History of the Foundation

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Lita Osmundsen
Lita Binns Fejos Osmundsen 1958

Lita Osmundsen was the second Director of Research and President of the Wenner-Gren Foundation from 1963 to 1986.

While a graduate student in Anthropology at Columbia University in 1947, Lita Binns was first hired to oversee the Foundation's burgeoning Supper Conferences and shortly thereafter assumed full responsibility for selecting topics and speakers.  Her success in organizing the Supper Conferences led directly to her involvement in helping develop the Wenner-Gren Symposia, as well as to increasing responsibilities overseeing the Foundation's laboratory and loan equipment program.

In 1958, she married Paul Fejos and, shortly following his death in 1963, was appointed Director of Research and President of the Wenner-Gren Foundation until her retirement in 1987.

For a more in-depth profile of Lita Osmundsen and her influence on the development of the Foundation and its programs, read "Lita Osmundsen and the Wenner-Gren Foundation: An Appreciation," by Mary Douglas.

 

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