The National Geographic Society, headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States, is one of the world’s largest not-for-profit educational and scientific organizations. Its interests include geography and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical conservation, and the study of world culture and history.
Its historical mission is “to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while promoting the conservation of the world’s cultural, historical, and natural resources.” Its President and CEO since March 1998, John M. Fahey, Jr., says National Geographic’s purpose is to inspire people to care about their planet. The Society is governed by a twenty-three member Board of Trustees composed of a group of distinguished educators, businesspeople, scientists, former governmental officials, and conservationists. The organization sponsors and funds scientific research and exploration. The Society publishes an official journal, National Geographic Magazine, and other magazines, books, school products, maps, other publications, web and film products in numerous languages and countries around the world. It also has an educational foundation that gives grants to education organizations and individuals to enhance geography education. Its Committee for Research and Exploration has given grants for scientific research for most of the Society’s history and has recently awarded its 9,000th grant for scientific research, conducted worldwide and often reported on by its media properties. Its various media properties reach about 360 million people around the world monthly.