Phil Henderson, Surdna Foundation's President, reflects on the mission, goals, and programs of the social justice family foundation.

From the President

  • Is Nonprofit Board Service Worth It? Reflections From A One-Time Skeptic

    Early in my career, I have to admit, I was a bit of skeptic about boards, thinking they were really just window dressing. Wasn’t a board member’s job simply lending his or her name to the organization’s letterhead, attending quarterly meetings, and offering the occasional nugget of wisdom? In other words: Don’t board members just show up and smile? It would be difficult to convince a skeptic otherwise, for we’ve all heard the not-so-apocryphal-sounding stories of big corporate boards that were asleep at the wheel while their CEOs did nefarious deeds.

  • Reflecting, Learning, Moving Forward: Surdna’s November 2013 Board Meeting

    Years ago, the Surdna Foundation board decided that its November meeting should be different. They believe that grantmakers like Surdna are afforded the great opportunity of taking a long-term view of their work. We were established to exist in perpetuity and have a responsibility to use this unique status to help foster just and sustainable communities in the United States.

  • Exciting Changes to Surdna's Board

    I'm writing to share some wonderful news. Our board has elected Jocelyn Downie, a fifth generation member of the John E. Andrus family and a prominent scholar, as its next chair. Surdna's board also elected Tracy Palandjian, an innovator in impact investing, as its newest member. See our press release for more detail.

Phillip Henderson, President, Surdna Foundation

Phillip W. HendersonA national leader among family foundation executives, Phil Henderson has focused Surdna on collaboration both internally across programs, and externally among funders within the foundation's issue areas. He has committed the foundation to using social justice as a compass to guide the systemic change Surdna aims for in its mission.

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Fostering sustainable communities in the United States — communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.