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A Farewell from Packard Foundation’s President and CEO Carol S. Larson

As I prepare to complete my tenure as President and CEO of the Packard Foundation at the end of the year, I want to share a note of gratitude and appreciation.

It has been an immense privilege to work at the Packard Foundation for three decades, and an honor to serve as its leader for the past 16 years. During that time, I’ve had the pleasure of supporting the transformative work of thousands of grantees and partners around the world and learning from one of the most exceptional staffs in all of philanthropy. As I step aside, and until the Board of Trustees name a new President and CEO, our current Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Craig Neyman, will serve as interim President and CEO.

Our founders, David and Lucile Packard, exemplified a set of values that shapes how we approach our work today. These values—integrity, respect for people, belief in leadership, commitment to effectiveness, and a capacity to think big—are ingrained in the organization, promoting consistency across our work, over time. One of the unique privileges of philanthropy is the ability to take risks and commit for the long haul. While the Foundation is preparing to welcome a new leader, our ongoing commitment to improve the lives of children, families, and communities and restore and protect our planet remains steadfast.

I am immensely optimistic about the future; but it is a pragmatic optimism, one that’s grounded in a clear understanding of the scale and complexity of the challenges we face. Now more than ever, we need the creativity and power of the nonprofit sector to innovate, take risks, and think big. Beyond the work itself, we also need to bring our whole hearts and show up with a sense of appreciation for the progress of the past, propelling us to work harder to build a better future.

I am deeply grateful for all you do to drive long lasting change. While challenges remain, the future is much brighter because of your efforts. So thank you for rolling-up your sleeves and working together to make our world a better place.

Photo credit: Jay Dunn