Home » Calendar » 2010 - 2019 » 2017 » Session 581
Driving the Change: Global Talent Management for Effective Philanthropy 17 Sep - 20 Sep, 2017
SUSTAINABILITYDriving the Change: Global Talent Management for Effective Philanthropy17 Sep - 20 Sep, 2017


    The global philanthropy sector is on the move in unprecedented ways, popping up in new places, growing in scale, and diversifying in form. At its best, philanthropy confronts global challenges with big ambitions, using holistic and innovative approaches to tackle the complex issues that define our times and our life chances - from conflict and climate change to education, health and social justice. Yet while the financial resources at stake get major coverage, much less attention is paid to the skills critical to optimize these financial flows for the long-term public good.

    People are arguably the most important asset and source of renewal for the global philanthropy sector. Thoughtful and creative program staff can think systemically and work collaboratively across diverse sectors. Resourceful and imaginative operations staff are able to build efficient and effective processes and systems that are directly aligned to the organization's values, mandate and strategy. Visionary leaders need to be capable of bold but pragmatic action. All these individuals have to work effectively within and across organizations, in workplace cultures that nurture and reward innovation, wise risk‑taking, continuous learning and high‑quality performance.

    Historically, the philanthropy sector has not always paid significant attention to human resources, often viewing this as an administrative function responsible for payroll, benefits administration and logistical aspects of recruitment. This contrasts with the global corporate sector, where human resources operations now prioritize the recruitment, development and engagement of talented employees as the precondition for market success. In the best‑run businesses, the Chief Human Resources Officer (or Chief Talent Officer, or, now growing in popularity, Chief People Officer) reports directly to the CEO and serves as one of the top advisers and architects of business strategy. Significant investment is devoted to forward planning and carefully-executed policies for employee engagement, training and evaluation to optimize organizational resilience and performance. As the global philanthropy sector continues to expand and to professionalize across different regions, there is widening recognition of the critical importance of human resources to enable foundations to attract, recruit, and engage talented staff who can optimize the anticipated growth of charitable giving well into the 21st century.

    On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Salzburg Global Seminar, the overarching theme of our programs is on courage - and celebrating the courage in all of us. In a period of mistrust of our institutions, and crisis in our governance and corporate systems, courage is needed more than ever to navigate the anxieties of an uncertain world. Philanthropy, and the people that make up our charitable foundations, plays an important role in bridging divides, building trust, and addressing the need for a new civic imagination that is inclusive of all people in a globalized, connected world.

    Building on a 2013 meeting held in Bellagio, Italy, this second gathering on global talent management in philanthropy included a more diverse range of foundations and human resources professionals to ensure more personal interaction and support deeper individual learning and impact.


    Andrés Thompson
    Independent Consultant, Colonia, Uruguay


    Philo Alto
    Founder and CEO, Asia Value Advisors, Hong Kong, China
    Sharon Alton
    Director General, MasterCard Foundation, Toronto, Canada
    Grace Amenyogbeli
    Human Resources & Admin Manager, African Women's Development Fund, Accra, Ghana
    Thomas Austin
    Global Director of Operations & Human Resources, Aga Khan Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland
    Amitabh Behar
    Executive Director, National Foundation of India, New Delhi, India
    Ellen Bloom
    Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and Corporate Secretary, Carnegie Corporation, New York, NY, USA
    Loyse Bonjour
    Director of Global Human Resources, Open Society Foundations, New York, NY, USA
    Lisbeth Dybdahl
    Human Resources Manager, Realdania, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Madelon Flint
    Director of Human Resources, Porticus, The Netherlands
    Samantha Gilbert
    Vice President for Talent and Human Resources, Ford Foundation, New York, NY, USA
    Anna Gowdridge
    Head of People, Virgin Unite, London, United Kingdom
    Karla Jimenez Arzamendi
    General Manager, Fundacion Merced, Mexico City, Mexico
    Catherine Kiganjo
    Head of Organizational and People Development, Kenya Community Development Fund, Nairobi, Kenya
    Narayan Krishnaswamy
    Chief People Officer, Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives, Bangalore, India
    Wangsheng Li
    President, ZeShan Foundation, Hong Kong, China
    Rose Maruru
    Board Member, Niyel, Dakar, Senegal
    Martin Mata
    Co-CEO, Albanian American Development Foundation, Tirana, Albania
    Jean McCall
    Director of Human Resources, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Menlo Park, CA, USA
    Malu Nunes
    Executive Director, Boticário Group Foundation, Curitiba, Brazil
    Oksana Oracheva
    General Director, Vladimir Potanin Foundation, Moscow, Russia
    Felipe Proto
    People and Business Development Manager, The Lemann Foundation, Sao Paolo, Brazil
    Aleksander Sarapuli
    Co-CEO, Albanian American Development Foundation, Tirana, Albania
    Alyson Sattler
    Vice President, Corporate Charitable Giving, Capital Group, Los Angeles, CA, USA
    Deganit Shaked
    Director of Human Resources, Yad Hanadiv Foundation, Jerusalem, Israel
    Ted Smith
    Director of People & Facilities, Wellcome Trust, London, United Kingdom
    Amalia Souza
    Executive Director, Casa Socio-Environmental Fund, Brazil
    C. Sue Su
    Secretary General, Huang YiCong Foundation, Shanghai, China
    Akinori Sugai
    Executive Director (General Affairs), Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Tokyo, Japan
    Liliana Vergel Canal
    Project Manager, Fundacion Corona, Bogota, Colombia
    David Waldman
    Vice President, Human Resources and Administration, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ, USA

    Resource Specialists

    Peter Durand
    Founder of Alphachimp Studios, Artist, Educator, USA
    John Harvey
    Founding Principal of Global Philanthropy, Council on Foundations; Consultant, USA

    Session Format

    The session has been highly participatory, with a strong focus on sharing insights from various regions, and aggregating perspectives and experiences from specific areas of expertise within human resources. Lectures, group discussions, case studies, and smaller group conversations focused on new and ongoing challenges to talent management, identify specific skill and leadership training opportunities, and further the network of talent management professionals in philanthropy. Collectively the group prepared recommendations for the global philanthropic sector.

    Key Questions

    • Looking forward to philanthropy in 2030, what are the key trends for this sector and how do these vary between major global regions?
    • What kind of talent and skills do foundations need now and in the near future, and how do we design recruitment to attract them?
    • What are the most innovative practices in talent management in regions around the world, and how could these be applied to the philanthropic sector?
    • How can approaches to diversity, equity, and inclusion best be woven into organizational recruitment, operating culture, and program outcomes?
    • What is the role of human resources leaders in shaping the ethos of their organizations?

    Session Newsletters

    Day 1

    Day 2

    Outcomes and Impact

    The 2017 program has been designed to generate:

    • A set of strategic principles that can be contextualized by country and/or region.
    • Thematic plans that include recommendations for expanding best practices in talent management in foundations across varying types, sectors, sizes, and geographies.
    • Ongoing cross-border learning and collaborations among participants and the institutions they represent.

    Graphic Facilitation by Peter Durand

    View full set on Flickr