Stephen Del Rosso, Carnegie Corporation of New York

TITLE: Program Director, International Peace & Security

FUNDING AREAS: Nuclear security, public foreign policy, global economic security (finance and trade)

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

IP TAKE: As program director of the Carnegie's International Peace & Security Program, Del Rosso works under the tutelage of program Vice President Deana Arsenian. These two forces combined make for a pretty powerful team.

PROFILE: Before embarking on a career in philanthropy and diplomacy, Stephen Del Rosso earned a bachelor's degree in English from Tufts, a diploma in international studies from Johns Hopkins University, a master of arts in law and diplomacy (MALD) from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, and a PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Educationally armed, Del Rosso served for nearly a decade in the U.S. Foreign Service, working in Central America and the Caribbean in the mid-1980s. (In the April 2013 issue of Foreign Service Journal, Del Rosso relays some of his adventures in that role, which also lends contextual insight into the work he pursues now.) After participating in the ongoing U.S. engagements during that era, Del Rosso returned to D.C., working in various positions with the Department of State and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. He also served as director of the Office of Legislative Operations and in the international affairs division at NASA. U.S. governmental affairs wasn't all he was into; he also did it across the pond, serving as assistant to Sir Julian Critchley, a British Parliament member.

The philanthropic chapter of Del Rosso's career includes heading up the Pew Charitable Trusts' Global Security program, serving as chairman emeritus of the Baltic-American Partnership Fund's board, and serving on the boards of a number of foreign relations organizations, including the Geneva Centre for Security Policy Advisory Board, Human Rights Watch Asia, and the American Political Science Association.

Given Del Rosso's education and experience in international affairs and philanthropy, it's no wonder that the Carnegie Corporation of New York sought him out while he was working as director of programs at the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.

When Del Rosso went to Carnegie in 1999, he began developing new grantmaking programs right away, including the New Dimensions of Security Program, aimed at addressing post-cold war issues in regions such as Kosovo and East Timor. These programs he developed had a specific time frame and a sunset clause of sorts, so Del Rosso's vast experience and knowledge were transitioned into the International Peace & Security Program.

Del Rosso has described his take on grantmaking as follows:

I don't think it will surprise anyone to learn that there are no surefire formulas. There are limitations, not the least being financial, on what we can do. Even if a proposal fits substantively into whatever we've said in our guidelines, there are inevitably other implicit and explicit criteria involved. Decisions would also depend, of course, on the quality and clarity of the proposal itself, on the ability to try to build on some of the previous scholarship, and to ideally "break some new ground," even though, admittedly, that's a very difficult thing to do.

Admittedly, that's not extremely helpful for you grant seekers out there, but it’s a little helpful — at least you know where his head is at. Other than that, Del Rosso stays within the rather standardized big institution/organization grantmaking style that is prevalent within the walls of Carnegie.

He does offer a nugget of wisdom to help grant seekers looking to secure funds. Del Rosso has stated that he follows the basic principles of Andrew Carnegie in wanting to see the practical application or payoff offered by any organization that Carnegie supports through its International Peace & Security grants.