Q&A: Darren Walker on heeding the wisdom, and funding the work, of local communities

Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. Photo by: Reny Preussker

SAN FRANCISCO — When Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, listens to representatives from indigenous peoples organizations in meetings surrounding the Global Climate Action Summit, he is left with a question: Who is funding them?

“What you often hear [from donors] is, we don’t have a mechanism to reach people on the ground, or we’re not comfortable giving money to an intermediary,” he said.

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    Catherine Cheney

    Catherine Cheney is a Senior Reporter for Devex. She covers the West Coast of the U.S., focusing on the role of technology and innovation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. And she frequently represents Devex as a speaker and moderator. Prior to joining Devex, Catherine earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University, worked as a web producer for POLITICO and reporter for World Politics Review, and helped to launch NationSwell. Catherine has reported from all over the world, and freelanced for outlets including the Atlantic and the Washington Post. She is also the West Coast ambassador for the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit that trains and connects journalists to cover responses to problems.