Carnegie Corporation of New York Integrates Program Structure for More Strategic Grantmaking


Carnegie Corporation of New York, a grantmaking foundation created in 1911, today announced a revised programmatic structure which shifts the emphases and approaches, but reconfirms and re-commits Carnegie Corporation to the primary concerns to which founder Andrew Carnegie devoted the foundation: international peace and advancing education and knowledge. The new structure integrates into two major program areas a number of programs previously administered as separate units allowing for more strategic collaboration in the inception and implementation of grantmaking strategies. Programmatic investments will, as a result, be more focused, innovative and responsive to changing needs. 

The strategic program integration, which follows a 12-month review of the Corporation's programmatic work and administrative configuration, was led by the Corporation's President, Vartan Gregorian, the foundation's trustees and staff and included conversations with and input from the Corporation's grantees, academic experts and others in the philanthropic community. Programmatic overviews and Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century, Vartan Gregorian's essay presenting the Corporation's vision for the next five years, are available at

Gregorian stressed that the integration and refocusing of programs is consistent with Carnegie Corporation's mission. "All of our work is rooted in the deeply held convictions of Andrew Carnegie, who saw democracy, education, knowledge and its diffusion, and philanthropy, as fundamental tools for strengthening the bonds of our society." Gregorian added that these changes allow the Corporation to be even better equipped to respond effectively to, and focus more intently on contemporary national and global challenges. 

Newly-created National and International programs will each refine and continue to fund long-term programmatic priorities, while also embracing discrete new challenges. Now with two major programs, the Corporation's grantmaking will be more integrated and flexible leading to investments with greater focus and coherence. Some long-standing programmatic investments, having accomplished much of the agendas established for them when they were initiated, will be brought to closure. 

To ensure a deep, on-going level of engagement in the core programmatic work of the foundation, all senior staff will have specific grantmaking responsibilities or direct involvement in programmatic development in addition to their administrative duties. The integrated programmatic structure also allows program officers to work together on a closer basis and be better informed about each other's activities and thus better able to work collaboratively. 

"The revised programs build upon the Corporation's strength as an incubator of ideas, a convener of scholars, educators, policymakers and others, and as a strategic investor in organizations and institutions that can demonstrably contribute to the betterment of our society," Gregorian said. "Carnegie Corporation has intellectual and financial resources and a long-term perspective that can help to develop new ideas and approaches to challenges such as the need for a strong and pluralistic democracy, international peace as well as the need for create pathways to educational and economic opportunity in a rapidly changing society." 

In addition to the National and International program areas, the Corporation will expand an initiative to revitalize journalism education; establish a special initiative which offers the foundation flexibility to invest in new opportunities outside of the major programs; and continue to fund a dissemination program that advances the work of the two major programs.


International Program grants will focus on reducing direct threats to international peace and security while also investing in international development by supporting institutions and individuals in sub-Saharan Africa and Eurasia, two regions of long-standing Corporation involvement.

"Grantmaking will reflect the symbiosis between international peace and international development, a relationship emphasized by Andrew Carnegie," said Deana Arsenian, Vice President, International Program Coordination and Program Director, Russian Higher Education and Eurasia. "Grants to organizations supporting greater nuclear security, a deepening of U.S. global engagement or policies designed to assist states at risk of collapse will be complemented by investments to strengthen universities and intellectual leadership or to revitalize African libraries." Arsenian said that the capacity of people around the world to address the challenges in their own societies is connected to the stability and prosperity of the international community as a whole.

Arsenian noted that the Corporation's program on the nonproliferation of bioweapons and its investments in Russian higher education will be brought to a close. Work that had concentrated on U.S. relations with Russia and Eurasia will now assume a more global scope.

A new funding priority jointly managed with the National Program will increase awareness about the diversity of the Islamic world and U.S. engagement with it.


The National Program will support the revitalization of democracy by funding new pathways both to educational and economic opportunity; and to citizenship, civic participation and integration in a pluralistic society.

"The Corporation is supporting organizations using innovative approaches that breathe new life into our democracy by expanding educational opportunity and increasing integration and civic participation for all Americans," said Michele Cahill, Vice President, National Program Coordination and Director of Urban Education. "Grants will help create positive systemic change in our public education system enabling many more students, including low income historically marginalized groups and immigrants, to achieve the academic success necessary to participate fully in our democracy and in the global economy." 

Cahill added that the National Program will also focus on integrating immigrants into U.S. culture and society by funding opportunities for civic education to increase Americans' understanding about and tolerance of new and growing immigrant cultures.

The Corporation will continue to support the Carnegie Scholars program, which was initiated in 1999 to introduce scholarly perspectives into national and international conversations about the Corporation's priority issues. For the past four years, Scholars have contributed to public awareness of the values and forces that shape Islam as a religion and social movement.

The Corporation will bring to an end its program in campaign finance reform and will refocus its program in adolescent literacy.


The Corporation supports a dissemination program re-established in 2000 and has re-confirmed its commitment to an initiative which focuses on revitalizing journalism education in the United States. 

"The Journalism Initiative responds to an urgent need from educators and news business leaders to help reporters build specialized expertise that will enhance coverage of complex subjects, understand the languages and cultures of distant parts of the world and appreciate the ethical dimensions of their work," said Susan King, Vice President, External Affairs, Director, Journalism Initiative, Special Initiatives and Strategy. "Grants to graduate programs at top research universities support curricular innovation and experimentation to help prepare journalists capable of reshaping the news industry to better meet the more complex needs of a knowledge-based society."

King added that Carnegie Corporation's on-going dissemination initiative amplifies and reinforces the foundation's grantmaking and supports capacity-building programs to advance the work of grantees.


The Corporation also announced that it has appointed a senior officer to manage the foundation's continuous assessment of its programs and to further instill a culture of accountability across the organization. "A greater emphasis on self-assessment will add not only to our own knowledge and that of the field, but will help the Corporation continue to develop even stronger, more effective grantees," said Edward Sermier, Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and Corporate Secretary; Director of Program Evaluations.

Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote "the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding." For more than 95 years the Corporation has carried out Carnegie's vision of philanthropy by building on his two major concerns: international peace and advancing education and knowledge. As a private grantmaking foundation, the Corporation will invest more than $100 million this year in nonprofits to fulfill Mr. Carnegie's mission, "to do real and permanent good in this world." The Corporation's capital fund, originally donated at a value of about $135 million, had a market value of approximately $3 billion on September 30, 2007.