Synergos Founder and Chair
Peggy Dulany is Chair of the Synergos Institute, a global nonprofit organization that brings people together to solve complex problems of poverty and create opportunities for individuals and their communities to thrive.
Drawing from her experience living and working in Rio de Janeiro as a young woman, she realized that the people most affected by adverse living conditions also have the greatest energy and motivation to solve their problems. The resources they lack are connections to the economic and political realms where necessary changes can affect whole communities.
Peggy founded Synergos in 1986 to promote collaboration among grassroots groups and government or business leaders and organizations, people who otherwise would not have access to each other, so that they can develop long-term relationships and forge new paths in overcoming poverty. In 2001, she co-founded Synergos’ Global Philanthropists Circle with her father, David Rockefeller, to support philanthropic families in using this approach.
Her career has included heading a public high school program for drop-outs and consulting with the United Nations and the Ford Foundation on health care and family planning , and with the National Endowment for the Arts on nonprofit management and planning. She was Senior Vice President of the New York City Partnership, where she headed the Youth Employment, Education and Community Affairs programs.
Peggy is an honors graduate of Radcliffe College and holds a Doctorate in Education from Harvard University. She has sat on over thirty nonprofit and corporate boards including Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Africa-America Institute, among others. She runs two socially responsible businesses: a grass-fed beef and guest ranch in Montana and an ecotourism operation in Namibia. Through Synergos, she also guides wilderness retreats that offer participants a safe space in which to reflect on their deepest purpose in life.
Selected Publications and Videos
- On creating meaningful partnerships for effective change (interview with Devex) (2016)
- Shifting ourselves and the world by overcoming fear (video, at TEDx Danubia) (2015)
- Living Philanthropic Values: Maintaining a “Listening Ear” (video, at Global Philanthropy Forum (2015)
- Why the Poor Give More than the Rich (video with Heart Beings) (2015)
- The Genesis of Synergos (video) (2015)
- Philanthropy and Giving in India (video, at Dasra Philanthropy Forum) (2014)
- Interview with China Philanthropist magazine (2014)
- La passion à travers les générations (2014)
- Approaching the Heart of the Matter: Personal Transformation and the Emergence of New Leadership (2012)
- Philanthropy from Generation to Generation (video, at Sabancı Foundation) (2012)
- True West (Dulany ranch in Forbes) (2010)
- Philanthropy and Social Engagement Across Generations (video highlights) (2009)
- Social Change: Who Will Make It Happen? (2009)
- Bridging the gap between poor, decision makers (2008)
- Giving as a Way to Build Bridges (2007)
- Maximizing Scope And Impact Through Partnership (2007)
- Interview with Alliance Magazine (2007)
- The Most Elite Club in the World (2007)
- What's Missing? A Personal Reflection on Synergos’ Twenty Years of Work (2007)
- Interview with Contribute Magazine (2006)
- Turning Your Passion into Practice (2006)
- Eliminating Poverty: Attainable Goal or Unrealizable Dream? (2005)
- Video: A Call to Action at the Global Philanthropy Forum (2003)
- The Potential for CSROs as Bridging Organizations (2002)
- The Status of and Trends in Private Philanthropy in the Southern Hemisphere (2001)
- Promoting US Economic Relations with Africa (1998)
- Toward a New Paradigm for Civil Society Leadership: The Art of Bridging Gaps (1997)
- Social Investment as a Way of Bridging Gaps: A Special Role for People of Wealth (1997)
- How Community Development Foundations Can Help Strengthen Civil Society (1992)