The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation
Josiah Bunting III, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, retired Army major, and former superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, has a new mantle – president of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. Founded in 1961, the foundation is dedicated to studying violence, aggression, and dominance by supporting those scholars and researches who will improve our understanding of and response to these realities. If this seems an unusual position for a soldier, Bunting reminds us that “in our own history . . . many truly great soldiers – including Robert E. Lee, Douglas MacAurthur, and George C. Marshall – have sat down and thought very hard” about peace and conflict late in their careers. Bunting, an acclaimed fiction writer and biographer of Ulysses S. Grant, wants to continue the tradition of the foundation’s thinking hard about violence and aggression, but he also will encourage the foundation to go beyond academic research and “deal with things that demand urgent attention.” He cites as an example a forthcoming meeting the foundation is hosting titled “Bearing Arms: Who Should Serve?” The conference will consider conscription, an idea that like it or not Bunting says, “may be pushed upon us.” It is the foundation’s responsibility, Bunting tells Philanthropy, to “inform the public’s ability to understand the debate.” He’s not out necessarily to influence public policy directly. “I’d like,” he says, “to see the foundation develop a public reputation for useful research and judgment about major public policy issues that concern war and other forms of violence, such that we become known as a place that is unpoliticized, fair, and acute in its judgments.” Historically the media has provided this information, but Bunting thinks that today’s press, “even at its best, is so heavily politicized that it’s hard for them to write objectively.” Bunting is one soldier, it seems, who won’t “just fade away.” And for this, Peter Lawson-Johnston, the foundation’s chairman, is most glad. “His vast leadership experience, both in academia and the military, makes him the perfect person for this job.”
The Philanthropy Roundtable
Amanda Telford has recently joined The Philanthropy Roundtable as Member Services Coordinator. A 2000 graduate of Brigham Young University majoring in political science, Telford most recently worked at Frontiers of Freedom, an Oakton, Virginia think tank, where she assisted with development and event planning. Before that she was an aide in the congressional office of Ernest Istook, an Oklahoma Republican, where she was legislative and executive assistant. Her principal responsibilities at the Roundtable include development and assisting the Roundtable’s associates. A native Texan, Telford grew up near Dallas where she learned to appreciate the fine arts, especially ballet. Telford’s Southern upbringing shows itself in more “down home” interests, however. In addition to spending time with family and friends, she is a fan of quilting.