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Abt Associates, Inc. (1965ff, at first in Cambridge, Mass.), Social Research + Evaluation Validating the Social Science R&D ℅ (per Devex.com) that $2B Global Development Industry [Started June 25, 2019, updates Sept. 29, Publ. Oct 10].

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Abt Associates, Inc. (1965ff, first in Cambridge, Mass.), Social Research + Evaluation Validating the Social Science R&D ℅ (per Devex.com) that $2B Global Development Industry [Started June 25, 2019, updates Sept. 29, Publ. Oct 10].. (Case-sensitive short-link ends.  “-abD” only 3,000 words)

[Devex.com is a media platform for this industry; Abt Associates also has (or at one point had) advisory board member on its board].

Devex.Com self-definition of their platform referencing the market niche for the $200B industry  (viewed 6-24-2019)

Offices as you can see in Washington, D.C., Barcelona, Spain and in Manila, the Philippines.

In very fine print from the very bottom of (most?) pages.

Devex is the media platform for the global development community.

A social enterprise, we connect and inform 1 million development, health, humanitarian, and sustainability professionals through news, business intelligence, and funding & career opportunities so you can do more good for more people. We invite you to join us.

[[Its “Terms of Use” statement as of today is labeled version Feb. 2, 2012, and gives more understanding of the purposes, esp. under 4) DISCLAIMERS [first five paragraphs], and at the bottom UNDER “10) MISCELLANEOUS, h) “CISG Not Apply. The UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods does not apply.]]


Abt Associates is probably not the largest of its kind, but its niche and types of work it does is typical of those who derive federal, private, and state-sponsored business operations from evaluating social science R&D run upon the poor of, well, to start with, the United States, and eventually (or tested there first) applied internationally too: see the words “international” or “global” and the word “development” in goods & services descriptions.  By virtue of using this word, implied contribution of at least SOMEONE’s home government is implied.

In the UK:  “DID”  the USA:  USAID, etc.  By definition it is likely to be public/private in nature, even when individual projects may be primarily private:  Their sources of revenues often comes from pre-existing government funding understood to be ongoing through the power of taxation.


2011 Announcement (also from Devex?) of appointment of a well-known person already on Devex Board of Advisors (or part of it) to director at Abt Associates. See nearby pdf for full list as of March 2019 (from Massachusetts Secretary of State data on corporate and LLC filings)

Abt Associates Inc 2019(June21) Annual Rpt, showing Shares + MD address, states purpose is ‘Social Research’  <~~

In multi-page (2 or 3 pp) pdf format. (the report I viewed 6/21/2019 was for (regarding) the fiscal year ending 3/31/2019). This is the master cover page for Abt Associates, not its “Filing Details” record. Unlike some states, Massachusetts delivers a lot of information, such as prior names (and since when) up front on that master page.  For older companies, an ID# which matches EIN# may even be showing (helpful where that company is operating nonprofit).

I had an enjoyable day yesterday (June 24) researching (in my own way) some background on this company which keeps coming up because, like Mathematica, the Urban Institute, MDRC, and I’ve even seen (the two-partner) “MEF Associates, Inc.”, it continues to show up, usually with some partner, evaluating something taxpayers funded because some branch of federal, or other governments, did.

In other words, I’d be researching some Marriage/Fatherhood or related HHS grantee, sometimes on the HHS website over time and run across evaluations done by Abt Associates, often with a partner from the above or similar list, producing an uploaded report.

This post shares some of what I found just starting about both its founder, the company he worked for right before founding Abt Associates (Raytheon), its filings, some of its directors (some names being unique are easily searchable, leading to awareness of just how high up in the international development fields they have been), and search for a more concrete definition than the AbtAssociates.com current website — obviously –wishes to give, even in fine print at the very bottom of its own website below all the projects listed.

I learned about (yet) another Harvard Center (Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University) when reading that Clark C. Abt had been involved, and from it, about the benefactors it was named after in 1997 — SUCH a key year and decade in U.S. History, it seems — Belfer wealth comes from petroleum; oil and gas explorations, naturally, there’s at least one lawyer in the family and a family investment firm with board memberships of well-known institutions.

Why I directed more curiosity about this company now than earlier is probably just coincidence. A randomly-generated string of shortlink characters from the WordPress blog software (by Automattic, Inc. last I looked), which these days, seems to be working its way through 3-character strings which begin with lower-case “a”….


I was reminded of Abt Associates simply from a short-link ending “-abt” on a post I started yesterday for practical reasons as a blogger and blog administrator — the right sidebar contents were too long, strung out far beyond the bottom of any post I could write. Periodically I move material (sometimes updating it) from that sidebar onto a post, before adding more links, or pages over time.

Especially as I notice websites universally featuring fewer words, larger pictures, larger font, more sub-menus and links, and “in your face” attempts to engage the emotions, rather than reason, in viewers (while withholding key information or presenting it in strangely irrelevant ways)… I still value words, delivered hopefully to people with some patience.  The post was written mostly nonstop in a single day, with just a little follow-up and link-checks a few days later, including some unanswered questions I wanted answered. I haven’t written a post with this background color (recently, or perhaps ever) and was enjoying its look, which may have contributed slightly to the overall fun of writing it.

New to You? Post = Archiving My Older, Long, Narrow Sidebar Widgets: ‘Pages’ (All) + Some Historic Text Boxes [Started June 24, 2019].. (Case-sensitive short-link ends “-abt,” Possibly indicating God, or the universe, or random chance, has a sense of humor.  See “Abt Associates” in HHS activities.

All these years of looking up HHS grants and grantees, time on HHS.gov websites, looking at the acquisitions history of groups like Maximus or ICF International (getting fat on federal contracts and/or grants) or reading yet another pilot program evaluation or assessment, along with names like “Mathematica, Inc.” of parenting or fatherhood interventions (federally funded) — Abt Associates just kept on coming up.  I gathered they are for-profit consulting of some (or many) sorts.


Looking at the website, it was almost impossible to stay at the bottom of the “What we Do” list on any page to get to the bottom where — sometimes — a definition of who or what an agency or firm actually is, as opposed to how great and global it is.  I finally got one screenprint and this phrase, while no home legal domicile in the US (it seems to be Massachusetts);

Abt Associates is an engine for social impact, harnessing the power of data and grounded insight to move people from vulnerability to security worldwide.

Footer menu: | Contact Us  | News | Events | Contract Vehicles | Alumni Network | Careers | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Sign up for News

Copyright © Abt Associates Inc. 2018

OK, what KIND of “engine for social impact”  — Don’t feel like specifying?

Bloomberg.com on Abt Associates (Profile “697425Z:US”) (great source for company snapshots) tells more, and confirms a US address of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and started in 1965, has about 2,700 employees worldwide.

Abt Associates Inc. provides research, consulting, and technical assistance services. The Company offers services in the fields of social policy, clinical trials, economic and health policy, international development, research and evaluation, data collection and management, and strategy planning. Abt Associates serves customers worldwide.


An “Inc.” Is a corporation, not an LLC.  That’s a start.  You name it (except manufacturing), and you wanna fund it?  it does it, basically…. Devex.com adds categorizes it as “Development Consulting” and mentions the founder “Clark Abt” (this sounds like a company-provided profile that just didn’t show up on the company website):

…In 1965, Clark Abt expressed a single, noble goal—to create a world free of war and poverty. The visionary set to work establishing Abt Associates. Over the next half century, the company became known as a bold, innovative and effective agent of social change, committed to improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people worldwide.

Also, they are evidence-based and multi-disciplinary when it comes to problem-solving.  Wikipedia on Clark C. Apt (“may not meet notability guidelines for a living biography” — and it IS pretty short) reminds me he’s German (b. 1929), American (citizenship 1945), MIT grad with merchant seaman experience (for the US) and eventually an MIT Ph.D. in Political Science in 1965 and founded Abt Associates promptly after. Married Wendy Peter, “fathered two children”… has writing ability judging by his time at Johns Hopkins…

I see also from a website called “OurCampaigns” (“Candidate ID: 21416”) that, apart from the obvious (he’s now 90 years old), he’s a Republican, or was at this time, spent 7 years at Raytheon before the MIT degree, has taught at several universities, and (see also an image I’ll include here; this is the final paragraph of his “Tags” life summary):

Dr. Abt organized and directed four Russian-American Entrepreneurial Workshops in Defense Technology Conversion for Russian and US nuclear weapons scientists in the early 1990s. In 1997, he conducted research on renewable energy and environmentally sustainable economic development and presented papers in the United States, at the United Nations, and in China, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, and the Philippines. Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack in New York City, he has devoted much of his time to research and writing on homeland defense of port cities against catastrophic terrorism involving nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons smuggled into US ports in maritime shipping containers.

(OurCampaigns is a strange, hard-to read (black print on dark-blue background in many arts), and out-of-focus banner sort of forum, but it does seem to be still in use and has recent entries.  See its “About” for more information.)

His time at Raytheon (1957-1964) is interesting; I was looking at FundingUniverse.com’s company history of Raytheon (Note: this excellent company history site, I like its tone, index, very readable, and fast-moving but factual actual histories of companies that give you a sense of who they were/are and their founders moves, society’s changes impacting them, etc. — but it has a stopping point of about a full generation ago, around 2000.  Keeping that in mind…Raytheon’s history includes Vannevar Bush (<~~the “Wiki”)connecting two men at a key time in history….

Clark C. Apt “info,” 2nd paragraph, from “OurCampaigns.com”:

He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1952 to 1957. From 1957 to 1964 he held engineering and management positions at the Raytheon Company, including managing its advanced systems department. He founded Abt Associates in 1965.

Abt worked for Raytheon we can see after the Korean war, at which time Raytheon had benefitted significantly from military contracts.  However towards the close of that period, it wanted to reduce its dependence on those contracts, having also had some management problems.  Notice also — it had invented the microwave…

FundingUniverse.com on History of Raytheon, about that time (<~~Read the whole history.  Not that long!)

The sudden resumption of military orders after the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 greatly benefited Raytheon, as Defense Department contracts enabled the company to develop new technologies with initially low profitability. That year, a ‘Lark’ missile equipped with a Raytheon-designed guidance system made history when it intercepted and destroyed a Navy drone aircraft. Raytheon’s advanced research center, called Lab 16, was designed to develop the Sparrow air-to-air and Hawk surface-to-air missiles. Raytheon became a partner in Selenia, a joint venture with the Italian firms Finmeccanica and Fiat, which was established to develop new radar technologies. Raytheon’s association with Selenia afforded it an opportunity to work with the Italian rocket scientist Carlo Calosi.

Raytheon’s Belmont {{Chicago}} operation was re-formed in 1954, but two years later all radio and television operations were sold to the Admiral Corporation. Raytheon continued, however, to develop new appliances, such as the Radarange microwave oven. In 1956 Charles Adams hired Harold S. Geneen, a highly innovative and dynamic manager, as executive vice-president. Three years later, however, Geneen left Raytheon to become chief executive of ITT. Richard E. Krafve (who once headed the Ford Motor Company’s Edsel project) enjoyed only a short tenure as Geneen’s successor; he disagreed frequently with Adams and was apparently unable to gain the respect of engineers. Thomas L. Phillips, manager of the Missile Division, replaced Krafve. 

Charles F. Adams had been brought on as a financial advisor in 1947 and assumed Marshall’s (the original civil engineer whom Vannevar Bush (then at MIT?) had approached, along with a Harvard Physicist Charles Smith) responsibilities.  Adams is the financial guru….

In 1956 and 1957, Raytheon and Minneapolis-Honeywell jointly operated a computer company called Datamatic. Raytheon soon sold its interest to Honeywell when Datamatic failed to compete effectively against IBM. Raytheon’s joint venture projects with Italian companies continued to expand, however. D. Brainerd Holmes, a former director of the American manned space flight program, joined Raytheon in 1963 to manage the company’s military business, reporting to Phillips.

Diversifying in the 1960s and 1970s

Raytheon’s top managers began to recognize weaknesses in the company’s organizational structure perhaps as early as 1962; Raytheon, they decided, had become too dependent on government contracts. So in 1964 Adams and Phillips, who had become chairman and president, respectively, conceived a plan that aimed to diversify the company’s operations. Raytheon acquired Packard-Bell’s computer operations and a number of small electronics firms. 



You can see how witnessing the developments at a post-war military-focused electronics company turning towards consumers, and having some wins, some losses, some lucky strikes, some strikeouts over time (which no doubt Abt would’ve known about as part of the company history if he was major management) might have affected Abt’s decision that there might be a future in management consulting.

By the way, from the 1972 Amended Articles of Incorporation (for Abt Associates, Inc., a for-profit Cambridge, Massachusetts corporation founded in 1965), here was the business description:

And one more point of reference from the top paragraph:  (I added the link):  “Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University” (Harvard-Kennedy School).  The name “Belfer” was added in 1997 I see.

Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs was founded in 1973 by Paul Doty as the Program for Science and International Affairs (PSIA) within Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Its original goal was to revive serious analysis of nuclear dangers and arms control.

In 1976, the Program launched the International Security Program and the journal International Security, and also established the Science, Technology, and Public Policy program. In 1978, a major grant from the Ford Foundation made possible the establishment of the Center for Science and International Affairs (CSIA) as the first permanent research center at the newly emerging John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The Center expanded in 1990 to incorporate the Environment and Natural Resources Program, the predecessor of which began at the Kennedy School in 1980 as the Energy and Environmental Policy Center.

The Center took another major step in its development in 1997 when it was re-endowed, refurbished, and renamed the Robert and Renée Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Exploring the Belfer Center experts, fellows, staffs, and general “search” site, I saw nothing “Abt,” although plenty of interest, including that Aayan Hirsi Ali is among the Experts. (Searchable also on this blog; I also just Retweeted  her From Selma to Tunis:When Will We March Against the Segregation of Our Own Time? | Belfer Center for Science & Internat’l Affairs’ Mar 23, 2015 (orig in HuffPo) (As posted on Belfer Center, I don’t see many links or footnotes in their experts’ articles).

So I called their communications contact who (after I phonetically spelled and gave a bit more context) found he was an “Associate Fellow” (definitions change over time) “in the 1990s.” The website I was reading, already fuzzy and obviously not current, I see was dated 2003 and read:

Clark C. Abt is Chairman and past President of Abt Associates Inc.; Associate, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University; and a founding Director of the Roxbury Entrepreneur’s Club

Clark Apt sounds like a national asset.  How’s his family doing?


On the Belfer Center (so renamed and refurbished in the 1990s), I see the alphabetical list of international experts includes Laurence D. Belfer obviously junior to Robert Belfer (Columbia ’55, Harvard Law School, ’58, after which a long career with Belco Petroleum: US, Canada and Peru gas & oil exploration & development. The next sentence is just a flavor (omits most of the boards and “active involvement in the CFR (Council of Foreign Relations) and on the boards of many medical and cancer, including Dana Farber Cancer Institutes and more):

… Its (Belco Petroleum’s) assets now form part of EOG Resources. In 1992, Bob founded Belco Oil & Gas Corp., a leading independent producer of domestic oil and gas, listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2001, Belco merged with another company and its assets are now part of Anadarko Petroleum. He is currently Chairman of Belfer Management LLC, a private {{family}} investment firm. …

 


A FEW FOOTNOTES (added Sept. 2019; originally I was going to add more on Clark C. Abt, but it’s no longer fresh in my mind, and there are other blog priorities:

ABT list of current directors (as of last June; I provided link above) from Massachusetts “Master” (Cover) page under the Commonwealth’s business entities search results website.  For size, I didn’t include the top of that page; wanted to show the directors, total shares and their value (about $970K) and stated business purpose:

ABT CURRENT DIRECTORS, the STREET ADDRESS (leased an entire office building, 155,000 s.f. in a different area of Bethesda, says a business article, citing a trend:

Why One Consulting Firm Chose North Bethesda over Downtown Bethesda, May 18, 2016, Daniel J. Sernovitz, Washington Business Journal staff, under “Commercial Real Estate” (“bizjournals.com”)

…Abt is relocating from smaller space at 4550 Montgomery Ave., also an older building and one that MRP Realty and Rockpoint Group LLC teamed up to renovate with the same goals as Monument Realty. The company initially leased just under 30,800 square feet there in 2004 but expanded to about 130,000 square feet under a 2007 lease set to expire in April 2018, when it plans to move to Executive Plaza.

 

 

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