"This foundation will be proactive and always take an innovative approach to addressing America's challenges." The Honorable Elliot Richardson, Founding Chairman of The Hitachi Foundation
In 1985, with the leadership of Mr. Katsushige Mita, then president of Hitachi, Ltd., this Japan-based global corporation established The Hitachi Foundation in the United States. By creating this Foundation, Hitachi, Ltd. hoped to contribute to strengthening communities in the U.S. and to better fulfill its responsibilities as a corporate citizen.
Hitachi, Ltd. determined that the management of the Foundation should be in the hands of Americans who had first-hand knowledge of local issues and challenges. The Foundation was structured as a nonprofit philanthropic organization with an independent Board of Directors and staff. The Honorable Elliott L. Richardson, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor for his unparalleled commitment to public service, became the founding Chairman of The Hitachi Foundation. Dr. Delwin A. Roy was appointed founding president & CEO.
The Foundation operates three programs, each of which contributes to our mission to forge an authentic integration of business actions and societal wellbeing in North America. The Business and Work Program (formerly the Business and Community Grants program and, originally, General Grants), initiated in 1986, has provided almost $39 million in support to over 600 programs to strengthen the quality of life of low-wealth Americans. The Hitachi Community Action Partnership (HCAP) program (formerly the Matching Funds Program or MFP), launched in 1987, is a partnership between The Hitachi Foundation and the Hitachi Group Companies of North America. This program is a central feature of Hitachi's corporate citizenship activities throughout North America.
The Foundation initiated the Yoshiyama Award for Exemplary Service to the Community in 1987 and made the first group of awards in 1988. For more than 20 years, this program honored the extraordinary leadership of U.S. high school students in their communities. Beginning in 2010, this program will invest in young people who direct their creativity, commitment, and idealism into business enterprises that help people who are economically stuck in place or losing ground. It was made possible by a generous donation from Mr. Hirokichi Yoshiyama, former president and chairman of Hitachi, Ltd., upon his retirement.
In 1998, Joseph E. Kasputys, a noted leader in business and government and founding member of the Foundation's Board, became The Foundation's second Chairman of the Board. Barbara Dyer was appointed as the Foundation's second president and CEO. The Foundation's Board adopted a 5-year strategic plan in 1998 focusing its efforts on business - community partnerships to improve the quality of life for underserved people. In 2004, the Board crafted a new 5-year strategic plan, focusing the work of the Foundation on enhancing the wellbeing of economically and socially isolated people throughout the United States.
In 2006, Dr. Bruce MacLaury, President Emeritus of the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, became Chairman of the Board. Dr. MacLaury served as the president of Brookings, a nationally known public policy research organization based in Washington, DC, from 1977 to 1995. Among other positions, he served as vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and a member of the Federal Reserve Bank Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve's senior policy-making board.
The Foundation unveiled a new five-year strategic plan in 2009, sharpening the focus of our work on discovering and spreading business practices and policies that measurably improve people's lives, especially Americans living near or under the poverty line, and enhance business value.
The Hitachi Foundation's unique approach, and its commitment to learning and communication, has been widely recognized.