The American Red Cross Institution Essay

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American Red Cross Governance for the 21st Century A report of the Board of Governors October 2006 National Headquarters 430 17th Street NW Washington, DC 20006 Bonnie McElveen-Hunter Chairman November 1, 2006 A Letter from the Chairman of the Board of the American Red Cross In 1900, Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, said, “To you – the people of America – this sacred trust is committed: in your hands the charge is laid.” The more than 1,000,000 volunteers and 35,000 employees who represent today’s American Red Cross understand that you have entrusted the Red Cross with a great responsibility and charge to meet the critical needs of your neighbors around the corner and across the globe in their most critical hour of need. You count on us to be there when you need us the most. And, you have entrusted the American Red Cross to be effective stewards of the time, talent and treasure that you have so generously given to our organization. When an organization is given such an important and sacred trust by the American people, it must do everything in its power not only to ensure that it is worthy of this trust but to deliver in all areas of its responsibility – and there is no more critical responsibility than in the area of governance, oversight and transparency. Accordingly, in February of this year, the American Red Cross Board of Governors took decisive action to modernize and strengthen our governance structure and practice, which had not been substantially addressed since 1947. The Board of Governors charged its Governance Committee to conduct a comprehensive review and analysis of the Board’s role, composition, size, relationship with management, governance relationship with Red Cross chartered units, and whistleblower and audit function. Embracing the best practices of governance in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors, this

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