Chino Cienega

Stimson Spotlight

Chino Cienega

To honor our 25th Anniversary year, Stimson would like to take the time to shine a light on the many influential donors who make our work possible.

Stimson was honored to win the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions in 2013, which was in part given because of our continued work in the Mekong region.  The Mekong Policy Project would not have been successful without the early and vital support of the Chino Cienega Foundation (CCF). A small foundation founded in 2003, CCF was established in Palm Springs, California, as a legacy of Frances & Prescott Stevens and Sallie & Culver Nichols.  What began in 2006 with a seed grant from CCF, developed into multi-year grants to sustain research for the Mekong Project until larger foundation support insured the program in 2011. 

“I think it was a huge relief that our foundation was able to come through… rather spontaneously.  That’s one of the virtues of being a small funder, that we are willing and flexible enough to be able to respond to an immediate situation,” said Steve Nichols describing the foundation’s early support.  Chino Cienega was instrumental in establishing Stimson’s renowned Mekong Policy project, led by Richard Cronin, director of the Southeast Asia program. 

The foundation has a global reach with funds dedicated to projects that deal with climate change and environmental sustainability, conflict avoidance and reconciliation, culture and youth programs and sustainable development. The Foundation provides ongoing core support for innovative and successful programs and urges its grantees to leverage their support for discovering new and pioneering collaboration. Chino Cienega continues its involvement with small grant support, and has given over $250,000 in total to sustain the Mekong Policy project. 

Stimson is thankful to the Chino Cienega Foundation and especially for their continuing support of Stimson programming and their unwavering commitment to the Center.   “Rich’s work and the Stimson Center’s work on the issue has become very well respected in the region, so it is gratifying for a small funder such as ourselves to see that kind of success,” said Steve Nichols, President and Founder, CCF.