Facilitating Global Knowledge Creation: University Area Studies Programs: Ford Foundation, 1952

Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society (Duke)



Case Study Sector


In the years immediately following World War II, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation were the first to fund academic programs in geographical area studies. Both funded the creation of large-scale Russian centers; Columbia’s center was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and Harvard’s by the Carnegie Corporation. Later, the Ford Foundation entered the arena. Its initial strategy was to create experts and knowledge through direct grants and fellowships to individual scholars and students. This strategy was an essential first step in building world-class centers of area studies. In 1960, Ford began the institution-building phase of its foreign area studies strategy with $15.1 million in long-term grants. Columbia received $5.5 million for expanded programs on the Soviet Union, East Europe, East Asia, and the Near and Middle East. Harvard received $5.6 million for building its programs on the Soviet Union, Middle East, and East Asia. Berkeley and UCLA together received $4 million. Smaller grants for experimental and specific research purposes went to Johns Hopkins, Michigan State, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Oregon, and Pittsburgh. The next year, Ford disbursed $20.77 million for long-term institution building to Indiana, Northwestern, Princeton, and Yale universities, and the universities of Chicago, Michigan, Notre Dame, Pennsylvania, and Washington. . . .



  • Strategy


  • Northern America

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