The Romanian-American Foundation came into being in 2009, after approval by the US Congress. The Foundation grew out of a 1994 U.S. government grant of $50 million establishing the Romanian-American Enterprise Fund (RAEF), to support Romania’s transition to a free market economy. Operating under the provisions of the SEED Act (Support to East European Democracy), RAEF’s fusion of investments and development activities in over fifteen years of active presence in Romania resulted in the Foundation’s $150 million endowment.
The Romanian-American Foundation’s mission is to strengthen and promote conditions for a sustainable market economy and a democratic society that provide access to opportunities for all segments of the population in Romania.
Almost half of the country’s population lives in rural areas, with many struggling on the verge of subsistence. We asked ourselves: What if they thrive? The two niches where we believe our interventions can help rural communities develop and take advantage of the demand from urban centers are small farmers and ecotourism. Small farmers can generate growth while working the land more efficiently. Rural areas are also a cradle for pristine land and centuries-old traditions which make them attractive ecotourism destinations.
Technology & Innovation
The technology and innovation sectors are increasingly relevant for Romania. Our programs seek to help the future talent of Romania take advantage of business opportunities related to innovation and new product development, a shift that will require higher numbers of tech specialists with a new set of skills. Our intervention focus education, and we work closely with a large universe of partners (universities, NGOs that in turn work with teachers and schools, and partners from the business sector) to design entrepreneurial programs that match the educational offer to the industry needs, endowing students with the technical and soft skills required by competitive markets.
People involved in the life of the city, taking part in the decision-making process and contributing to solving their communities’ problems, supporting the causes they believe in, volunteering, choosing their representatives and holding them accountable, are the corner stones of a democratic society. We invest in the growth of an infrastructure for philanthropy and civic engagement and offer civic education programs designed to help the younger generations become engaged and empowered citizens.