Our History

In Fall 2006, conversations began between a small group of key stakeholders at the University of Washington, Seattle International Foundation and Washington State University. These conversations centered on the resources in Washington state that contribute to global development. Early efforts focused on research and bringing together experts and practitioners. The work concentrated on the issues of health, economic development and poverty alleviation, the environment and global learning.

It quickly became clear there was an emerging global development sector in the state of Washington. In Summer 2007, Global Washington held a forum to bring together stakeholders from across issue areas and sectors. One outcome mandated by the forum was the organization now known as Global Washington.

Global Washington’s founding partners were Seattle International Foundation, University of Washington and Washington State University. Our stakeholders quickly grew to include leadership from many organizations including Boeing, Microsoft, the Gates Foundation, Laird Norton Company, Trade Development Alliance, World Affairs Council, Starbucks, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Philanthropy Northwest and PATH.

Global Washington was launched as a membership organization in December 2008. In a very short time, Global Washington has become a catalyst for strengthening the global development sector and its member organizations. Global Washington works by leveraging resources, increasing visibility, sharing best practices, convening the sector by country, issue and organization type, and advocating around education, global engagement and foreign policy.

Global Washington’s program design and organizational evaluations stress outcomes that position Global Washington as a catalyst to:

• achieve a strong and unified advocacy voice for global development in Washington state

• recognize Washington state as a model for collaboration and collective impact

• increase efficiency and effectiveness across Washington state’s global development organizations

• build a political constituency for global development in Washington state

Working in these four impact areas, Global Washington draws heavily on the principles of:

• grassroots leadership

• cooperative community engagement

• systemic cross-sector partnerships

• open sharing of knowledge and best practices among member organizations

• the willingness to take a stand on critical issues

• leveraging multiple sources of support for Global Washington and member organizations

• outreach to new audiences to increase awareness of and engagement in global development issues