Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. Photo by: Joi Ito / CC BY
Since its establishment in 1936, the Ford Foundation has grown into one of the largest private foundations in the world. With an initial endowment of $25,000 from Edsel Ford, son of Ford Motor Co. founder Henry Ford, the foundation’s original mandate was to support “scientific, educational and charitable purposes, all for the public welfare.” It has since expanded its reach to provide assistance in various sectors, including economic development, governance, human rights, media and culture.
The Ford Foundation is headquartered in New York with regional offices in Latin America, Africa and Asia. In 2013, the foundation’s total grant giving reached $570 million, increasing by over $40 million from the previous year. Led by its 10th president, Darren Walker, the Ford Foundation is governed by a 16-member board of trustees that is responsible for identifying priorities, determining foundation spending and investments, and overall governance.
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