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The Chronicle of Philanthropy sat down with Darren Walker to discuss his first year as president of the foundation and his plans going forward. Ford will remain committed to “social justice through pro-democracy efforts, the arts and culture, education, and universal economic opportunity,” Alex Daniels reports. “And increasingly, the foundation will invest in projects that involve a network of partners, rather than focusing on building stand-alone institutions from the ground up.”

Published in the Chronicle of Philanthropy | September 2, 2014
New leader steers Ford Foundation back toward familiar ground
By Alex Daniels


Pointing the way forward for a sprawling, venerable philanthropic institution like the Ford Foundation is a dizzying experience, says Darren Walker, the man who is setting its course. There is no clear, simple formula to determine how a philanthropy giant with billions in assets and offices across the globe should make its bets, says Mr. Walker.

“The world is topsy-turvy, and you really can’t tell if you’re standing on quicksand or on concrete,” he says.

Mr. Walker, who became president of the foundation a year ago, plans to present his priorities to the foundation’s directors in October. He says he will restart grants to peace and global-security efforts, and increase the amount of money the foundation contributes to programs that deal with urban issues, both in the United States and internationally.

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The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.