George C. Marshall Foundation
Founded in 1953 at the urging of President Harry Truman, the independent George C. Marshall Foundation is the place where the values that shaped and motivated Marshall are kept alive. The Foundation perpetuates Marshall’s example, his leadership qualities and character through outreach and educational programs, a museum and a research library that offers a wide range of resources and materials for use by the general public, amateur historians, scholars and students of all ages.
Few Americans have done as much for their nation and the world as George C. Marshall. As Army Chief of Staff during World War II, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, special envoy to China, and president of the Red Cross, Marshall was not only the architect of the Allies’ victory, he was also the prime mover behind the European Recovery Program (“The Marshall Plan”) that restored the economy of war-ravaged Europe. He was described as the "architect of victory" by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who said,"Succeeding generations must not be allowed to forget his achievements and his example."
The George C. Marshall Foundation, located in Lexington, Virginia, houses a library, archive, a museum and administrative offices dedicated to honor the legacy of George Catlett Marshall. The Foundation opened in 1964 in its own building on the post of the Virginia Military Institute, Marshall's alma mater.
The Marshall Foundation library and archives cover United States military & diplomatic history between the years of George Marshall's career as a military officer and public servant, roughly 1900-1960. Along with sorted paper collections, the library contains over 23,000 manuscripts, two million documents from the National Archives and Records Administration, hundreds of era maps, 700 posters from all countries involved in both World Wars, films, and over 200 oral histories.
The Marshall Foundation in the World Today
Through sponsorship of international conferences, the Foundation extends Marshall’s legacy into the 21st century by examining a variety of international challenges and issues. The Foundation will continue to facilitate these important dialogues on the international stage regarding Marshall Plan-related solutions for economic development for emerging nations and economic recovery for those involved in post-conflict and post-regime change reconstruction.
Stimson Center, Marshall Foundation Collaborate on Ground-breaking Pathways to Progress
The Henry L. Stimson Center and the George C. Marshall Foundation have begun a multi-year, joint initiative, Pathways to Progress: Peace, Prosperity, and Change in the Middle East, drawing on the Marshall Plan legacy.
Pathways to Progress will involve key leaders and institutions in the Middle East in developing ground-breaking solutions and policy options that foster peace and stability, create jobs, and encourage broad-based, inclusive economic growth. The program seeks to cultivate new thinking and creative solutions percolating in the region to promote an active dialogue between United States and the Arab world in which new ideas and innovative thinking flow in both directions.
The Arab spring uprisings that began in late 2010 mark the beginning of a major transformation in the Arab world. The region’s tumultuous transitions are marked by a shifting political landscape, significant economic challenges, and evolving security threats. These momentous developments elevate the importance of understanding of the complex dynamics propelling the change, as well as innovative policy solutions to the daunting challenges.
Examples of the Marshall Foundation’s past efforts include:
In September 1999, The Marshall Foundation, the European Commission, and the World Bank sponsored a conference on “The Economic Transformation of the Balkans” held at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC to discuss how best to rebuild the economies of the Balkan Region.
The Marshall Foundation in partnership with the East West Institute and the World Bank hosted a second conference on “Transformation in the Balkans” on September 2000 in Prague, Czech Republic to examine the progress made since the formation of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe—what many have referred to as a Marshall Plan for the Balkans—in June 1999.
As part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of George Marshall’s receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace, Lord Robertson, Secretary General of NATO, presided over a day-long conference, “The Marshall Legacy: The Role of the Transatlantic Community in Building Peace and Security.” The conference was co-sponsored by the Marshall Foundation, the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in November 2003.
In preparation of a monograph In Search of a Usable Past: The Marshall Plan and Postwar Reconstruction Today, the Marshall Foundation sponsored a session in Paris, France, in June 2006 in collaboration with the OECD, UNESCO, George Washington University, and the U. S. Embassy in Paris to discuss contemporary applicability of the Marshall Plan from the European perspective of experts from the United Kingdom, Italy, Norway, France and Greece.
Continuing the important discussion of the Marshall Plan’s potential for application in contemporary post-conflict situations, the Marshall Foundation collaborated with the OECD, UNESCO, George Washington University, Jean Monnet Foundation and the U.S. Missions to France to conduct a symposium in Paris in June 2007 on The Marshall Plan: Lessons Learned for the 21st Century. A monograph of the same name includes a compilation of the studies, proceedings and recommendations.
The Growing Electronic Reach of the Foundation
A growing presence on the internet, the Marshall Foundation makes Marshall-related information and material from its extensive collections available to students, scholars and researchers who have access to the World Wide Web. The Foundation is continually adding content to its Web site. Electronic access is part of the mission of the Foundation to extend its reach broadly, which routinely includes Web site visitors from as many as 110 countries. Additional access is provided through aggressive distribution of audio and video files on YouTube and Apple’s iTunes Beyond Campus.
Marshall Foundation Leadership
The Foundation is led by a Board of Trustees of 20 members including the President of the Foundation, who oversees the work of 15 full-time and part-time staff in Lexington, Virginia. A Council of Advisors participates in many programs and events and includes several former trustees who wish to remain involved in the work of the Foundation.
The Work of the Marshall Foundation
- Conferences and Symposia in collaboration with world-class organizations on topics of international interest to scholars, diplomats and business leaders
- Executive Leadership Workshops for government and corporate employees
- Marshall Undergraduate Scholars from colleges in the mid-Atlantic states conduct research using primary source materials from the collections
- Baruch Fellowships encourage doctoral or post-doctoral research in 20th-century U.S. military or diplomatic history
- Library & Archives with one of the most comprehensive collections on the life of a world-famous individual ever assembled, also available to researchers on line
- Marshall Museum houses more than 2,000 artifacts, including the Nobel Peace Prize, which Marshall won in 1953. Each year more than 20,000 people visit the Museum.
- The Marshall Papers present documents by Marshall and detailed annotations, summaries of documents, illustrations, maps, photos, cartoons, and facsimile documents. Combined with the four-volume Pogue biography, the Papers Project presents a comprehensive study of Marshall’s life and career.
- Marshall ROTC Award Seminars for U.S. Army and Air Force cadets with an emphasis on leadership and national security
Since 1997, in commemoration of the spirit of the Marshall Plan, the Foundation began to award this prize to individuals and organizations who have "demonstrated leadership that has furthered international humanitarian and economic development efforts...and [exhibit] the following personal and professional qualities practiced by George C. Marshall throughout his life of extraordinary public service:
- a career of distinguished public/civic service in the tradition of George C. Marshall;
- dignity and integrity of character;
- devotion to creating and perpetuating free and democratic institutions and promoting appropriate economic development which will allow them to flourish;
- nonpartisanship or bipartisanship."
Recent awards have been given to:
- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (2011)
- Frederick W. Smith, founder, chairman and CEO, FedEx (2010)
- U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates (2009)
- Former Senator John Warner and former Congressman Lee H. Hamilton (2007)
- Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, 2003
- Former President George H. W. Bush, 2002
- Former Banker David Rockefeller, 1999
- Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, 1997
The Andrew J. Goodpaster Award
The Andrew J. Goodpaster Award honors the life and service of General Andrew J. Goodpaster, a longtime trustee and a chairman of the Foundation, a champion of the Marshall legacy, an American hero, and an extraordinary public servant. The Goodpaster Award is presented to American business leaders, politicians, military leaders and others who have served our nation in exemplary ways, who, like General Goodpaster, have exhibited great courage, selfless service, patriotism and leadership in their lives and careers.
Recent awards have been given to:
- Former Army Chief of Staff General Gordon R. Sullivan, USA (Ret.) (2012)
- Former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft (2008)
- The George C. Marshall Foundation
- The Virginia Military Institute
- The Marshall Films Collection
- The Marshall Plan Speech
- The George C. Marshall Foundation Award