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2008 Annual Report

Chairman's Introduction

Chairman's Introduction

Seth J. Masters
Chariman of the Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees, Officers, and Staff of the Wenner-Gren Foundation are pleased to publish this 2008 annual report.

Wenner-Gren is committed to its support of the global anthropology community, and funds its operations and programs from the investment returns achieved on its endowment portfolio. The broad decline in capital markets as a result of the credit crisis in 2008 has not spared the Foundation. Fortunately, the Foundation's management procedures and conservative financial policies have helped us navigate this difficult period better than many peers.

Our Budget and Investment Committee, chaired by Bill Cobb, deserves special acknowledgement for the Foundation's superior long-term investment record.

As reviewed in this report, under President Leslie Aiello's leadership and vision we have critically refined and expanded our programs, communications and global relationships. Our systems and procedures have been enhanced to service an increasing volume of grants applications. And our expanded web site and internet capabilities have enabled us to better communicate worldwide.

Our ability to keep abreast of the issues facing the profession and to measure our success in achieving our goals would not be possible without the collaboration, advice and contributions from the community we serve. Recognition and gratitude should be especially given to past and present Advisory Committee members as well as to the many others who have participated in the Foundation's programs and activities.

This is my first year as Chairman on the Board and I thank you for such an enriching Wenner-Gren experience.

Seth Masters
Chairman, Board of Trustees