He served the cause of independence, among other ways, by pioneering America’s first counterintelligence efforts through his leadership of the Committee for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies. This Committee was a top-secret group of members from New York’s Provincial Congress and a militia who devoted themselves to discovering and compromising enemy intelligence operations during the War of Independence. They investigated over 500 cases of betrayal, including a loyalist plot to assassinate General George Washington. This work would later influence his writing about the importance of intelligence in The Federalist Papers.

In 1777, after his work on the Committee, Jay was nominated Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court. The following year, he returned to the Continental Congress and served as its President. His next assignment was Minister to Spain from 1779 to 1782, performing the difficult task of convincing Spain to contribute financially to the American Revolution and ally with the fledgling United States.

Jay and his family then moved to France, where he negotiated the Treaty of Paris alongside Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, officially ending the war with Britain. Through these negotiations, he successfully convinced Britain to turn over all territory east of the Mississippi river other than Spanish-occupied Florida and the Canadian territories. This doubled the size of American land.

Jay returned to the newly-formed United States in 1784 to discover that he had been appointed by Congress as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs (retitled Secretary of State with the renaming of the Department of Foreign Affairs to the Department of State in 1789). His firm belief in a more centralized government than what was ratified by the Articles of Confederation impelled him to collaborate with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison in writing The Federalist Papers.

After the ratification of the Constitution and the establishment of the federal government, President George Washington appointed Jay as the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, where he served from 1789 to 1795 and established judicial precedent that continues to inform court operations today.

In 1794, Washington sent Jay to Great Britain to resolve lingering tensions between the two countries that had been unaddressed by the Treaty of Paris. Five months later, the Jay Treaty was signed to help ensure the growth of America’s national economy by establishing a peaceful trade agreement with Britain.

Upon his return to the United States, Jay was elected as the second Governor of New York State, where he served until his retirement in 1801. One of his most prominent acts as Governor was his ratification of the 1799 Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery, which freed all New York slave children born after July 4 and outlawed slave exports. Although the Senate confirmed him for a second term as Chief Justice in 1800, Jay chose to retire to Westchester County, New York after the end of his second term as governor.

Jay’s intellectual prowess, his many contributions to the building of the American Republic, and his moral character concretely place him among the ranks of America’s Founding Fathers.

The Institute of World Politics is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational institution, and charitable contributions to IWP are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Our federal tax identification number is 52-1699641. State Registration Disclosures are available here.