International Committee of the Red Cross

aka ICRC   |   Geneva, --   |  www.icrc.org

Mission

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance.

The ICRC also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.

Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the Geneva Conventions and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It directs and coordinates the international activities conducted by the Movement in armed conflicts and other situations of violence.

Ruling year info

1942

Director-General

Robert Mardini

Deputy Director-General

Katrin Wiegmann

Main address

19, Avenue de la Paix

Geneva, -- 1202 Switzerland

Show more contact info

EIN

98-6001029

NTEE code info

Disaster Preparedness and Relief Services (M20)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Emergency relief / livelihood support

Emergency relief / livelihood support programmes are designed to ensure that households and communities have access to the services and resources required to meet their essential economic needs, as defined by their physical condition and social and
cultural environment. In practice, this translates into three different types of intervention:

(i) relief interventions: to protect lives and livelihoods by providing people in need with the goods and/or services essential for their survival when they can no longer obtain them through their own means

(ii) production interventions: to protect or enhance a household’s or community’s asset base – its means of production – so that it can maintain or recover its livelihood

(iii) structural interventions: to protect livelihoods by influencing processes, institutions and policies that have a direct impact on a target population’s capacity to maintain its livelihood over time (such as agricultural or livestock services)

The ICRC runs such programmes in some 70 countries worldwide.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The ICRC treats the wounded when war conditions prevent public medical facilities from doing so.

The ICRC’s first aid and emergency transport activities provide treatment for casualties from the point of injury until their transfer to appropriate medical facilities. It then helps with subsequent care by supporting existing health facilities with medicines, equipment, training and capacity building in most aspects of hospital management. This ranges from provision of quality patient care to human resources, infrastructure maintenance, finance, logistics and administration. When the situation demands, the ICRC deploys its own specialist teams to work alongside local hospital staff.

Operating in the midst of armed conflict – where regular medical services may be limited or lacking entirely – is often dangerous and imposes many limitations. The pathology of high-energy penetrating missile wounds is unfamiliar to most non-military surgeons – treatment of civilian gunshot wounds in a normal hospital does not readily compare. The ICRC therefore runs seminars on war surgery that enable dialogue between medical personnel from the national health system and ICRC specialists. Based on this experience, it has established basic protocols and procedures for war surgery techniques and for patient management in dangerous and limiting environments.

ICRC support to hospitals can include:

• surgery and medical services
• gynecology and obstetrics
• pediatrics
• nursing
• mental health
• hospital management and administration
• provision of consumables, equipment and expertise

Population(s) Served
Adults

The normal functioning of local health systems is often disrupted by conflict. In the worst cases, parts or all of the system may cease to exist. The risk of epidemics increases and support for civilian casualties and those suffering psychological trauma is limited or non-existent. The ICRC intervenes to maintain essential health care services for the affected population, as far as possible by supporting local structures and enabling them to continue functioning. Where needed, the ICRC will send its own specialists and will focus support on areas where official agencies are unable to work.

In cases of serious emergency when vital needs are not covered by existing health services, the ICRC takes emergency measures to limit mortality through basic medical treatment, communicable-disease control and immunization campaigns. It supplies medical equipment and drugs, and provides organizational support for capacity building, skills training and supervision.

The ICRC’s primary health-care initiatives to combat infant mortality include extended immunization programmes against measles, tuberculosis, tetanus, diphtheria, poliomyelitis and whooping cough. The ICRC is also involved in specific campaigns to counter certain diseases, such as polio. It helps ensure access to children living in areas where governments and United Nations organizations are unable to work.

The ICRC also pays special attention to the needs of expectant and nursing mothers. It encourages good practices for safe delivery, often with traditional birth attendants and offers counselling on HIV/AIDS.

The wounds of war are not only physical: proximity to combat, forced evacuation, separation from relatives, rape and other violence leave deep psychological scars and vulnerability which the ICRC seeks to address through psychological support and mental health activities.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The ICRC’s water and habitat activities ensure that people in conflict zones have access to water and create or maintain a sustainable living environment. Ultimately, this work reduces death and suffering due to habitat damage or disruption to water supplies.

In acute crisis situations where water supplies are interrupted (sometimes deliberately) and lives are at risk as people seek alternative sources in a hostile environment, the ICRC aims to ensure emergency access to water and health care and to maintain whatever local facilities remain. In emerging, chronic and post-crisis situations, the ICRC’s priority is to ensure continuity of basic services by supporting and strengthening existing resources.

Water
The ICRC assists in the repair or construction of all types of water supply system, regardless of size and technology. This work covers water intake from sources, treatment, storage and distribution. In rural areas, work includes improving hand-dug wells and installing motorized pumps at boreholes.

Sanitation and hygiene
Overcrowding, such as in camps for the displaced, quickly leads to the spread of disease. Providing proper sanitation is essential to the prevention of disease, and is therefore a high priority for the ICRC. This may involve building latrines or repairing sewage plants. The organization also runs-hygiene promotion programmes to encourage behaviour that will help prevent water- and sanitation-related diseases.

Habitat/shelter
The immediate response may be to provide plastic sheeting or tents. But the response can also take the form of temporary accommodation in schools, mosques, churches, private homes and other facilities. The ICRC also undertakes the post-crisis repair or reconstruction of health facilities and schools, the construction of camps for displaced people and the provision of material assistance (housing, heating and cooling systems, water and electricity, etc.) to families returning to their communities.

Power supply
The ICRC restores or maintains power supplies to essential installations such as hospitals, water treatment plants and water distribution networks, by repairing power distribution networks, generators, and hydroelectric plants.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Physical rehabilitation is a way of helping restore dignity to people with disabilities. It seeks to eliminate – or at least minimize – restrictions on their movement and activities, so that they may become more independent and enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

People with disabilities might need mobility devices such as prostheses, orthoses, walking aids and wheelchairs; they also need therapy to learn to make the fullest use of their devices. Restoring mobility is the first step in ensuring access to food, shelter, education, a job, an income and, more generally, the same opportunities as other members of society.

In the conflict-racked countries where the ICRC works, physical rehabilitation is needed not only by people whose disabilities are the direct result of the fighting (landmines, bombs, etc.) but also by people who become physically disabled because normal health care breaks down and they fail to receive treatment or vaccinations. The vast majority of these people will require access to physical rehabilitation follow-up for the rest of their lives…

The ICRC has acquired a leadership position in the field of physical rehabilitation on account of the scope of its activities, the development of its high-quality, low-cost, polypropylene technology, its acknowledged expertise and its long-term commitment to assisted projects. In most countries where the ICRC has launched rehabilitation projects, services had previously been almost nonexistent, and, in many cases, the ICRC project has formed the basis for establishing a national service.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

Every year, armed conflicts, natural disasters and migration split up countless families. When fleeing a conflict or natural disaster, children can lose their way in the chaos. Elderly or sick people may not have the will or ability to leave. Injured people are taken to hospital without being able to let their loved ones know what has happened to them. People are sometimes detained without their families being informed of their whereabouts. Families suffer terribly from not having contact with, or any news from, their loved ones. It is scarcely surprising that their well-being and ability to cope with a crisis depends to a large extent on their ability to stay in touch with relatives.

The ICRC and the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies work together all over the world to assist people separated from loved ones both in emergencies and in other situations. Staff and volunteers strive to ensure that they are treated with dignity, respect and compassion. Their work involves in particular:

• forwarding family news (through various means, such as Red Cross messages, radio broadcasts, the telephone and the Internet) via the worldwide network of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and ICRC delegations
• tracing people separated from their families, in particular unaccompanied and separated children, including demobilized child soldiers
• collecting information on detentions, disappearances and deaths, collecting tracing requests from the families of missing people and submitting them to the relevant authorities for clarification
• organizing repatriations and family reunifications
• facilitating family visits to detainees or across front lines
• issuing ICRC travel documents for people who, owing to a conflict, do not or no longer have identity papers and are about to be repatriated or resettled in a third country

Population(s) Served
Adults

Activities for missing persons are intended to shed light on the fate and/or whereabouts of people who are unaccounted for as a consequence of an armed conflict, other situation of violence or migration, and thereby respond to the suffering caused to their relatives by the uncertainty surrounding their fate.

The ICRC pursues a strictly humanitarian approach to the issue, which involves promoting and supporting mechanisms to help clarify the fate of missing persons, including the collection and management of information and the recovery and identification of human remains; facilitating dialogue between the authorities and the families of missing people; assessing and responding to the latter’s needs in a holistic manner; and promoting measures to prevent people from becoming unaccounted for.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The ICRC aim to promote the universal ratification of international humanitarian law (IHL) treaties and the adoption by States of legislative, administrative and practical measures and mechanisms to give effect to these instruments at national level. It is also important to ensure that proposals to develop domestic laws do not undermine existing IHL norms.

Implementation activities also aim to foster compliance with IHL during armed conflicts and to ensure that national authorities, international organizations, the armed forces and other bearers of weapons correctly understand the law applicable in such situations. This involves in particular:

• promoting IHL treaties among the relevant authorities by making representations to governments, providing training in IHL and drafting technical documents and guidelines to further national implementation
• providing technical advice and support for the implementation of IHL, undertaking studies and carrying out technical assessments of the compatibility of national legislation with this body of law
• promoting the creation of national committees to steer IHL implementation and supporting existing ones
• encouraging and helping authorities to integrate IHL into the doctrine, education and training of national armed forces (international human rights law in the case of police and security forces), and into the training and education programmes for future leaders and opinion-makers in universities and schools
• developing and implementing approaches for influencing the attitudes and actions of political authorities and weapon bearers
• reinforcing links with academic circles to consolidate a network of IHL experts and developing partnerships with institutes and research centres specializing in IHL
• engaging with the media and the greater public to inform, influence and mobilize key stakeholders on priority humanitarian issues and to promote greater understanding of and support for IHL and the work of the ICRC.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The ICRC pays particular attention to promoting measures to prohibit the use of weapons that have indiscriminate effects or cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering. This includes promoting the application of existing international humanitarian law (IHL) norms on the use of weapons and the development, when appropriate, of additional norms in response to the field realities witnessed by the ICRC or the emergence of new technology.

The ICRC, working closely with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, also conducts preventive mine-risk education in situations where mines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war represent a danger to the population.

ICRC mine-action activities involve:

• making representations to governments and weapon bearers where a problem exists
• holding meetings of military, legal, technical and foreign affairs experts to consider, inter alia, issues relating to emerging weapons technology and the impact in humanitarian terms of the use of certain weapons
• promoting the full and faithful implementation of treaties such as the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and the Convention on Cluster Munitions, and providing IHL perspectives in meetings on relevant arms treaties
• attending meetings with key mine-action organizations that contribute to the development of mine-action policy, methodologies and systems
• planning and conducting preventive mine action, often in cooperation with National Red Cross and Crescent Societies, to limit the physical, social and economic impact of mines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war
• in emergency response situations where weapon contamination impacts the population and/or ICRC staff and activities, and in situations where others are unable to act or where it is not possible to mobilize other actors, deploying a rapid response team to survey and/or clear contaminated areas for a limited time; while not engaging in long-term clearance projects, providing training, mentoring and capacity building to enable States to do so

Population(s) Served
Adults

The objective of the ICRC’s activities for people deprived of their freedom is purely humanitarian, namely to ensure that their physical and mental integrity is fully respected and that their conditions of detention are in line with international humanitarian law (IHL) and/or internationally recognized standards. As circumstances dictate, the ICRC strives to prevent forced disappearances or extrajudicial executions, ill-treatment and failure to respect fundamental judicial guarantees, and, whenever necessary, takes action to improve conditions of detention. This involves in particular:

• negotiating with the authorities to obtain access to people deprived of their freedom wherever they may be held, in accordance with procedures that guarantee the effectiveness and consistency of ICRC action
• visiting all detainees, assessing their conditions of detention and identifying any shortcomings and humanitarian needs
• monitoring individual detainees (for specific protection, medical or other purposes)
• maintaining family links (such as facilitating family visits or forwarding Red Cross messages)
• under specific conditions, providing material and medical relief supplies to detainees or engaging in cooperation on specific projects with the detaining authorities
• fostering a confidential and meaningful dialogue with the authorities at all levels regarding any problems of a humanitarian nature that may arise

Visits to places of detention are carried out by the ICRC in accordance with strict conditions:

• delegates must be provided with full and unimpeded access to all detainees falling within the ICRC’s mandate and to all places where they are held
• delegates must be able to hold private interviews with the detainees of their choice
• delegates must be able to repeat their visits
• detainees falling within the ICRC’s mandate must be notified individually to the ICRC, and the ICRC must be able to draw up lists of their names

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Nobel Peace Prize 1917

The Norwegian Nobel Committee

Nobel Peace Prize 1944

The Norwegian Nobel Committee

Nobel Peace Prize 1963

The Norwegian Nobel Committee

Balzan Price - Humanity, Peace and Fraternity among Peoples 1996

The International Balzan Price Foundation

Affiliations & memberships

European Foundation Center - EFC 2020

European Research Network On Philanthropy - ERNOP 2019

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people who got clean water, proper sanitary facilities or other assistance for improving their living conditions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Emergency relief / livelihood support

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Relief aid saves people’s lives and protect their livelihoods, giving people access to basic commodities when they can no when they can no longer obtain them on their own.

Number of people within the organization's service area accessing food aid

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Emergency relief / livelihood support

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2020, 5,209,767 people received support for food production, primarily through material, financial or technical assistance for crop cultivation, fishing or livestock breeding.

Number of Red Cross messages collected from and distributed to family members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Restoring family links

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

1,504,199 phone and video calls facilitated between family members, including migrants, people in quarantineor COVID-19 treatment facilities, and detainees who could not receive family visits.

Number of physical rehabilitation projects received ICRC support

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Physical rehabilitation

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

414 867 people benefited from physical rehabilitation projects with ICRC support. We provide support for individual physical rehabilitation centers to help them manage activities by themselves.

Number of patients had their hospital costs covered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

First aid and hospital care

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2020, 599 hospitals were provided with regular or ad hoc support by the ICRC:19,033 surgical admissions for weapon wounds, 132,736 operations performed (weapon wounds and other cases), other servic

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

In a world wracked by armed conflict and violence, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) brings hope and humanity to millions of people across the globe.

Established in 1863, the ICRC has over 16,500 staff members, working in more than 80 countries to meet the needs of people whose lives have been shattered by armed conflict and other situations of violence.

Its goals are to:

• protect the lives and dignity of all the people who are not, or no longer, taking part in the violence;
• promote greater adherence to and respect for the laws that protect them in order to eradicate the causes of the suffering and to prevent any further occurrence
• save lives and improve people's living conditions through material assistance (e.g. food, shelter, water, sanitation, medical and surgical care, rehabilitation for the physically disabled, livelihood support) and family contact

The ICRC endeavors to respond to the humanitarian needs arising from today's complex armed conflicts and other situations of violence in the most timely, humane and professional way possible. Today more than ever, situations have to be considered holistically, in a way that integrates local, regional and global elements and takes into account the broad range of problems and needs of the populations the ICRC wants to help.

Therefore, for any action to be undertaken, a comprehensive analysis of the situation is carried out. An effective response requires a clear understanding of the cause of the problems and a good knowledge of local facilities, their capabilities and their potential; the direct involvement of those affected is therefore essential to ensure that their views, concerns, vulnerabilities and capacities are taken into consideration in the definition of the response.

To enable it to accomplish its mission to protect and assist victims of armed conflict and violence, the ICRC relies on a highly qualified multidisciplinary workforce, comprising, for example, surgeons, paediatricians, nurses, psychologists, forensic advisers, IT specialists, water and habitat engineers, air-operations managers, logisticians, agronomists, nutritionists, and veterinarians, weapon contamination specialists, prosthetic technicians and legal advisers.

With these specialist skills, among a workforce of over 16,500 people, the majority of them recruited in-country, and its 150 years of experience, the ICRC has the capacity to conduct a range of activities around the world to respond to the multiple needs of people affected by past and present conflict and to promote respect for international humanitarian law.

The ICRC works all over the world, conducting protection and assistance activities in more than 110 countries.

Within each context, the ICRC has multiple objectives and activities run simultaneously, by multidisciplinary teams, to meet the varied needs of the people affected. Every year, the ICRC outlines its headway in an Annual Report. This documents talks about the organization's activities per country and gives qualitative and quantitative progress. It can be found under the Guidestar section “Additional documents", or at https://www.icrc.org/en/document/annual-report-2019

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    International humanitarian law protects a wide range of people and objects during armed conflict. The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols protect sick, wounded and shipwrecked persons not taking part in hostilities, prisoners of war and other detainees, civilians and civilian objects. Civilians Over the past 60 years, civilians have been the main victims of war. Protecting civilians during armed conflict is therefore a cornerstone of IHL. This protection extends to their property. IHL also protects particularly vulnerable civilian groups such as women, children and displaced persons. Prisoners of war and detainees The Third Geneva Convention protects prisoners of war. It defines their rights and sets out detailed rules for their treatment and release.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Afghanistan Responding to feedback from the refugees in 5 provinces in Afghanistan, in 2020, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) repaired 381 hand pumps in Bolan, Karez, Qala-e-Bost and Mukhtar refugee camps in Lashkar Gah region, restoring access to safe drinking water for more than 53,000 internally displaced people. A total of 762 hand pumps were repaired across five provinces of Afghanistan, including Helmand. Close to 107,000 people benefited from the programme in Shirzad district of Nangarhar, Mahmud Raqi district in Kapisa, Farah suburban district in Farah, Obe district in Herat and Lashkar Gah in Helmand.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

International Committee of the Red Cross
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

International Committee of the Red Cross

Board of directors
as of 03/08/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Peter Maurer

ICRC

Term: 2013 -


Board co-chair

Mr Gilles Carbonnier

ICRC

Term: 2017 -

Mauro Arrigoni

Hugo Bänziger

Rémy Best

Edouard Bugnion

Jacques Chapuis

Melchior de Muralt

Christoph Franz

Katja Gentinetta

Maya Randall

Alexis Keller

Jürg Kesselring

Thierry Lombard

Laura Sadis

Doris Schopper

Béatrice Speiser

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/7/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Male
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/07/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.