The Stanley Foundation
Seeking a secure peace with freedom and justice, built on global citizenship and effective global governance.

The Stanley Foundation and its work grow out of a Midwestern family’s commitment to advance a world in which there is a secure peace with freedom and justice.

C. Maxwell and Elizabeth M. Stanley created the Stanley Foundation in 1956. Max Stanley was a professional engineer, businessman, and world citizen.  His deep interest in global security and international organizations in an increasingly interdependent world were reflected in his extensive writing and speaking. Betty Stanley shared her husband’s interest in world affairs. She supported the arts, encouraged environmental responsibility, and worked to improve education.

From the outset, the foundation was intended to have family members deeply engaged in its governance and policy direction. The initial Board of Directors consisted of the two founders and their children. Max Stanley served as president until his death in 1984. He was succeeded by the founders’ son, Richard H. Stanley, also a professional engineer, businessman, and world citizen. Dick served as president until 2007 and continued as board chair until shortly before his death in 2017.

Programming began modestly. Policy work started in 1960 with the Strategy for Peace Conference. The first Conference on the United Nations of the Next Decade was held in 1965, the 20th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. The first paid staff member was hired in 1967. Project Enrichment, the initial community-education program, began in local Muscatine, Iowa, schools in 1971. Over the years, programming has grown and changed, guided by periodic reviews and adjustments, to sharpen focus and address developing needs and opportunities.

In 1989, a two-tier governance structure was installed to facilitate increased family and community involvement in governance. Selected community or non-family members were added to bring needed perspectives and skills to foundation governance, supplementing those provided by growing numbers of family members. The first community member joined the board in 1996. Family members now hold more than two-thirds of the governance positions. Most of these are third-generation, but fourth-generation participation is beginning. In 1999, the position of board chair was created so that the president could be a paid staff position while retaining a voluntary unpaid chair. The first paid president was elected in 2007.

The Stanley Foundation advocates principled multilateralism in the conduct of world affairs. It supports a global governance system based on laws, rules, and norms that can address pressing global challenges in peace and security. It interacts actively with governments, international institutions, and non-state actors. It maintains a long-term, independent, and nonpartisan perspective while promoting collaborative approaches and multilateral solutions.

The foundation is a private operating foundation that works from its Muscatine office. It carries out its own programming and does not make grants to others. It often collaborates with other organizations that share common goals. Governance, finances, and leadership are managed to maintain continuity.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: The Spring 1980 issue of The Iowan included a profile of our founders, C. Maxwell and Elizabeth M. Stanley, titled “Citizens of the World: The Stanleys of Muscatine.”
Catherine Miller Explorer Awards: Where in the World Do You Want to Go? Catherine Miller Explorer Awards: Where in the World Do You Want to Go?
Attention all full-time Muscatine Community School District and Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic School K-12 teachers, for the 2019-2020 school year, the Stanley Foundation announces: Catherine Miller Explorer Awards. Enter the drawing.

60th Strategy for Peace Conference 60th Strategy for Peace Conference
The Stanley Foundation convenes its Strategy for Peace Conference annually to consider key policy challenges, drawing on the experience and knowledge of invited experts from the public and private sectors.

Concurrent roundtables focused on each of the foundation’s three current areas of programming—climate changenuclear policy, and mass violence and atrocities. These roundtable discussions are intended to generate group consensus recommendations for policy change and multilateral action. More.

Courier Courier
The Spring 2019 issue of Courier highlights some of the impact-driven activities the Stanley Foundation pursue with its partners. This includes stories that resulted from two journalism workshops: one examining the false missile alert in Hawaii, as well as one focused on issues of conflict and instability. This issue also examines how Green Banks could help bridge the climate finance gap, explores a new initiative that hopes to bring gender equity to the nuclear field, and brings you the stories of three teachers who enhanced their understanding of the world through travel. Spring 2019 PDF. Subscribe for Free.

the latest the latest
Our bimonthly newsletter is filled with resources to keep you up to date with our work at the Stanley Foundation. Each edition includes news about recent publications and stories as well as features our people and partners.

You will also find many extras, from upcoming events to multimedia resources. 

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Receive Materials Receive Materials
The Stanley Foundation publishes policy briefs, analytical articles, and reports on a number of international issues. To reduce our carbon footprint and cut waste, we almost exclusively, use electronic distribution for our publications. Sign up to receive our resources via e-mail.

The Stanley Foundation: Part of COP24 The Stanley Foundation: Part of COP24
As a part of our efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the foundation put forward policy ideas to achieve a global turning point in emissions by 2020, built upon efforts to catalyze global climate action by countries and sub- and non-state actors, and worked with journalists to strengthen coverage of the UN climate negotiations.