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PEAK Grantmaking

The Serendipity of Life

On October 19, 1987, the day the stock market crashed, the Ford Foundation sent a Western Union telegram offering me a job. My new title: archives assistant. I knew little about what foundations or archivists did, but I was bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and the Ford Foundation fit the bill for what I wanted in my next job: it was a large nonprofit that was international in scope that was trying to make the world a better place. I’ll work a year or two, I figured, and then join the US Foreign Service. The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. After five years as archives assistant, I was itching to learn more. An assistant grants manager position in Ford’s Urban Poverty Program opened up, but admins rarely made the leap to programming jobs. Fortunately, a program person took a shining to me and I found myself again in a