May/June Newsletter

A Message from Diane

Dear Friends of Jim,

Jim’s legacy is making a huge difference for the return of Americans held hostage abroad! The new Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell has brought 66 Americans home since 2015!

Our inaugural James Foley Freedom awards on May 3rd at the Newseum was attended by 240. Three American heroes of freedom were honored. See the story below for links to videos of the honorees and event photos.

Additionally, the film “Jim, The James Foley Story” is being integrated into an educational safety module for use at schools of journalism and has been invited to be used for training at the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell.

The Foley 5K is on Saturday, OCTOBER 15TH… only 4 months away! Challenge yourself and friends to build Freedom Teams to join us wherever you live in the world!

Your caring and generosity allow Jim’s spirit to continue to make a difference in our world. I am forever grateful to each of you!

Heartfelt thanks and love,


Last June 2015, the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell (HRFC) was established and a new Presidential Envoy was appointed – both are dedicated to the return of American hostages.

Diane Foley participated in the first Hostage policy review in Washington DC in early June. She met with White House officials and the HRFC staff.

Five returning American hostages were welcomed home at the first Foley Freedom Awards on May 3rd in DC.

Hostage US officially launched this April 2016 and is already supporting families of hostages. You can get involved by offering legal, psychological or communications expertise, by donating or by setting up a fundraising event. See the ways you can get involved.

JWFLF is funding a joint research project with Hostage US to gather information on American hostages.
Hostage US is eager to hear from anyone who has conducted research on kidnapping or is willing to share their data to help improve public understanding.



The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation has helped convene and financially support this international coalition of media companies, journalist NGO’s and freelancers to promote safety and equity for conflict journalists. ACOS will launch their website in June.

Jason Reich, BuzzFeed’s Director of Security, is leading ACOS’ effort to build the first-ever secure, online portal where freelancers and news organization security directors can share safety information regarding dangerous assignments.

David Milliken, Agence France Presse’s North America Director, is leading an ACOS effort to find a way to provide affordable health, disability and equipment insurance to freelancers.



Professor Ellen Shearer, Bureau Chief for Medill News Service and Medill Washington Program and Co-Director of the National Security Journalism Initiative at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, has drafted an educational module for schools of journalism with Delphine Halgand, Director of the DC office for Reporters Without Borders, and help from A Culture of Safety alliance.

This new module will be presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication this summer. This module will employ the film “Jim, the James Foley Story” to stimulate discussion and learning.


First James Foley Freedom Awards
May 3,2016

The inaugural James Foley Freedom Awards was an overwhelming success with
three heroic Americans receiving well deserved honors. [Click on the honorees’ name to view their video shown at the event.]

David Bradley, owner of Atlantic Media, received the James Foley American Hostage Freedom award for his work to bring kidnapped Americans home.

David Rohde, reporter with Thomson Reuters, received the James Foley World Press Freedom award for his efforts to protect freelance journalists in conflict zones.

Nadia Alawa, founder of NuDay Syria, received the James Foley Humanitarian award for support of Syrian women and children.

Photographs from the event can be found here.

We are so thankful for the overwhelming support we received at the event and look forward to hosting the second annual James Foley Freedom Awards next year.

Jan/Feb Newsletter

A message from Diane and John:
Save the Date: May 3, 2016

We are celebrating World Press Freedom Day with our first JAMES FOLEY FREEDOM AWARDS black tie reception and dinner at the Newseum in Washington DC on May 3rd at 6:30pm.

In partnership with the Newseum, we will also offer a free screening of “Jim, the James Foley Story” in the Newseum’s Annenberg Theater from 4 to 6pm.

This year’s honorees are:
David Bradley of Atlantic Media
David Rohde of Thomson Reuters
Nadia Alawa of NuDay Syria

for continuing Jim’s work on behalf of American hostages, freelance conflict journalists and vulnerable children.

We have sponsor opportunities available for this special event. If you or your company/organization are interested in supporting this event as a sponsor, please contact Mariann Murphy, Executive Director at 603.948.1339 or email

We have an e-vite and a traditional invitation. Do you know someone in the DC area who would like to attend? Please email us their contact information and if you would like to include a personal message. For more information or to register for this event, please visit our Events page or click here.

We want to thank film director, Brian Oakes, and co-writer, Heather MacDonald, childhood friends of Jim’s, for their work on the film. They did a masterful job capturing the essence of Jim and his challenging legacy. The film received the coveted Audience Award at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival in Park City.

The Foundation will be using the film for educational and fundraising screenings. If you are interested in organizing a screening in your area, please contact Mariann Murphy, Executive Director at 603.948.1339 or email

With deep gratitude and love,
Diane & John


REMEMBER ROBERT LEVINSON (2007) and AUSTIN TICE (2012) and other unnamed Americans still being held hostage.

We celebrate Freedom for Americans from Iran and Bahrain:
Journalist Jason Rezaian held since 2014
Pastor Saeed Abedini since 2012
Marine vet Amir Hekmati since 2011
Student Matthew Trevithickj
Journalist Anna Therese Day

The US Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell has referred several families to the Foundation. We continue to collaborate to keep American hostages a priority!


The Foundation helped convene an international coalition to promote increased safety and equity for freelance journalists in conflict zones. The coalition has now chosen the name, A Culture of Safety Alliance or “ACOS”.

ACOS held their quarterly meeting in Paris in early February in an effort to increase the European presence in the Alliance. Diane Foley was in Paris for the UNESCO conference and attended the ACOS meeting to represent the Foundation.

Diane Foley was a featured speaker at the February UNESCO conference entitled “News Organizations Standing Up for the Safety of Media Professionals”. Diane was joined on panel by Director-General Irina Bokova and Christiane Amanpour. Violence towards journalists continues to be a challenge globally.
Journalism matters for society and for what UNESCO calls the “free flow” of ideas and information.

Because of the service they provide to the public, those who do journalism need to be protected. On this basis, UNESCO organized an international conference for the leading decision-makers of news organizations, especially owners, publishers, chief executives and editors-in-chief.

The conference objective was to provide news organizations with a platform to discuss existing and new measures aimed to strengthen journalists’ safety worldwide and engage with UNESCO Member States on these issues. It was held to deepen knowledge about the issues of journalists’ safety, to share industry good practices, to promote dialogue on the issue, and to identify gaps for possible follow up.

Click here to read more about the conference.


Foley 5K

Even though the 2nd Annual Foley 5K is months away (October 15, 2016), you can start organizing your group or team in your area for the virtual run or the event in Rochester NH.

For more information or to register, please click here to visit the Foley 5K website.

Last year we had about 1,000 runners in NH and another 1,000 runners worldwide in our virtual run. Let’s see how many more we can have running this year!

December 2015 Newsletter


Dear Friends of Jim,

Thank you for helping us continue Jim’s voice of courage, compassion and commitment into our troubled world.

Through your support of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, YOU are now his voice for the voiceless.

As we look ahead to 2016, we will work to challenge our US Government’s hostage response, to strengthen the efforts to train our conflict journalists and keep them safe, and to empower youth through education. We hope you will take this opportunity to make a 2015 gift to support these efforts.

Our family and the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation wish each of you a very blessed 2016.

With deep gratitude and love,

Diane & John





To best serve American families, Hostage US is in need of first class volunteers across the US to be family supporters. These family supporters must have personal or professional experience with hostage cases.  Pro-bono specialists such as trauma counselors, psychiatrists, physicians, dentists, nutritionists, attorneys and financial advisers throughout the country are needed to create a network of support for American hostage families.

For more information on the needs of Hostage US, please click here.  Program Assistant: Please click here for the job posting.  If you would like to offer your expertise, please reach out to Rachel Briggs:



We continue our work of collaborating with the new US Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell (HRFC) whose sole mission is the return of American hostages. We continue to monitor their efficacy.

The Foundation is promoting research on our American Hostage policy to ensure it truly protects Americans.

Diane Foley testified before a Foreign Affairs sub-committee on terrorism at the House of Representatives on November 17, 2015.



On November 20th, at a ceremony at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Chicago, Associated Press reporter Kathy Gannon received the James Foley Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism. This award is given to the individual or team of journalists, working for a U.S.-based media outlet, who best displayed moral, ethical or physical courage in the pursuit of a story or series of stories.

Jasmine Leonas wrote in her November 13th article about Gannon:

“On April 4, 2014, while reporting on elections in the province of Khost with AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus, an Afghan police officer fired an AK-47 into the backseat of the car containing Gannon and Niedringhaus. Niedringhaus was killed. Gannon, shot six times, was badly wounded. It was the first known case of a security insider attacking journalists in Afghanistan.

Still recovering from her injuries and grieving for her colleague, who she had been working with since 2009, Gannon continued to cover Afghanistan. Two months after the attack, she wrote about the prisoner exchange between the United States and the Taliban.”



As a voice for the voiceless, the world can be changed…one life at a time.

Click here to read the inspiring story of Eddie Martinez and the other students at one Phoenix, AZ school, whose world changed when Jim helped them find their voice.

November 2015 Newsletter


October was such a wonderful celebration of what would have been Jim’s 42nd birthday. We sincerely want to thank the 2,000 people who participated in our first Foley Foundation 5K, whether in Rochester, New Hampshire or around the world. We had runners in Australia, Hong Kong, Tunisia, Paris, London, New York City, Milwaukee and Washington D.C. to name a few!

Your enthusiasm and generous support made it a huge blessing.  We particularly want to thank Stacey and Mark Marchionni, owners of  Revolution  Tap and Grill in Rochester, and our generous neighbor, Dr. Walter Hoerman for spearheading  this fun-filled event.  They were assisted by a dedicated committee including Brian  Hughes, Mike Ambra, Paula Foley and Martha Foley Jackson and so many volunteers the day of the 5K.  Your generosity raised $70,000 for the James W. Foley Legacy  Foundation!!

We also want to thank a faith-filled stranger, Linda Rondinelli and Marquette University for sponsoring the first James Foley Rosary for Peace.

Please check-out some of our favorite pictures from the event here.  The glorious fall colors and vibrant support truly made us feel Jim smiling down on us all!

With deep gratitude and love,
Diane & John


Rachel Briggs has set up an office for Hostage US near Dupont Circle in Washington DC.  She plans to launch Hostage US services in Spring 2016.

To best serve American families, Hostage US is in need of first class volunteers across the US to be family supporters. These family supporters must have personal or professional experience with hostage cases. Pro-bono specialists such as trauma counselors, psychiatrists, physicians, dentists, nutritionists, attorneys and financial advisers are also needed to create a network of support for American hostage families.

For more information on the needs of Hostage US, please click here.

If you would like to offer your expertise, reach out to Rachel Briggs:


ACCOUNTABILITY: Currently, the Foundation is evaluating ways to hold the new US  Fusion Cell accountable for the return of citizens kidnapped abroad.  Diane Foley will testify at a House of Representative hearing on November 17,2015.  Diane will speak to the subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade regarding  American hostage families.

RESEARCH:  To inform our present US Hostage policy, robust research is needed. One of JWFLF’s 2016 objectives is to explore research options and initiate new projects to study our current US Hostage policy; specifically where the program has been successful and where it could still improve.

CONVENING EXPERT COUNCIL:  The Foundation is currently in multiple discussions with regional experts to determine how we as a community can improve the return rate of American hostages.


The Foley Foundation is committed to supporting the historic coalition of media organizations and journalist group to improve global safety for all conflict journalists. In support of the Call for Global Safety Principles and Practices, Jim’s Foundation will continue to encourage the work of the  international media / journalist coalition. The Foundation has contributed $1,000 to pay travel expenses for several freelance conflict journalists to attend a safety training by Reuters and the Pulitzer Center.


NuDay Syria Event
The Educational Committee of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation is in the process of vetting several potential educational projects in conjunction with the Phoenix Foley Alliance, Cristo Rey high school model and NuDay Syria’s educational initiatives. Additionally, there are several Marquette University educational outreach projects under consideration.

Mariann Murphy, our Executive Director, her husband Scott and Diane and John Foley attended a NuDay Syria fundraiser in Lowell MA this past month.  NuDay Syria is an amazingly committed NGO that works to aid women and children suffering in Syria and in refugees camps.

Currently, NuDay Syria is compiling a huge container to bring warm clothing and shoes to Syria before winter. The Foley Foundation is working to support this effort as Jim surely would have.


Giving Tuesday – December 1, 2015

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled  by the power of social media. Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable seasons, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

As a partner of #GivingTuesday the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation will be doing our part to give back on December 1, 2015, so please join us and  then tell everyone about your giving with the hashtag #GivingTuesday.


Sincere Thanks for Foley 5K Participants
October 26, 2015

Over 1,000 participate in the James Foley Foundation 5K
October 17, 2015

James W. Foley Foundation 5K draws huge crowd in Rochester
October 17, 2015

Runners honor fallen journalist James Foley
October 17, 2015

Runners around the world honor ISIS slain journalist
October 17, 2015

Running with reason: Marquette University keeps James Foley
Fox 6
October 17, 2015

James W. Foley Legacy Foundation hosts first 5K run Saturday
October 16, 2015

Foundation to Run in Remembrance of Slain Journalist James W. Foley
October 16, 2015

Cross country: Run after CPS meet to honor murdered journalist
Chicago Tribune
October 15, 2015

James Foley 5K kicks off Saturday
October 15, 2015

5K celebrates life and legacy of James Foley
October 11, 2015



Welcome to our first James W. Foley Legacy Foundation Newsletter

We want to sincerely thank all of you wonderful supporters from all over the world. Your cards, prayers and love have sustained us and given us the strength to move forward.

We want to thank General Sacolick of the National Counterterrorism Center and his team for an outstanding in-depth review of American hostage experience with USG and their families. We also commend President Obama, Lisa Monaco and Jen Easterly of the White House for listening and ordering a totally new re-organization of American hostage recovery and interaction with their families.

Our beloved son James wanted to make a difference. We established Jim’s Foundation to continue his passion for freedom and justice.


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Hostage Support


On June 24, President Obama accepted the recommendations of a six month US Hostage review.
He issued a new Presidential Directive and an Executive Order that will require major organizational changes to ensure that the US government is doing all it can to safely recover Americans taken hostage overseas. The directive will also require the government to be responsive to the needs of hostage families.

Now there will be:


– An interagency team whose sole mission will be the recovery of US hostages abroad


– Senior officials at the White House who will be responsible for ensuring that US hostage policies are consistent, coordinated and implemented rapidly and effectively


– As part of the hostage response group, a new official in the Intelligence Community will be responsible for coordinating the collection, analysis and rapid dissemination of intelligence related to American hostages


– A senior diplomat will serve as the Special Presidential envoy for Hostage Affairs and they will focus on leading US diplomatic efforts with other countries to bring hostages home


– Families will be treated as trusted and active partners in the recovery of loved ones

For more information on the new US Hostage policy, read the President’s full statement here.


In other hostage support related news, we are proud to announce that Hostage US, an independent American hostage family resource center, is now fully funded!

Thanks to the Ford Foundation’s generous $200,000 grant and a successful 125K matching campaign from a cherished friend of the Foley Foundation, Hostage US will welcome Rachel Briggs of Hostage UK to the US in September 2015 to begin assessing the needs and services Hostage US will provide, with family support to begin in early 2016!

Stay tuned for more updates!


Conflict Reporting


On June 8, 14 journalists, including Jim, were inducted into the Newseum’s Journalists Memorial Gallery. The memorial remembers fallen journalists and raises awareness about the threats they face every day while reporting global news. The Newseum’s “Today’s Front Pages” exhibit was blacked out on the day of the event to demonstrate a world without news, calling attention to the importance of the work journalists do.


In February 2015, an historic coalition of leading news companies, freelance journalism organizations and press freedom advocates came together to launch Global Safety Principles and Practices for International News Organizations and for Freelancers.

The coalition is committed to continuing an unprecedented dialogue on the future of overseas press coverage. For example, they have already convened international leaders four times this year to discuss physical and financial protection for journalists.

Later this year, the coalition will convene a larger meeting in New York, which will include media organizations from across the globe.

Read more about the coalition here.


Youth Education


1. Marquette University, Jim’s alma mater, has established the James Foley Scholarship in the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication. “The Scholarship will provide financial assistance for a communications student who otherwise would be unable to attend Marquette.“2.  St. Katherine Drexel Church in Alton, NH gave its first annual James W. Foley scholarship to Kingswood High School senior Maddie Trites.3.  Phoenix Foley Alliance, made up of Jim’s former students and colleagues in Arizona, formed a 501c3 to preserve the spirit and legacy of James Foley by providing financial assistance to those of economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

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Upcoming Events


July 17, 2015

World Day for International Justice is a day on which people around the world recognize the emerging system for international criminal justice.


October 17, 2015

The first annual Foley 5k will take place in Rochester, NH on Saturday, October 17, 2015.

If you can’t make it to Rochester for the race, you can join us virtually by registering online! We will mail you a t-shirt and on October 17 you can go for a run (or a walk) with Jim in your mind and heart. Take a selfie or group photo on your run and post the photo on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with the hashtags #foley5k and #IrunforJim

Please register or donate to the race here.

Relevant News

Five Hostages
The New Yorker
July, 2015

New Steps for Hostage families
June 29, 2015


As Obama Shifts Hostage Policy, the Foleys Remain Voices of Reason
The Huffington Post
June 25, 2015


Obama Ordering Changes in U.S Hostage Policies
The New York Times
June 23, 2015