Affinity Groups and Social Initiatives

Understanding that the path forward is through the past, we believe imagination, ingenuity and vision can create environments conducive to innovation and resourcefulness, as well as improve business practices. One of our most distinctive competitive advantages is the quality of our knowledge and the infrastructure we have in place. We continually seeks ways to foster creativity as a tool that can build more livable communities and serve as an important economic resource in their revitalization. We use the intellectual, financial, and collaborative power of our firm to help address some of the world’s most pressing problems.

The Mentor and Protégé. The quality of our employees is the cornerstone of our ability to serve our partners and clients. For this reason, we invest tremendous resources in identifying exceptional people, developing their skills, and creating an environment that fosters their growth as leaders. Our affinity groups facilitate relationship-building among employees with shared interests and backgrounds and provide a forum in which traditional and peer-mentoring opportunities may develop and flourish. In addition, our affinity groups play a key role in the firm’s ongoing endeavors regarding student recruitment, associate mentoring and peer networking, career development, workplace inclusion, retention, and community involvement. The groups meet regularly and discuss topics relevant to their communities, professional experiences and personal interests. Meetings vary from casual conversations to structured sessions with agendas and guest speakers. Among these efforts is a six-month leadership program for high-performing senior associates selected on the basis of their developmental potential, an annual retreat for our partners and clients.

Civic Literacy. Drawing on our extensive research and expertise, we gather and develop resources that help school systems, higher-education institutions, and vocational programs transform their performance and improve student outcomes. Our work focuses on the most pressing issues facing educators today. By identifying best practices, gathering benchmark data, and partnering with experts to generate new insights, we help stakeholders in education deliver substantial and lasting improvements in individual, social, and economic outcomes.

Science Around Us. Any successful program of action on climate change must support two objectives—stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) and maintaining economic growth. Research finds that reconciling these two objectives means that “carbon productivity,” the amount of GDP produced per unit of carbon equivalents (CO2e) emitted, must increase dramatically. We work with philanthropic organizations to address global challenges such as promoting sustainable agriculture and fishing, reducing deforestation, and responding to climate change.

Compassion Health and Wellness. In collaboration with healthcare experts and leaders around the world, we are developing practical perspectives on how to expand access to health services, improve the quality of care, use resources more effectively, and deliver better patient experiences. The Center for US Health System is our in-house source on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Our goal is to help our public, private, and social-sector clients address the implications of the unfolding ACA-related global marketplace activity while also providing the broader public with access to our latest research and findings.

We Believe in America. Our government relations identifies issues that affect our company, our industry, our employees and the communities we serve. we share our point of view with members of congress, state officials and other policy makers. Our Employee Political Action Committee is a research group whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative bipartisan public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

Yale University Polo Fundraiser. We have long seen the value of sponsorship as part of our business strategy. We back the best in sports, entertainment, the arts and culture, and we’re committed to supporting initiatives in the communities where we operate. Founded in 1919, Yale Polo is the oldest collegiate polo team in the United States. Celebrating over a quarter century of polo tradition between the University of Virginia and Yale University, the Harriman Cup Polo Match is a social event commemorating the life of former New York Governor William Averell Harriman. The Harriman Polo Cup Award honors stellar individuals who have made huge contributions to the world of polo and who embody the leadership and public service and staunch advocacy and support for equestrian sports that were characteristics of former Governor William Harriman.

Duel and the Crown. Fencing combines discipline, agility, and precision—all qualities we admire. It is also a sport to which we can make a meaningful contribution, both at the highest competitive level and through fencing schools throughout the country. We have long seen the value of sponsorship as part of our business strategy. We back the best in sports, entertainment, and the arts and culture, and we’re committed to supporting initiatives in the communities where we operate.

Yachting and Boating. Stormy seas, meter-high waves, and new records are always in sight: oceangoing yachting has provided a pastime for generations of the Burk Family. We remain strongly anchored in sailing, setting its course for further traditional sailing of the World.

The Queen Anne Royal Museum. Our sponsorships have also included exhibitions at the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The former royal residence, was built between 1616 and 1619 in Greenwich, which was then a few miles downriver from London and is now a district of the city. The Queen’s House is one of the most important buildings in British architectural history, being the first consciously classical building to have been constructed in Britain. Its architect was Edward Duke, for whom it was a crucial early commission for Anne of Denmark, the queen of King James of England.

World Economic Forum. Our clients rely on us to identify and help them respond to emerging markets, advances in technology, and other forces that shape their industries. We engage with the Forum’s initiatives, the Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance. The institution carefully blends and balances the best of many kinds of organizations, from both the public and private sectors, international organizations and academic institutions.

Next Generation Women Leaders (NGWL). We passionately believe in developing outstanding leaders. We do so every day, internally and with our clients. We support the Lean-In organization as a vehicle to inspire women and their employers to continue the discussion on the mutual benefits of greater diversity and empowerment in the workforce. There are now more than 41,000 Lean-In Circles in over 170 countries, and new Circles are starting every day. Circles bring together women from all walks of life, from Latina immigrants to women in the United States military. In these groups, women get and give peer mentorship, and have a place to be unapologetically ambitious.

A Shared Way of Life. We continuously invest in research on some of the biggest issues facing society. We hope that our insights on these topics help to shape the debate, bring new thinking and identify potential solutions. Recent societal themes in our work have included global growth and employment, affordable housing, the economic cost of obesity, and gender parity in the workplace. We fund our own research, which is original and independent. We are also committed to helping our corporate clients find new ways to embed sustainability into their business strategies and practices—actions that are increasingly important to employees, customers and the broader community.


Unique experiences, cultivated with passion from generation to generation