Small Foundation Powers Big Change

photo: Sally Benson, Steve Nichols, Linda Yarr
photo: (left to right) Sally Benson, Steve Nichols, Linda Yarr
December 11, 2017

“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” said former President John F. Kennedy in his inaugural speech nearly 60 years ago. Inspired by JFK’s now famous words, Steve Nichols started the Chino Cienega Foundation to boost the work of projects focused on sustainable development and conflict resolution, such as the Elliott School’s Partnership for International Strategies in Asia (PISA). Recently, Nichols and his wife, Sally Benson, stopped by the Elliott School to talk about why the foundation has been supporting PISA since 2007. “PISA brings all the tools of academia to issues that are critical in Southeast Asia,” Nichols said. True to the foundation’s intent, Chino Cienega’s ongoing generosity has helped PISA attract funding from large grant makers such as the Ford Foundation.