The one thing I knew when I joined The Rockefeller Foundation is that it is a singular convener and collaborator that identifies and accelerates breakthrough solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. That work excites and inspires me every day, and I hope it can do the same for all those who seek to make opportunity universal and sustainable.
For 109 years, The Rockefeller Foundation has ignited bold changes that enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish, from inspiring the field of modern public health to transforming agriculture in ways that feed millions of people around the world.
But growing inequity, environmental challenges, and technological changes have required setting an even quicker pace. Whether it’s responding to Covid-19, empowering people with clean energy on a global scale, confronting the rising costs of food and fuel in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, or improving economic stability for working Americans, the need to join forces with experts, partners, and collaborators is more urgent than ever.
That is especially true when it comes to the existential threat posed by climate change. To meet the moment, the Foundation is putting climate at the forefront of our programmatic, operational, and investment strategies. Rajiv Shah, the Foundation’s President, put it this way: “Climate change poses a singular threat to humanity, and to The Rockefeller Foundation’s 109-year mission of promoting its well-being throughout the world. To meet our mission today, we must directly confront climate change, even as we redouble efforts in our traditional program areas: health, power, food, and equity.” You can read more of his thinking in The Climate Crisis and Our Work to Make Opportunity Universal and Sustainable.
Environmental, economic, and political changes have led to growing inequity, threatening the well-being of humanity. Technological changes in the 21st Century pose promise and peril. We aim to do what we have done for 109 years and harness the power of partnership, investment, and innovation to improve lives and enable people to achieve their true potential.
We are simply trying to communicate more clearly the Foundation’s priorities and our passion at a moment when the stakes for humanity could not be higher. The changes we’ve made to how we present ourselves, our work, and our commitment reflect the unique role the Foundation has played and plans to play in the 21st Century: collaborating with our grantees, our partners, and the communities we serve to ignite transformative change in:
- Health, by harnessing the power of data so everyone can be healthy, and humanity can respond to and prevent pandemics.
- Clean energy, by empowering energy-poor people, with a focus on women, connecting them to renewable electricity and creating green jobs, while reducing carbon emissions to protect the planet.
- Food, by nourishing humanity with food that is good for people and planet.
- Economic equity, by enhancing the jobs, careers, assets, and futures of low-wage workers, particularly BIPOC and women workers, so they can thrive in a crisis-laden era.
- Innovation, by connecting leaders, building data- and finance-driven solutions, and pushing new frontiers to expand the possibilities of human opportunity.
This is an exciting time for The Rockefeller Foundation and our network of grantees and partners. By staying true to our founder’s vision of “scientific philanthropy” and mission to advance the well-being of humanity — with a 21st Century approach — we can finally make opportunity sustainable for all the people we serve.
To The Rockefeller Foundation Team, Partners, and Friends: When I last wrote to you in this …SEE MORE