S&R Foundation embodies the embrace of ingenuity and creativity in the nation’s capital. Entering its sixteenth year, its visionary mission is to support and foster innovation among talented artists, scientists, and social entrepreneurs. S&R is in the dedicated hands of Chief Operating Officer, Kate Goodall, who has galvanized S&R’s programs and operations.
Can you tell me about your background and your path to assuming your position as COO of S&R?
I originally set out to become an architect, however I changed the course of my path and found myself working in museums after receiving degrees in English, and Maritime History and Underwater Archaeology. Before joining S&R, I spent years working for the Association of Science and Technology Centers and the American Association of Museums. Having a knack for identifying and strategizing new opportunities, throughout my various positions, I built partnerships, identified new sources of revenue, and innovated marketing plans. This led me to S&R, where I have been dedicating my strengths to maximizing its impact and success for the past three years.
What is the process of selecting & investing in your fellows? How do you track their progress?
For the Halcyon Incubator, we focus very concretely on a few things, including potential scalability, how innovative their ideas are, and most importantly, how well they understand the complexity of the challenge they’re approaching. For Fillmore, the criteria will be similar but different, as they’re artists, not entrepreneurs.
What makes S&R unique compared to other accelerators?
We consider Halcyon an incubator, not an accelerator per se, as we concentrate on early stage ventures – and, most uncommonly, do not take equity, but rather offer many benefits, including free residency, a stipend, expert mentorship, and many other resources. We support social entrepreneurs who are prioritizing measurable social impact as greatly as profit.
How is S&R using the iconic Evermay Estate, Halcyon House, & Fillmore School as spaces for social good?
Halcyon House is the home of our Halcyon Incubator, where our selected social entrepreneurs accelerate their ideas and tackle the intricacies of the problems they’re trying to solve. These entrepreneurs have the opportunity to reside in this beautiful space whilst working on their ventures.
We will actually be diminishing our use of Evermay with the launch of Fillmore. We have built The Studios Program, which seeks to provide free studio space to artists who are committed to social inquiry and innovation. These artists will be able to pursue their individual practice and study over the span of seven months, giving them the space necessary for creative thinking.
What do you find is the most challenging aspect of your work?
I love the talented team we work with, as well as all our stakeholders who work so hard bringing the vision to life. The people we support are amazing, and I derive huge amounts of energy helping them.
Typical day at the office?
Very varied, which I also love. It jumps from a meeting about arts, to a meeting about social enterprise, to a meeting with potential partners, to strategic planning. It’s never boring.
Who has been your greatest influence throughout your career?
It has changed with time, and I have a wonderful set of mentors who have generously and patiently guided me including Wendy Luke, Marc Pachter, Sachiko Kuno (my boss), and Teresa Carlson just to name a few.
As COO, what is your vision for S&R?
The vision for S&R comes from Sachiko – she is truly a visionary, who believes in finding talented creatives in every field and giving them the time and space they need to achieve greater impact than they could alone. I work on the strategy to bring that vision to life.
When you’re not busy running the show at S&R, what do you do in your free time?
Hanging out with my children, Jasper (10) and Felix (7), hiking, sailing, touring art exhibits, cooking etc.
Last book you read?
I’m afraid to say that it’s been a while since I’ve had time. Much more likely to find me reading Stanford Innovation Review, the New Yorker, or Vogue!
As a non-Washington native, what do you love the most about this city?
I love it all – it’s an incredible city! There’s incredible intellectual capital here, many generous spirits, the overlap of all the sectors, as well as the federal government and international portals. Also, great food and art!