I am pleased to announce the publication of this new book, La Fundación Ford y el cambio social en América del Sur, 1962 – 2012, in digital form and open access, the result of a longer-term research project conducted with outstanding co-authors in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru and the US, and co-edited with my colleague Alejandra Villanueva.
For most of the 20th century, the Ford Foundation was the largest philanthropic institution in the US and had enormous presence and impact in Latin America. Ford has been involved in the creation of universities and whole fields of study – including the applied social sciences – and in the promotion and maintenance of numerous NGOs involved in the defense of human rights, women´s right, the environment and other causes.
This is not an official history, but rather is based largely on the testimonies of over 100 people in this region, including former foundation staff, grantees and non-beneficiaries, political and social leaders of various stripes, starting from the opening of the first Ford office in Colombia in 1962 (during the Cold War and aligned with the U.S. government), to the celebration of its first 50 years in the region in 2012, and with some reflections on recent years. It is a case study of potential interest to other donors and foundation staff, and those who wish to relate with them, and to researchers studying the history of external actors in this region.