The Freeman Foundation was established in 1994 through the bequest and in memory of the businessman and benefactor Mansfield Freeman, a co-founder of the international insurance and financial conglomerate American International Group, Inc., better known as AIG. This private and philanthropic foundation, based in Stowe, Vermont, with offices in New York City, is dedicated to augmenting international understanding between the United States and the nations of East Asia. It accomplishes this principally through the distribution of grants in the educational sector. The foundation, which grants about $50 million every year to various organizations and institutions, is committed to increasing, strengthening, and popularizing the teaching of Asia in university classrooms. 
After the death of Mansfield Freeman in 1992, the Freeman Foundation was established by his son Houghton “Buck” Freeman, who was born in Shanghai, graduated from Wesleyan University in 1943, and moved from Shanghai to Tokyo in 1949. The foundation is administered by members of the Freeman family: Houghton “Buck” Freeman, his wife Doreen, and their son, Graeme Freeman, a 1977 Wesleyan graduate. 
In a Honolulu Advertiser article dated January 24, 2006, Beverly Creamer reported:
- Since 2001, East-West Center projects alone have received $10.4 million from the foundation, and provided opportunities for hundreds of American and Asian students to participate in exchange programs to bridge the cultural divide.
- Although the Freemans live in Stowe, Vt., where the foundation is headquartered, they spend winters in Hawai'i, to escape the cold and be close to Asia to keep a hand in their Pacific and Asian philanthropic projects.
- Born in the early 1920s in Beijing, Freeman is the son of New Englander Mansfield Freeman, who had gone to China to teach in 1919 only to fall in love with Asia's cultural nuances and make it his home for two decades. By 1923 the elder Freeman had joined forces with entrepreneur C.V. Starr to sell insurance in China and give the dominant British companies a run for their money. By hiring and promoting local Chinese and immigrant White Russians fleeing communism "and writing risks others wouldn't touch," says his son, the two were soon a major force in the insurance world.
- Freeman spent his own life selling insurance for his father's company, both in Asia and New York, before turning his retirement in 1993 into a new career of philanthropy. He grew up speaking Mandarin, and during World War II learned Japanese during his Navy service as a translator and then in military intelligence stationed in China.
Although the Freemans live in Stowe, Vt., where the foundation is headquartered, they spend winters in Hawai'i, to escape the cold and be close to Asia to keep a hand in their Pacific and Asian philanthropic projects. 
- Family supports East-West causes By Beverly Creamer (Honolulu Advertiser, 1-24-06)
- About the Freeman Foundation (Macalester College)