Independent Sector Statement on Passing of General Colin L. Powell

(WASHINGTON, October 18, 2021) – Daniel J. Cardinali, president and CEO of Independent Sector issues the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of General Colin L. Powell, a public servant who believed that we all benefit from a strong and healthy nation and civil society.

General Powell served the United States as the 65th U.S. Secretary of State and advised President Ronald Reagan as National Security Advisor and the U.S. Secretary of Defense as a key aide.

In the U.S. Army, he rose to the rank of Four-Star General and provided invaluable leadership as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-1993).

Before serving as U.S. Secretary of State, General Powell was chair of America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth. It is a national nonprofit organization and Independent Sector member that believes ‘every young person deserves to succeed, and every adult is responsible for making that happen.’

Along with his wife, Alma, General Powell received the 2010 John W. Gardner Leadership Award, which honors stalwarts of civil society. A friend of John Gardner, General Powell stressed in his acceptance speech how philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville reminded Europeans that coming ‘to the rescue of their fellow citizens in a collective way’ is important to people in the United States.

‘It’s a tradition we have to keep alive for many, many years in the future,’ General Powell said.

On behalf of Independent Sector’s board and staff, we send our condolences to his family. General Powell’s legacy will inspire us for generations.”


Independent Sector is the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse community of changemakers, nonprofits, foundations, and corporations working to strengthen civil society and ensure all people in the United States thrive.

Media Contact:


Bradley Wong

Types: Press Release
Global Topics: Civil Society, Community, Purpose