If I could describe 2019 in one word, it would be pivotal. The Gulf Research Program (GRP) took the time to assess the significant impact of its activities to date and also to develop strategies to realize the change and growth it wants to see moving forward.
I am very proud of what the GRP accomplished in its first 5 years. The research grants it provided, studies it conducted, and the fellows it supported—as reported in this and previous Annual Reports—have added knowledge toward its goal of a healthier, safer, and more resilient Gulf. In 2019, GRP staff spent time in the Gulf region talking with research grant recipients about their work. The resultant video series presents highlights of that work as well as the results of studies the GRP conducted. I hope you will take the time to watch that video series, which is brought together on this web page.
Looking to the future, the staff and I worked closely with the GRP Division Committee (formerly the GRP Advisory Board) to hone a new strategic direction to guide GRP activities through 2024. In a retreat held in June 2019 at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we mapped out a set of goals and objectives that the GRP seeks to achieve for the benefit of the Gulf region. That work resulted in a 2020–2024 Strategic Plan that will serve as the GRP’s roadmap for the next 5 years.
Bold changes will be needed to support the 2020–2024 Strategic Plan. The GRP will create new programs, stand up new boards and committees, hire new staff, and also initiate a new GRP evaluation program to gage progress toward its goals, objectives, and program impact. In the following pages you can read more about the 2020–2024 Strategic Plan and some of the new activities being supported.
I invite you to connect with the GRP as it begins this exciting new chapter in its history. If you have not done so already, please subscribe to receive GRP e-updates and watch for GRP events and news. We look forward to working together to achieve a healthier, safer, and more resilient Gulf region.
Lauren Alexander Augustine
Executive Director, Gulf Research Program