Innovating Together for a Brighter Future: Booz Allen Foundation Releases Annual Report, Announces New Executive Director
The Booz Allen Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to convening diverse stakeholders to solve complex social issues, is committed to addressing the world’s toughest problems—including a global pandemic.
Highlights of the Foundation’s impact in 2020—a year like none other—follow, along with a preview of what is possible in the year ahead.
“Achieving a brighter future, no matter the obstacles”
The Booz Allen Foundation’s Annual Report details its tremendous efforts undertaken in 2020, including specific actions to address issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Launching the Booz Allen Foundation Innovation Fund, which awarded a total of nearly $1 million in grants to 21 organizations working to develop new solutions that help build lasting community resilience by protecting vulnerable populations and frontline workers or supporting the safe return to work. Nearly 3,000 applications from all 50 states, four U.S. territories, and Washington, DC were received and vetted. To support the Foundation’s Innovation Fund work, Booz Allen Hamilton has provided pro bono consulting projects to help four nonprofits that received grant funding navigate key issues like strategic planning, data science and analytics, cybersecurity, and financial modeling.
- Capitalizing on momentum created by the Innovation Fund, the Booz Allen Foundation in September 2020 hosted “Innovation Unlocked,” a virtual event that convened over 200 practitioners, experts, influencers and all 21 Innovation Fund grant recipients to discuss issues and solutions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Donating $1 million to Feeding America, which provided 4 million meals served to children in need across 10 metropolitan regions in the U.S. This $1 million donation matched an equal contribution from Booz Allen Hamilton, coming at a time of significant need when much of Feeding America’s initial pandemic response funds had been exhausted.
In alignment with the Foundation’s mission to serve as a convener, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, in February 2020 the Foundation hosted an Educators STEM Open House at Marymount University’s campus in Arlington, Virginia. The event brought together over 100 representatives from public schools, community colleges, universities, nonprofits, and private companies to learn about the STEM skills companies look for in new hires and the challenges hindering inclusive STEM career pathways.
One attendee, a Northern Virginia teacher, had this to say following the event: “It is rare that K12 teachers have the opportunity to hear from and exchange ideas with leaders in education and industry. Thanks to the foundation for creating this opportunity for us. The discussions and data shared in the sessions were insightful and validating for what I am trying to accomplish in the programs I am developing. I also appreciated hearing from the local organizations that represent the technology industry in Northern Virginia and their goals and strategies for the future.”
Expanding focus, amplifying impact
The Foundation’s 2021 strategy is designed to expand and amplify its impact even more—under the helm of a new Executive Director. Christine Hoisington, who has been an integral member of Booz Allen Hamilton’s Community Impact and Philanthropy team since 2008 and helped stand up the Booz Allen Foundation in 2017, has stepped up into this role.
“As we look ahead, we remain committed to helping develop sustainable solutions that improve the lives of individuals and communities,” Hoisington said. “I’m excited to lead the Foundation and help connect Booz Allen’s expertise in areas like technology and healthcare and convene diverse groups to develop solutions to real world problems.”
Drawing from extensive research, the Foundation identified the following areas of focus for the year ahead:
- Developing follow-on initiatives related to the Innovation Fund and its grantees, as well as the Feeding America partnership.
- Addressing barriers to equity and resilience as well as challenges, newly uncovered because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that disrupt inclusive pathways to tech careers.
- Focusing on longer-term impact and addressing access and opportunity challenges to inspire underrepresented students at a young age to consider future-forward career opportunities in order to drive a more inclusive workforce in the years to come.
“Amid the uncertainties of the past 12 months, the Foundation’s work has never been more important,” Hoisington said. “Our work epitomizes the idea that innovative technologies can help traditionally underserved communities achieve a brighter future, no matter the obstacles.”