This chapter is a personal reflection by Frank Karel on his years as vice president for communications of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He looks back on the early days, when the Foundation was groping to find an appropriate role for communications, and traces its evolution to the present. Karel is uniquely qualified to provide this retrospective. He has had the singular experience of heading communications at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation twice. During his first tenure, between 1974 and 1987, he originated many of the communications strategies that the Foundation follows today. After leaving to head communications at the Rockefeller Foundation, he returned to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 1993 to serve again as the vice president for communication. Long active in philanthropy, Karel helped many foundations consider how best to use the tools of communications.
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