What We Do Differently
To drive system-level change, local-level solutions are required. The key to this is our innovative approach to incorporating multi-sectoral learnings from a variety of stakeholders, which drives our co-funding, partnerships, and parallel programming. Our holistic approach leads to solutions that ensure inclusive, sustainable adoption, while creating feedback loops that both help prevent mistakes and enhance programming. This allows us to remain nimble, pivoting our strategies as needed within today's ever-changing environment.
Who We Are
Through David’s legacy and Tony, Ruby, and Zana’s vision, the ICM Falk Foundation has supported brave innovation on an international scale over the past 50 years. This began in the West during the second half of the 20th century through universities and government partnerships. Now in the 21st century, we have turned our eyes toward human centric and environmentally focused initiatives in Asia within the private sector.
There is a long legacy of intrepid, action-driven, and radical innovation on both sides of the family behind ICM Falk Foundation. David, our founder, came of age almost a century ago, when America was synonymous with forward-thinking innovation.
David was a man ahead of his time, with an MIT diploma in his pocket, a deep sense of social justice, and a truly global lens for change. David cut his chops as a member of the elite Skunk Works division at Lockheed Martin. This was a small group put together to push the boundaries of technology.
David understood that turning a vision into reality requires engaging at the local level while keeping a global mindset to scale ideas that create real change. Changing the world not through the idea of power, but through the power of ideas. He set the stage for the course that this family and foundation would take.
As the next generation of the ICM Falk Foundation, David’s cousins carried forward his pioneering legacy by investing, supporting and building in Asia, for Asia, for almost 3 decades, primarily in Vietnam.
Ruby, Tony, and their daughter Zana are no strangers to driving impactful positive change. Tony Salzman, a Vietnam War protestor, was inspired to boldly move the family’s focus to Vietnam in 1992, where Salzman and his family built the first American business in Vietnam since Doi Moi. Tony helped lift the U.S. trade embargo on Vietnam in 1994 and supported the signing of the Bilateral Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Vietnam in 2001. He was also an advisor to the Prime Minister of Vietnam and was even awarded the Capital Development Medal by the Hanoi City People’s Committee for his substantial contributions to the economic and social development of the Vietnamese capital.
By his side and having long been dedicated to Asian development in many ways, Ruby Shang led the development arm of the family’s operations in the region. Serving as the Country Director, Asia Director and Advisor for the Clinton Foundation, she established the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in 6 Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam. Her work continued with the implementation of Energy Efficiency Programs and Forestry programs, eventually becoming the Asia Director for the Clinton Climate Initiative. Ruby finally took on the role of Senior Advisor to the overall foundation and left the Clinton Foundation in October of 2015.
The family’s history of commitment to Vietnam and the Southeast Asian region is unquestionable – and they continue to dedicate themselves to positive change here through the ICM Falk Foundation.