As I begin my third week at the Meyer Foundation, I wanted to share how truly honored I am to be leading this institution, and to underscore the enormous sense of responsibility I feel as I assume this role. For 70 years, the Meyer Foundation has been at the forefront of philanthropy in the Greater Washington region—supporting the nonprofit sector and its leaders, and investing in programs and initiatives to improve the lives of those most in need. Given the growing disparities in income and opportunity in our region, this work has never been more critical.
My experience over the last several years as president of Washington Area Women’s Foundation, and before that at the Corporation for National and Community Service, gave me a first-hand view of how many in our community are struggling just to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, let alone make any real progress. The poverty many face—some generation after generation—challenges our sense of justice and has an impact on each of us. Everyone in the region benefits when all residents, including those most vulnerable, have the services, opportunities, and skills they need to succeed. And by working together, I believe we can make that a reality.
My previous jobs also gave me first-hand knowledge about how hard it is to run a nonprofit and what it takes, day in and day out, to work for social change while struggling to raise the funds needed to run programs and build a sustainable organization.
And so I approach this work with an enormous sense of gratitude for the work nonprofit leaders do every day. I am committed to working with you and others across our region to continue to find solutions to the challenges that so many of our residents face. We know that no single funder, organization, or player can solve these complex issues alone. We need to redouble our efforts to partner and collaborate in new ways if we want to make the kind of progress we all believe is both possible and necessary.
Julie Rogers has left an indelible mark on this Foundation and our region, and an incredible legacy on which to build. That legacy includes a strong and engaged board, and a dedicated staff with deep commitment and expertise. Together, we look forward to working with you to make this a vibrant and prosperous region that shows compassion to those in need and where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.