Salzburg Global Chronicle 2018

Last Word

Letter from the Chairman

Bringing a wealth of experience from both the corporate and nonprofit worlds, former Chairman of Mars, Inc. Victoria Mars was appointed Chairman of Salzburg Global Seminar’s Board of Directors in June 2017. Over the last year, Victoria has led the staff and board in reflecting on our 70-year legacy, adopting a new set of strategic aims and renewing its mission to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world. Victoria continues to serve on the board of Mars, Inc., as well as those of her alma mater Foxcroft School, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation and the Livelihoods 3F Fund. 

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It is an exciting time to serve as Salzburg Global Seminar’s Chairman. When I stepped into this role, Salzburg Global was entering its 70th Anniversary Year, a remarkable milestone and opportunity for us to celebrate our past and renew our mission for the future. 

Reflecting on our past, I am reminded of what drew me to Salzburg Global when I first joined the board in 2014. I have always believed in the power of bringing people together to talk openly and resolve problems and that is exactly what Salzburg Global has done since its first program in 1947. 

The key to the success of these conversations and one of the unique features of Salzburg Global is the true diversity of the attendees. In today’s world it is critical that we offer an environment of inclusion, where everyone is comfortable being themselves. We understand that breakthrough ideas at all levels stem from bringing together a diversity of perspectives, so I encourage all of us at Salzburg Global to engrain the word “inclusion” in our daily vocabulary. 

As an American with a strong personal connection to Austria, I was also drawn to Salzburg Global’s Austrian-American heritage — founded by an Austrian and two Americans — and our historic home of Schloss Leopoldskron. One of my goals is to increase the visibility of Salzburg Global in Austria, starting with our local community, so that they are as proud of our mission and accomplishments as we are. I am thus delighted to see Salzburg Global deepen our ties to the local Austrian community. Just this year, we launched a collaboration with the Salzburger Festspiele to celebrate the Festival’s centenary in 2020, and we completed the renovation of our 12 Schloss suites in coordination with the Bundesdenkmalamt (Historic Monuments Office). 

Going forward, I am eager to see Salzburg Global become the best in the world at gathering people around a common cause and empowering them to shape a better world. That is what Inspiring Leadership: The Campaign for Salzburg Global Seminar aims to achieve. This Campaign marks an inflection point in Salzburg Global’s extraordinary history, and I hope you will join me in helping to propel this bold and important organization toward its next 70 years of outsized impact.

Victoria Mars, 
Chairman of the Board