Skip to main content

Who We Are

Mission & Values

Building a more creative, equitable and sustainable future

Our Mission

The mission of the Doris Duke Foundation (DDF) is to build a more creative, equitable and sustainable future by investing in artists and the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research, child well-being and greater mutual understanding among diverse communities.

DDF’s mission, grantmaking programs and centers are guided by Doris Duke’s will. Learn more about Doris Duke’s life and legacy as well as the history of the Doris Duke Foundation.

Our Grantmaking Programs

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation grantmaking programs

The Doris Duke Foundation currently operates five national grantmaking programs:

  • Arts — We support artists with the creation and public performance of their work, with a particular focus on contemporary dance, jazz and theater.
  • Medical Research — We strive to advance the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases by strengthening and supporting clinical research.
  • Environment — We seek to ensure a thriving, resilient environment for wildlife and people, and to foster an inclusive, effective conservation movement.
  • Child Well-being — We aim to promote children’s healthy development and protect them from abuse and neglect.
  • Building Bridges — We work to elevate U.S. Muslim stories with the goal of increasing mutual understanding and well-being among diverse populations for the benefit of building stronger, inclusive communities.

From time to time, the foundation also undertakes special initiatives in pursuit of its mission. For example, in the fall of 2007, DDF launched the African Health Initiative with the goal of strengthening health systems in sub-Saharan Africa.

Our Museums and Centers

The Doris Duke Foundation operates Duke Farms and Shangri La, two centers that serve the public directly, and funds Rough Point, which is operated by the Newport Restoration Foundation. These properties, all former residences that belonged to Doris Duke, now serve the public in ways that extend her legacy and advance our mission.

Duke Farms is a 2,700-acre center for environmental stewardship ...

Duke Farms is a 2,700-acre center for environmental stewardship in Hillsborough, N.J., that restores the natural environment and invests in sustainability innovation while offering visitors free, inclusive and accessible resources for finding their place in nature.

Located in Honolulu, Shangri La is a museum for ...

Located in Honolulu, Shangri La is a museum for learning about the global cultures of Islamic art and design in new and inspiring ways. The center showcases Doris Duke’s vast collection of nearly 4,500 pieces of artwork, cultural resources and architectural designs from her extensive travels throughout North Africa and Western, Central, South and Southeast Asia. 

Rough Point in Newport, R.I. is a museum ...

Rough Point in Newport, R.I. is a museum featuring extensive collections of fine and decorative arts and educational programs. (The museum is maintained and operated by the Newport Restoration Foundation, with support from DDF.)

Our Values

The following values underpin everything we do in pursuit of our mission across the Doris Duke Foundation:

  • Integrity: We must be honest and ethical in all that we undertake. As a private foundation, we are accountable to the many stakeholders affected by our work.
  • Excellence: We will insist on the highest standards of performance in fulfilling our mission, will ground our work in best practices and will make decisions based on the best available information.
  • Openness and Imagination: We will be a listening and learning organization that is responsive to ideas and opinions from a variety of sources. We value imagination and creativity, the ability to think in new ways about the work we do and how we do it.
  • Collaboration: We value a collaborative and supportive environment in which to advance our mission and objectives. Creating a working environment that promotes trust, honesty and respect within our organization is as important as earning the trust and respect of our colleagues and peers in the fields in which we work.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: We believe in the essential value that a diverse set of perspectives, experiences and abilities brings to the table. Our commitment to the values of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice is an ongoing, active engagement reflected in our funding areas, grantees, museums, centers, board and staff. At the core of our work is a dedication to serving and learning from organizations and individuals addressing inequities and working toward a more just, healthy and inclusive society. (Learn more about our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and how we incorporate this value into our work.)