The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is presenting tremendous challenges for our entire world with long-term consequences we cannot fully predict or comprehend. During this period of hardship and uncertainty, Carnegie Corporation of New York, its board of trustees, and its staff are dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of our international community and neighbors.

While we have transitioned to working remotely from our homes, we are maintaining all grantmaking operations. I thank our determined staff for their exceptional efforts now and in the weeks to come. For our program areas, this period presents both a challenge and an opportunity to develop responsive and effective ways of supporting the changing needs of our grantees. As programmatic and operational initiatives develop, we will update our grantees and partner organizations and encourage the sharing of questions and concerns.

Carnegie Corporation of New York will continue without interruption its mission of promoting the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding around issues of peace, education, and democracy — enduring causes established by Andrew Carnegie that are increasingly important in light of current crises. Indeed, it is our goal to strengthen our foundational work and further the role of the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors as demonstrated by the recent formation with our philanthropic peers of the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund to assist New York City in addressing the many hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic. I am grateful that once again the New York philanthropic community has come together to do its best in response to a catastrophe, as it did during the aftermath of 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy.

In closing, I offer these guiding words of goodwill from Andrew Carnegie, delivered in 1910 at the dedication of the Pan American Union Building in Washington, D.C., about the hopes of humanity:

“… to know each other and learn of the sterling virtues of their colleagues, and especially their earnest desire for the prosperity of all their neighbors and their anxious hope that peace shall ever reign between them.”

With my deepest wishes for good health, resiliency, and hope to all of you,

Vartan Gregorian
President, Carnegie Corporation of New York