If you’re like me, you’ve spent the last week wondering, “where did 2017 go?!” And I hope that you also look back proud of what you achieved!
2017 was a year of tremendous growth and change for the U.S. Russia Foundation. We began by streamlining our grant-making priorities into five areas of concentration: Rule of Law and Governance, Rules-Based Market Economy, Civil Society, Expertise and Knowledge, and Connections and Linkages.
After we had settled on these priorities, it only made sense to establish a crack team of experts to guide our program into the future. I was thrilled to join the team in February, and our Chief of Staff climbed aboard in July. By October, we had onboarded program officers, grant administrators, and even a bright team of interns!
2017 also witnessed USRF grow into a Washington, DC-based organization, and as you might have guessed from our website, we’ve made some considerable changes to our digital footprint. I hope you enjoy the new look and feel of www.usrf.us. Of all of the new features, our imaginative whiteboard video is quite possibly the most popular. Be sure to check it out!
As I look to the next twelve months, I am filled with excitement and anticipation. One of our first agenda items of the year is to move our new team to a permanent Washington home. Look for updates on the website announcing our new location soon.
We will also continue to refine our areas of support – and the topic of social entrepreneurship has emerged as an early front runner. We will keep the website stocked with funding priorities and plan to develop requests-for-proposals (RFPs) as we get further into the year. You’ll find all the latest information here.
I will be dropping by from time-to-time throughout the year to offer a few thoughts via the CEO’s blog, so please come along for the journey.
Best wishes for a very happy 2018. The future is bright!