Our Story

Our Story

Discover the story of our founder Mrs. Una Chapman Cox, along with those who contributed to the Foundation.

Mrs. Cox and the Foreign Service

Una Chapman Cox, of the Chapman Ranch near Corpus Christi, Texas, was a woman of many interests and an enthusiastic world traveler. While visiting Bombay in 1948, she failed to take her passport with her as she went ashore from her cruise ship and was detained by local authorities. She never forgot Royal Bisbee, the young Foreign Service Officer who took a personal interest in her and brought her food, a bottle of wine and some books to read while he arranged for her release and return to her cruise ship.  Some years later, in 1980, Mrs. Cox and her attorney, Harvie Branscomb, Jr., established the Una Chapman Cox Foundation, the first nonprofit foundation dedicated solely to supporting the effectiveness and professionalism of the U.S. Foreign Service.

Early programs of the Foundation, such as the  Sabbatical Leave Fellowships, were developed in consultations that Mrs. Cox and Mr. Branscomb held with State Department senior officials including Ambassadors Viron P. Vaky and Paul H. Boeker; reflecting Mrs. Cox’s hope that the Foundation would support programs and initiatives of great and lasting impact.   Mrs. Cox served as sole trustee of the Foundation during her lifetime. After her death, the trustees have included Mr. Branscomb, a member of the Chapman family, a distinguished former senior Foreign Service Officer, and later Mr. Branscomb’s daughter. Margo Branscomb.  Margo Branscomb served as president of the Foundation from 2013 until her death in October 2022.  Over the years, Mrs. Cox’s vision has motivated, and continues to motivate, participants in the Cox Foundation’s activities.

Remembering Margo Branscomb

Margo Branscomb, the daughter of Harvie Branscomb, served as a trustee of the Una Chapman Cox Foundation from 2004, and as president of the foundation, from 2013 until her untimely death on October 12, 2022. A staunch supporter of the Cox Foundation’s mission, Ms. Branscomb’s vision and leadership continue to inspire those fortunate enough to have known and worked with her.