Rockefeller Foundation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

The Rockefeller Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation logo
Founder(s)John D. Rockefeller, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Frederick Taylor Gates
TypeNon-operating private foundation
(IRS exemption status): 501(c)(3)[1]
Founded1913
Headquarters420 Fifth Avenue, New York City
Key peoplePresident - Judith Rodin
Focus"Smart Globalization"
Mission"to promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world."[2]
MethodEndowment
Endowment$3.4 billion (2009)[1]
WebsiteRockefellerFoundation.org
 
Jump to: navigation, search
The Rockefeller Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation logo
Founder(s)John D. Rockefeller, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Frederick Taylor Gates
TypeNon-operating private foundation
(IRS exemption status): 501(c)(3)[1]
Founded1913
Headquarters420 Fifth Avenue, New York City
Key peoplePresident - Judith Rodin
Focus"Smart Globalization"
Mission"to promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world."[2]
MethodEndowment
Endowment$3.4 billion (2009)[1]
WebsiteRockefellerFoundation.org

The Rockefeller Foundation is a prominent philanthropic organization and private foundation based at 420 Fifth Avenue, New York City. The preeminent institution established by the six-generation Rockefeller family, it was founded by John D. Rockefeller ("Senior"), along with his son John D. Rockefeller, Jr. ("Junior"), and Senior's principal business and philanthropic advisor, Frederick Taylor Gates, in New York State May 14, 1913, when its charter was formally accepted by the New York State Legislature.[3] Its central historical mission is "to promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world."[2]

Some of its objectives and achievements include:

Although it is no longer the largest foundation by assets, the Rockefeller Foundation's pre-eminent legacy ranks it among the most influential NGOs in the world.[12] By year-end 2008 assets were tallied at $3.1 billion from $4.6 billion in 2007, with annual grants of $137 million.[1]

Contents

Leadership

The foundation's president is Judith Rodin, who succeeded Gordon Conway in 2005. A former president of the University of Pennsylvania, Rodin is the first woman to head the foundation. She has said she wants to change the foundation's organizational structure and identify the major 21st-century trends that could be affected by the foundation. It now seeks ideas that might change the lives of large numbers of poor or vulnerable people within three to five years.[citation needed]

Beginnings

Original Rockefeller logo, no longer in use

Rockefeller's interest in philanthropy on a large scale began in 1889, influenced by Andrew Carnegie's published essay, The Gospel of Wealth, which prompted him to write a letter to Carnegie praising him as an example to other rich men.[citation needed] It was in that year that he made the first of what would become $35 million in gifts, over a period of two decades, to fund the University of Chicago.[13]

His initial idea to set up a large-scale tax-exempt foundation occurred in 1901, but it was not until 1906 that Senior's famous business and philanthropic advisor, Frederick Taylor Gates, seriously revived the idea, saying that Rockefeller's fortune was rolling up so fast his heirs would "dissipate their inheritances or become intoxicated with power", unless he set up "permanent corporate philanthropies for the good of Mankind".[14]

It was also in 1906 that the Russell Sage Foundation was established, though its program was limited to working women and social ills. Rockefeller's would thus not be the first foundation in America (Benjamin Franklin was the first to introduce the concept), but it brought to it unprecedented international scale and scope. In 1909 he signed over 73,000 shares of Standard Oil of New Jersey, valued at $50 million, to the three inaugural trustees, Junior, Gates and Harold Fowler McCormick, the first installment of a projected $100 million endowment.[14]

They applied for a federal charter for the foundation in the US Senate in 1910, with at one stage Junior even secretly meeting with President William Howard Taft, through the aegis of Senator Nelson Aldrich, to hammer out concessions.[citation needed] However, because of the ongoing (1911) antitrust suit against Standard Oil at the time, along with deep suspicion in some quarters of undue Rockefeller influence on the spending of the endowment, the end result was that Senior and Gates withdrew the bill from Congress in order to seek a state charter.[14]

On May 14, 1913, New York Governor William Sulzer approved a state charter for the foundation - two years after the Carnegie Corporation - with Junior becoming the first president. With its large-scale endowment, a large part of Senior's fortune was insulated from inheritance taxes. The total benefactions of both him and Junior and their philanthropies in the end would far surpass Carnegie's endowments, his biographer Ron Chernow states, ranking Rockefeller as "the greatest philanthropist in American history."[14]

Early grants and connections

The first Secretary of the foundation was Jerome Davis Greene, the former Secretary of Harvard University, who wrote a "memorandum on principles and policies" for an early meeting of the trustees that established a rough framework for the foundation's work. On December 5, the Board made its first grant of $100,000 to the American Red Cross to purchase property for its headquarters in Washington, D.C.[2] At the beginning the foundation was global in its approach and concentrated in its first decade entirely on the sciences, public health and medical education.

It was initially located within the family office at Standard Oil's headquarters at 26 Broadway, later (in 1933) shifting to the GE Building (then RCA), along with the newly named family office, Room 5600, at Rockefeller Center; later it moved to the Time-Life Building in the Center, before shifting to its current Fifth Avenue address.

In 1913 the foundation set up the International Health Commission (later Board), the first appropriation of funds for work outside the US, which launched the foundation into international public health activities. This expanded the work of the Sanitary Commission worldwide, working against various diseases in fifty-two countries on six continents and twenty-nine islands, bringing international recognition of the need for public health and environmental sanitation. Its early field research on hookworm, malaria, and yellow fever provided the basic techniques to control these diseases and established the pattern of modern public health services.[citation needed]

The Commission established and endowed the world's first school of Hygiene and Public Health, at Johns Hopkins University, and later at Harvard, and then spent more than $25 million in developing other public health schools in the US and in 21 foreign countries - helping to establish America as the world leader in medicine and scientific research. In 1913 it also began a 20-year support program of the Bureau of Social Hygiene, whose mission was research and education on birth control, maternal health and sex education.

In 1914 the foundation set up the China Medical Board, which established the first public health university in China, the Peking Union Medical College, in 1921; this was subsequently nationalised when the Communists took over the country in 1949. In the same year it began a program of international fellowships to train scholars at the world's leading universities at the post-doctoral level; a fundamental commitment to the education of future leaders.

Also in 1914, the trustees set up a new Department of Industrial Relations, inviting William Lyon MacKenzie King to head it. He became a close and key advisor to Junior through the Ludlow massacre, turning around his attitude to unions; however the foundation's involvement in IR was criticized for advancing the family's business interests.[citation needed] It henceforth confined itself to funding responsible organizations involved in this and other controversial fields, which were beyond the control of the foundation itself.[15]

Through the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, established by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1918 and named after his mother, the family shifted the focus of philanthropy into the social sciences, stimulating the founding of university research centres and creating the Social Science Research Council. This memorial fund was subsequently folded into the foundation in a major reorganization in 1928/9.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. became the foundation chairman in 1917. One of the many prominent trustees of the institution since has been C. Douglas Dillon, the United States Secretary of the Treasury under both Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. The foundation also supported the early initiatives of Henry Kissinger, such as his directorship of Harvard's International Seminars and the early foreign policy magazine Confluence, both established by him while he was still a graduate student.[16]

Programs: scale and scope

Through the years the foundation has expanded greatly in scope. Historically, it has given more than $14 billion in current dollars[13] to thousands of grantees worldwide and has assisted directly in the training of nearly 13,000 Rockefeller Fellows.

Its overall philanthropic activity has been divided into five main subject areas:[17]

In the 1920s, the Rockefeller Foundation started a program to eradicate hookworm in Mexico. The program exemplified the time period's confidence in science as the solution for everything.[18] This reliance on science was known as scientific neutrality. The Rockefeller Foundation program stated that there was a crucial correlation between the world of science, politics and international health policy. This heavy reliance of scientific neutrality contradicted the hookworm program's fundamental objective to invest in public health in order to develop better social conditions and to establish positive ties between the United States and Mexico.[19] The Hookworm Campaign set the terms of the relationship between Mexico and the Rockefeller Foundation that persisted through subsequent programs including the development of a network of local public health departments. The importance of the hookworm campaign was to get a foot in the door and swiftly convince rural people of the value of public health work. The roles of the RF's hookworm campaign are characteristic of the policy paradoxes that emerge when science is summoned to drive policy. The campaign in Mexico served as a policy cauldron through which new knowledge could be demonstrated applicable to social and political problems on many levels.[20] A major program beginning in the 1930s was the relocation of German (Jewish) scholars from German universities to America. This was expanded to other European countries after the Anschluss occurred; when war broke out it became a full-scale rescue operation. Another program, the Emergency Rescue Committee was also partly funded with Rockefeller money; this effort resulted in the rescue of some of the most famous artists, writers and composers of Europe. Some of the notable figures relocated or saved (out of a total of 303 scholars) by the Foundation were Thomas Mann, Claude Lévi-Strauss and Leó Szilárd, enriching intellectual life and academic disciplines in the US. This came to light afterwards through a brief, unpublished history of the Foundation's program.[21]

Another significant program was its Medical Sciences Division, which extensively funded women's contraception and the human reproductive system in general. Other funding went into endocrinology departments in American universities, human heredity, mammalian biology, human physiology and anatomy, psychology, and the pioneering studies of human sexual behavior by Dr. Alfred Kinsey.[22]

In 1950 the Foundation mounted a major program of virus research, establishing field laboratories in Poona, India; Port of Spain, Trinidad; Belém, Brazil; Johannesburg, South Africa; Cairo, Egypt; Ibadan, Nigeria; and Cali, Colombia.[citation needed] In time, major funding was also contributed by the countries involved, while in Trinidad the British government and neighbouring British-controlled territories also assisted. Sub-professional staff were almost all recruited locally and, wherever possible, local people were given scholarships and other support to be professionally trained. In most cases, locals eventually took over management of the facilities. Support was also given to research on viruses in many other countries. The result of all this research was the identification of a huge number of viruses affecting humans, the development of new techniques for the rapid identification of viruses, and a quantum leap in our understanding of arthropod-borne viruses.[23]

In the arts it has helped establish or support the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada, and the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut; Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.; Karamu House in Cleveland, Ohio; and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York. In a recent shift[when?] in program emphasis, President Rodin eliminated the division that spent money on the arts, the creativity and culture program. One program that signals the shift was the foundation's support as the underwriter of Spike Lee's documentary on New Orleans, When the Levees Broke. The film has been used as the basis for a curriculum on poverty, developed by the Teachers College at Columbia University for their students.[24]

Thousands of scientists and scholars from all over the world have received foundation fellowships and scholarships for advanced study in major scientific disciplines. In addition, the foundation has provided significant and often substantial research grants to finance conferences and assist with published studies, as well as funding departments and programs, to a vast range of foreign policy and educational organizations, including:[citation needed]

The Green Revolution

Agriculture was introduced to the Natural Sciences division of the foundation in the major reorganization of 1928. In 1941, the foundation gave a small grant to Mexico for maize research, in collaboration with the then new president, Manuel Ávila Camacho. This was done after the intervention of vice-president Henry Wallace and the involvement of Nelson Rockefeller; the primary intention being to stabilise the Mexican Government and derail any possible communist infiltration, in order to protect the Rockefeller family's investments.[27]

By 1943 this program, under the foundation's Mexican Agriculture Project, had proved such a success with the science of corn propagation and general principles of agronomy that it was exported to other Latin American countries; in 1956 the program was then taken to India; again with the geopolitical imperative of providing an antidote to communism.[27] It wasn't until 1959 that senior foundation officials succeeded in getting the Ford Foundation (and later USAID, and later still, the World Bank) to sign on to the major philanthropic project, known now to the world as the Green Revolution, originally conceived as CIMMYT The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center. It also provided significant funding for the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. Part of the original program, the funding of the IRRI was later taken over by the Ford Foundation.[27]

Costing around $600 million, over 50 years, the revolution brought new farming technology, increased productivity, expanded crop yields and mass fertilization to many countries throughout the world. Later it funded over $100 million dollars of plant biotechnology research and trained over four hundred scientists from Asia, Africa and Latin America. It also invested in the production of transgenic crops, including rice and maize. In 1999, the then president Gordon Conway addressed the Monsanto Company board of directors, warning of the possible social and environmental dangers of this biotechnology, and requesting them to disavow the use of so-called terminator genes;[28] the company later complied.

In the 1990s, the foundation shifted its agriculture work and emphasis to Africa; in 2006 it joined with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in a $150 million effort to fight hunger in the continent through improved agricultural productivity.

The Bellagio Center

The foundation also owns and operates the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy. The Center comprises several buildings, spread across a 50-acre (200,000 m2) property, on the peninsula between lakes Como and Lecco in Northern Italy. The Center is sometimes colloquially referred to as the Villa Serbelloni. The Villa is only one of the many buildings in which residents and conference participants are housed. The property was bequeathed to the Foundation in 1959 under the presidency of Dean Rusk (who was later to become U.S. President Kennedy's secretary of state).

The Bellagio Center operates both a conference center and a residency program.[29] The residency program is a highly competitive program to which scholars, artists, writers, musicians, scientists, policymakers and development professionals from around the world can apply to work on a project of their own choosing for a period of four weeks. Numerous Nobel laureates, Pulitzer winners, National Book Award recipients and MacArthur fellows have been in residence at Bellagio.

Family involvement

The Rockefeller family helped lead the foundation in its early years, but later limited itself to one or two representatives, to maintain the foundation's independence and avoid charges of undue family influence. These representatives have included the former president John D. Rockefeller 3rd, and then his son John D. Rockefeller, IV, who gave up the trusteeship in 1981. In 1989, David Rockefeller's daughter, Peggy Dulany, was appointed to the board for a five-year term.

In October 2006, David Rockefeller, Jr. joined the board of trustees, re-establishing the direct family link and becoming the sixth family member to serve on the board. By contrast, the Ford Foundation has severed all direct links with the Ford family.[citation needed]

Stock in the family's oil companies is a major part of the foundation's assets, beginning with Standard Oil and now with its corporate descendants, including Exxon Mobil.[30]

Historical legacy

The second-oldest major philanthropic institution in America after the Carnegie Corporation, the foundation's impact on philanthropy in general has been profound. It has supported United Nations programs throughout its history, such as the recent First Global Forum On Human Development, organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1999.[31]

The early institutions it set up have served as models for current organizations: the UN's World Health Organization, set up in 1948, is modeled on the International Health Division; the U.S. Government's National Science Foundation (1950) on its approach in support of research, scholarships and institutional development; and the National Institute of Health (1950) imitated its longstanding medical programs.[32]

The Rockefeller Foundation, funded Nazi racial studies even after it was clear what this research was being used to rationalize the demonizing of Jews and other groups. Up until 1939 the Rockefeller Foundation was funding research used to support Nazi racial science studies at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics (KWIA.) Reports submitted to Rockefeller did not hide what these studies were being used to justify, but Rockefeller continued the funding and refrained from criticizing this research so closely derived from Nazi ideology. The Rockefeller Foundation did not alert "the world to the nature of German science and the racist folly" that German anthropology promulgated and Rockefeller funded for years after the passage of the 1935 Nuremberg racial laws.[33]

Current trustees

As of December 27, 2012[34]

Notable past trustees

Presidents

Bibliography

  • Berman, Edward H. The Ideology of Philanthropy: The influence of the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller foundations on American foreign policy, New York: State University of New York Press, 1983.
  • Brown, E. Richard, Rockefeller Medicine Men: Medicine and Capitalism in America, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979.
  • Chernow, Ron, Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., London: Warner Books, 1998.
  • Dowie, Mark, American Foundations: An Investigative History, Boston: The MIT Press, 2001.
  • Fisher, Donald, Fundamental Development of the Social Sciences: Rockefeller Philanthropy and the United States Social Science Research Council, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1993.
  • Fosdick, Raymond B., John D. Rockefeller, Jr., A Portrait, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1956.
  • Fosdick, Raymond B., The Story of the Rockefeller Foundation, New York: Transaction Publishers, Reprint, 1989.
  • Harr, John Ensor, and Peter J. Johnson. The Rockefeller Century: Three Generations of America's Greatest Family. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988.
  • Harr, John Ensor, and Peter J. Johnson. The Rockefeller Conscience: An American Family in Public and in Private, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1991.
  • Jonas, Gerald. The Circuit Riders: Rockefeller Money and the Rise of Modern Science. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1989.
  • Kay, Lily, The Molecular Vision of Life: Caltech, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Rise of the New Biology, New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
  • Lawrence, Christopher. Rockefeller Money, the Laboratory and Medicine in Edinburgh 1919-1930: New Science in an Old Country, Rochester Studies in Medical History, University of Rochester Press, 2005.
  • Nielsen, Waldemar, The Big Foundations, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1973.
  • Nielsen, Waldemar A., The Golden Donors, E. P. Dutton, 1985. Called Foundation "unimaginative ... lacking leadership and 'slouching toward senility.'"[37]
  • Palmer, Steven, Launching Global Health: The Caribbean Odyssey of the Rockefeller Foundation, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010.
  • Rockefeller, David, Memoirs, New York: Random House, 2002.
  • Shaplen, Robert, Toward the Well-Being of Mankind: Fifty Years of the Rockefeller Foundation, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1964.
  • Theiler, Max and Downs, W. G., The Arthropod-Borne Viruses of Vertebrates: An Account of The Rockefeller Foundation Virus Program, 1951-1970. (1973) Yale University Press. New Haven and London. ISBN 0-300-01508-9.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c FoundationCenter.org, The Rockefeller Foundation, accessed 2010-12-23
  2. ^ a b c Rockfound.org, history, 1913-1919
  3. ^ The Rockefeller Foundation Annual Report 1913-14
  4. ^ "Our History - A Powerful Legacy". The Rockefeller Foundation. http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/who-we-are/our-history/.
  5. ^ Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,[citation needed] History
  6. ^ Harvard School of Public Health, History
  7. ^ National Library of Medicine
  8. ^ Wilbur A Sawyers Papers
  9. ^ Black, 2003: p. 1
  10. ^ Black, 2003: p. 5
  11. ^ "History", The New School for Social Research webpage. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
  12. ^ The Foundation Center
  13. ^ a b The Rockefeller Foundation Timeline
  14. ^ a b c d Details of the establishment and future legacy of the Rockefeller Foundation - see Ron Chernow, Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., New York: Warner Books, 1998, (pp. 563-566)
  15. ^ Foundation withdrew from direct involvement in Industrial Relations - see Robert Shaplen, Toward the Well-Being of Mankind: Fifty Years of the Rockefeller Foundation, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1964, (p.128)
  16. ^ Early backing of Henry Kissinger - see Walter Isaacson, Kissinger: A Biography, New York: Simon & Schuster, (updated) 2005, (p.72)
  17. ^ Rockefeller Archive Center: Main subject areas.
  18. ^ Birn, Anne-Emanuelle; Armando Solórzano (1999). "Public health policy paradoxes: science and politics in the Rockefeller Foundation's hookworm campaign in Mexico in the 1920s". Social Science & Medicine 49 (9): 1197.
  19. ^ Birn, Anne-Emanuelle; Armando Solórzano (1999). "Public health policy paradoxes: science and politics in the Rockefeller Foundation's hookworm campaign in Mexico in the 1920s". Social Science & Medicine 49 (9): 1197–1210.
  20. ^ Birn, Anne-Emanuelle; Armando Solórzano (1999). "Public health policy paradoxes: science and politics in the Rockefeller Foundation's hookworm campaign in Mexico in the 1920s". Social Science & Medicine 49 (9): 1209–1210.
  21. ^ Major rescue program of European scholars - see John Ensor Harr and Peter J. Johnson, The Rockefeller Century: Three Generations of America's Greatest Family, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988. (pp.401-03)
  22. ^ Medical Sciences Division and Alfred Kinsey funding - Ibid., (p.456)
  23. ^ Theiler, Max; Downs, W. G. (1973). The Arthropod-Borne Viruses of Vertebrates: An Account of The Rockefeller Foundation Virus Program, 1951-1970. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. pp. xvii, xx. ISBN 0-300-01508-9.
  24. ^ "Charities Try to Keep Up With the Gateses" New York Times, 2007
  25. ^ Funding of programs and fellowships at major universities, foreign policy think tanks and research councils - see Robert Shaplen, op, cit., (passim)
  26. ^ AFP Online
  27. ^ a b c The story of the Foundation and the Green Revolution - see Mark Dowie, American Foundations: An Investigative History, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2001, (pp.105-140)
  28. ^ Biotech-info.net: "The Rockefeller Foundation and Plant Biotechnology"
  29. ^ http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/bellagio-center
  30. ^ Share portfolio - see Waldemar Nielsen The Big Foundations, New York: Columbia University Press, 1972. (p.72)
  31. ^ http://hdr.undp.org/docs/events/global_forum/1999/hdconf.htm
  32. ^ As model for UN organizations - Ibid., (pp.64-5)
  33. ^ (Gretchen Schafft, From Racism to Genocide: Anthropology in the Third Reich. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004)
  34. ^ Board of Trustees, foundation webpage plus associated bio pages on members. Retrieved 2012-12-27.
  35. ^ Parameswaran, Prashanth, "Outgoing ASEAN Chief’s Farewell Tour", The Diplomat, December 19, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-27.
  36. ^ RF Annual Report 1969, p. VI. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  37. ^ a b Teltsch, Kathleen, "Rockefeller Foundation Selects a New President", The New York Times, May 8, 1988. Goldmark was son of Peter Carl Goldmark. See Blumenthal, Ralph, "Remembering the Travel Scandal at the Port Authority", The New York Times City Room blog, June 24, 2008 4:41 pm ET. Both retrieved 2011-01-09.
  38. ^ John Hilton Knowles Papers, The Rockefeller Archive Center. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  39. ^ J. George Harrar Papers, The Rockefeller Archive Center. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  40. ^ George E. Vincent Papers, The Rockefeller Archive Center. Retrieved 2011-01-09.

Further reading

External links