I am proud to say that I have been a member of the Tides Community for over six years. However, two days into my new role, I am even prouder to be part of the Tides team and a member of the staff. On September 16, 2010 I was honored to be named the new CEO for Tides and humbled by the tremendous opportunity that lies ahead of the organization and me.
In the long term my goal is to make Tides a world-class leader in social change. While this may initially seem like a huge statement, it is quite possible. With over 20% of our grant making being international, coupled with our over 200 fiscal sponsor projects across the country doing amazing work, this reality is around the corner. With a continued focus on client service, an investment in our infrastructure, and an analysis of new markets and service offerings, we are poised to scale our work and deepen its impact.
Over the next few months, my focus is on getting to know the Tides Community. Through meetings with each staff person, in person visits with key clients and donors, as well as site visits across the country, I look forward to listening and learning on how Tides can better serve its clients. After 34 years we are proud of what we have accomplished, but recognize there is much more that can be done and many more opportunities to be uncovered.
In addition to focusing on our internal assets, I am cognizant of the need for Tides to maintain a leadership position in the field as a convener and thought leader. Our work, and our leadership, is even more important now in light of the rise of intolerance and hatred across the county. We know that one of the most important educational, political and social issues of the day is how best to have a civil conversation in a democratic society. However, today we struggle to support civil conversation in a diverse, global, and digital world. To this end, Tides is proud to be the leading advocate for a return to Civil Discourse in our community and beyond. Recently we created the Civil Discourse Fund, which actively researches and funds organizations that help Americans find common ground and enhance understanding among those who may disagree about public matters. Just over a week ago Tides hosted a forum on Civil Discourse at the Independent Sector Conference in Atlanta. With speakers from Alliance for Justice, Sojourners and Media Matters, we hosted a robust conversation on tools and strategies that can be used by all to reduce incivility and intolerance.
Finally, I want to take a moment to honor Drummond Pike. He is truly a visionary that cannot be replaced. He transformed an amazing and ambitious vision into reality. I am humbled to have the opportunity to continue the work he has started and expand our impact, engagement and leadership in social change movements across the globe.