Grantham, Hanne and Jeremy

Hanne and Jeremy Grantham

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Environment

Jeremy and Hanne Grantham have chosen one overarching focus for their philanthropy—the environment. From their perspective, if earth’s environmental crises aren’t dealt with quickly, nothing else they do will really matter.

As the cofounder and strategist of investment firm Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co., Jeremy Grantham earned a global reputation for identifying and avoiding speculative market bubbles. Now he sees a new kind of disaster looming—one he calls the “carbon bubble”— and it’s not getting enough of the right kind of attention. As he told the Guardian, “I find the parallels between how some investors refuse to recognize trends, and our reaction to some of our environmental challenges, very powerful. There is an unwillingness to process unpleasant data.” According to the outspoken philanthropist, “Anyone with a brain knows that climate change needs governmental leadership.” An equally outspoken Andrew Carnegie would surely have applauded this declaration. As he said, “The most precious citizen is the man who will go with his country or his party only if it be right, but who upon occasion hesitates not to condemn either when in his opinion it champions the wrong.”

In 1997, determined to bring more and better awareness to environmental challenges, Mr. Grantham and his wife, Hanne, cofounded the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, into which they have poured ever-increasing shares of their personal wealth. They believe that mitigating and adapting to a changing climate will lead us to a more sustainable and prosperous future. Yet despite the complexity of the challenge, the foundation’s mission is written with the simplicity Carnegie would have admired: To protect and improve the health of the global environment.

Hanne Grantham, cochair of the foundation, shares responsibilities in setting funding priorities and grant allocations, which support major programs worldwide, among them: the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, Carnegie Institution for Science; Divecha Centre for Climate Change, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College, London; and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics. Support has also gone to the Environmental Defense Fund; InsideClimate News; the Nature Conservancy; Rare; World Wildlife Fund; and other groups working on clean air, forest protection, and environmental journalism. Above all, the Granthams recognize the urgency of spreading the word. “We focus on communications because we want the general public to better understand why environmental degradation poses grave risks,” their website says, “and why it is imperative that we act now.”

Gallery

Rubenstein, David M.

David M. Rubenstein

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Education

The giving away of money should not be seen as only an obligation—or as a pleasure—restricted to the wealthiest (and most fortunate) among us. Everyone can and should give, and everyone can and should feel that their gifts may make the world a little bit better place. And if every person with the ability to make some philanthropic gifts does so, the country will be much better for these gifts, and the donor will surely feel much better about himself or herself.

David M. Rubenstein’s life did not turn out as he expected. He was born and raised in modest, bluecollar circumstances in Baltimore, and the making of large sums of money, and the disposition of them, was never on his radar screen. The idea that he would one day be a philanthropist would hardly have occurred to the Duke University undergrad, or the University of Chicago law student, whose goal was to win scholarships and eventually practice law and work in public service. He did these things—working for a New York City law firm and as domestic policy advisor for President Jimmy Carter—but not for long. Instead, David Rubenstein cofounded The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, which today manages more than $200 billion from 40 offices around the world.

Thanks to his diligence, perseverance, and vision, Carlyle has thrived, and so has Mr. Rubenstein. This success has given him the opportunity to do what he’d always hoped to do—give back to the nation he credits for his success. He practices what he calls “patriotic philanthropy,” purchasing and gifting historic documents and supporting historic landmarks and national cultural institutions like presidential homes Montpelier and Monticello, the Washington Monument, and the National Zoo. He purchased the last privately owned copy of the Magna Carta and lent it to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., while other historic documents he owns—the 13th Amendment, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Emancipation Proclamation—are on permanent loan to the U.S. government or historic sites.

Although his passion for history drives the largest share of his giving, he has also made major contributions in health, higher education, and the arts. He provided the funds for the David M. Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and has given generously to Duke University, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, the University of Chicago, and the Institute for Advanced Study. He donated millions to expand D.C.’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and to renovate New York City’s Lincoln Center. He also donates his time, serving on over a dozen boards, including nearly all the recipients of his major gifts.

After decades of philanthropy, Mr. Rubenstein calls giving back “one of life’s greatest pleasures,” a sentiment he and Andrew Carnegie have in common. According to Carnegie, giving was not “beyond the reach of the humblest, for all can at least render to others.” Encouraging universal giving is one reason Mr. Rubenstein signed the Giving Pledge: “Everyone can and should give, and everyone can and should feel that their gifts may make the world a little bit better place.”

Gallery

Feeney, Charles F.

Charles F. Feeney

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Aging | Children & Youth | Health | Human Right & Reconciliation | Knowledage, Research & Innovation

I cannot think of a more personally rewarding and appropriate use of wealth than to give while one is living — to personally devote oneself to meaningful efforts to improve the human condition.

Charles (Chuck) F. Feeney’s life story parallels Andrew Carnegie’s in many ways. He was born to hardworking parents during the Great Depression. He was an entrepreneur as a boy—shoveling snow and selling Christmas cards door-to-door.

Later, after serving in the Air Force during the Korean War and attending Cornell on the GI Bill, he drew on his boyhood experience, selling goods to American troops stationed in Europe—a business that eventually became Duty Free Shoppers, the world’s largest luxury goods retailer and the source of his fortune. But where the two men are most alike is in their philosophy of giving. Carnegie famously said, “The man who dies leaving behind him millions of available wealth, which was free for him to administer during life, will pass away unwept, unhonored, and unsung.… The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.” Upon signing the Giving Pledge, Mr. Feeney wrote, “I cannot think of a more personally rewarding and appropriate use of wealth than to give while one is living.” He has planned for his foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, to commit all its funds by 2016.

Unlike Carnegie, Mr. Feeney has always kept a low profile. He established Atlantic Philanthropies in 1982, and for years insisted that its grantmaking be done anonymously. In the mid-1980s, he quietly transferred virtually all of his assets to the foundation, which has since given billions in grants to education, health, peace, reconciliation, and human dignity—primarily for projects in Australia, Bermuda, Cuba, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States, and Viet Nam. Although he owns neither a home nor a car, Mr. Feeney makes countless large investments to meet today’s urgent challenges, such as kick-starting universities across Ireland and propelling that country’s knowledge economy, and doing the same for the United States by seeding the creation of such institutions as Cornell NYC Tech to be a global magnet for tech talent.

Atlantic Philanthropies has also made big bets in public health and health sciences, including support for facilities at the University of California, San Francisco, as well as in Viet Nam, Australia, and South Africa, that support world-class research, innovation, and improved services for vulnerable populations. The foundation’s grantmaking reaches across age groups, and racial, ethnic, and sectarian divides—transforming the lives of vulnerable children by improving health outcomes; ending needless expulsions of students from school and reforming the criminal justice system; and fostering peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and South Africa. All to promote equity, opportunity, and dignity. “Today’s needs are so great and varied that the intelligent philanthropic support and positive interventions can have greater value and impact today than if they are delayed when the needs are greater,” Mr. Feeney wrote. His actions prove he is a man of his word.

Gallery

Wolfson Family, The

The Wolfson Family

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Arts | Education | Health | Science

The Wolfson Foundation has been at the forefront of British philanthropy for over fifty years. Medical research has been a particular focus of the foundation’s work. From the Royal College of Physicians to the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research; from King’s College London’s Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases to the Royal Society, the Wolfson family have been extraordinary benefactors of medical research and education. Thanks to the Wolfson’s Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund, the British Museum has not lost its charm, and the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Tate, to name just a few of the better known institutions, have been able to preserve and enhance their collections of art and artifacts for the enjoyment of millions of visitors. The family’s largesse also extends around the world, with particular attention to the family’s Jewish heritage. Thanks to the Wolfson Foundation, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been able to build teaching and research laboratories, Tel Aviv University is home to the Wolfson Applied Materials Research Centre, and the Weizmann Institute of Science has been equipped to perform semiconductor research.

The story of the Wolfson family has much in common with the story of Andrew Carnegie. Born in 1897 to Eastern European Jews who immigrated to Scotland, Isaac Wolfson, the grandfather of Dame Janet, worked as a boy in his father’s store but in 1926 joined Universal Stores, a small mail-order company. Some six years later, Isaac Wolfson was managing director of what had become Great Universal Stores, and was by 1946 named chairman of the company, a position he held for thirty-eight years. But just as Carnegie said “surplus wealth should be considered a sacred trust, to be administered during the lives of its owners, by them as trustees for the best good of the community,” the man who was made a baronet in 1962 is famous for having said “No man should have more than ₤100,000. The rest should go to charity.” The Wolfson Foundation, which Sir Isaac founded in 1955 with his wife, Lady Edith Wolfson, and son Leonard (later Lord Wolfson of Marylebone), has given away—in 21st century figures—over ₤1 billion in support of science and medicine, health, education, and the arts and humanities.

Dame Janet Wolfson de Botton, revived the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy on behalf of the Wolfson Family. The philanthropic legacy of the Wolfson family is now being continued by Dame Janet Wolfson de Botton, a member of the third generation of the family to carry on the tradition of giving. She is a collector of contemporary art and was a Director of Christie’s International between 1994 and 1998, a trustee of the Tate Museum from 1992 to 2002, and the Chairman of Council for the Tate Modern from 1999 to 2002. In 1996 she donated sixty contemporary works of art to the Tate–a gift which has been described as being “crucial to the development of Tate Modern.”

Gallery

Hunter, Sir Tom

Sir Tom Hunter

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Economic Development | Poverty | Education | Governance

We don’t want to be the richest guys in the graveyard, we want to “do good” while we are still alive. Why let others have all the fun?

Sir Tom Hunter, as a businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, is a true disciple of Andrew Carnegie. Not only does he share his Scottish birthplace with the man for whom the Carnegie Medal is named, but his life stories have striking similarities, and his philosophies of giving are grounded in the same deeply-held values. Where Carnegie famously said “In bestowing charity, the main consideration should be to help those who will help themselves; to provide part of the means by which those who desire to improve may do so; to give those who desire to rise the aids by which they may rise,” Sir Tom articulated the guiding principle that philanthropy ought to provide a “hand up” rather than a “hand out.” He coined the term “venture philanthropy” to illustrate his core belief that a commitment to good work can be leveraged to encourage more, thus amplifying and multiplying the effect of his generosity. This approach to philanthropy has produced remarkable results throughout Scotland, the UK, and the world.

Over the years, he has often quoted one of Andrew Carnegie’s most well-known and well-loved pronouncements: “The man who dies . . . rich dies disgraced.” And so, inspired by his countryman Andrew Carnegie and with a nudge from the current proprietor of the foundation Carnegie created, he followed Carnegie’s example and created—with his wife and advisor, Marion—the Hunter Foundation, supporting education as well as sustainable economic and social development around the world.

The Hunter Foundation takes an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to philanthropy. Its stated mission is to eradicate poverty and to ensure access to education for all, but its strategy is to invest in model solutions, in partnership with others, leveraging its investments to inspire additional funding. This model of “pilot, prove, adopt” has been applied to launch many philanthropic initiatives in partnership with governments and other philanthropies. He used this approach of “catalytic funding” to move the Scottish government to match and exceed the funds he invested in some of Scotland’s lowest performing schools. The Hunter Foundation endowed the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Stratchclyde, from which he graduated with a degree in business, to support new generations of entrepreneurs. His commitment to eradicating poverty has found outlets in the Make Poverty History Campaign and Live 8. He found a partner in former U.S. President Bill Clinton and created the Clinton Hunter Development Initiative, an international education partnership to educate more than 200,000 children in Rwanda and Malawi each year.

In 2005, the man who built a business from the back of a van was knighted by the Queen. And as Sir Tom Hunter, he and Marion committed to the Giving Pledge, promising to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy, and not burden their children with affluence.

Gallery

bint Nasser, Her Highness Sheikha Moza

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Education | Health | Women’s Rights

Her Highness, a visionary, is leading Qatar in the Arab region and the world to re-imagine the role of women, to reconsider the importance of universal access to education, to reaffirm the importance of family, to restore dignity to children with special needs, to reengage her nation in the pursuit of scientific discovery and to resolve that Qatar will be a model of transformation, innovation, and advancement.

The list of initiatives Her Highness has spearheaded is long and paints a portrait of a remarkable woman. She is the chair of the world-renowned Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. As such, Her Highness is instrumental in Qatar’s development as a vanguard of social, economic, and technological advancement. As founder of the Shafallah Centre, she brought special education and dynamic new therapies to children with disabilities. Her Highness was the long-time chair of the Supreme Education Council, guiding Qatar’s education policies and reforms. In addition, she was the driving force behind the International Fund for Higher Education in Iraq, the Silatech initiative to address the growing challenge of youth employment in the Middle East and North Africa, and Education Above All, a policy research and advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the right to education in conflict-affected areas.

Her Highness’s vision and leadership are further demonstrated by her creation of the Sidra Medical and Research Center, for which she serves as chair. The center will both prepare medical students and provide the finest healthcare available to the people of Qatar and the Gulf region. With a special emphasis on the health of women and children and with its cutting-edge research center, Sidra will transform the geography of medicine and improve health outcomes the world over.

But perhaps Her Highness’s most stunning accomplishment has been the creation of Education City, a consortium of world-renowned universities and research institutions that have made Doha their second home, including Virginia Commonwealth University, Weill Cornell Medical College, Texas A&M University, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University, and Northwestern University.

The world has taken notice of Sheikha Moza’s remarkable achievements, and in 2010 she was invited to be a member of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group, which addresses the issue of universal education. Two years later, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon invited Her Highness to be a member of the steering committee of the Global Education First Initiative.

In 2006, on the occasion of receiving an honorary doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University, Her Highness quoted Andrew Carnegie in her speech to the graduates. “He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave.” She is an extraordinary exemplar of Carnegie’s pronouncement. Sheikha Moza is a leader for our times, who has made the future of her country the focus of her life. She has given generously of her time and resources to benefit Qatar, and we are all the richer for it.

Gallery

Simons, Marilyn H. and James H.

James H. and Marilyn H. Simons

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Education | Technology

Jim and Marilyn Simons are extraordinary recipients of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy not only because of their record of giving, but because of the path they took to become modern-day exemplars of Andrew Carnegie’s legacy.

His pioneering use of mathematical models and scientific principles to achieve success in business and then his decision to retire from business and devote the rewards of that success to do real and permanent good in this world is a testament to the path that Andrew Carnegie forged.

Jim Simons is surely the first Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy recipient to have a theory in geometry named after him, and doubtless the only one who could explain the principles of “Chern-Simons theory.” Simons became a brilliant and renowned mathematician, teaching at MIT, serving as chair of the Mathematics Department at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and winning the field’s highest accolade, the Veblen Prize, in 1976. An extraordinary career in business followed an extraordinary career in academia. Using mathematical models and statistical methods, Simons started a private investment fund that skyrocketed to become one of the top-performing hedge funds in the world. Having worked as a mathematician, a professor, a cryptologist, and then a hedge fund manager, perhaps it was no surprise that he named the company Renaissance Technologies.

Jim Simons followed his careers in academia and in business with an exceptional third act: philanthropy. Together with his wife, Marilyn Simons, an economist he met at Stony Brook University, he founded The Simons Foundation, which Ms. Simons now runs. Their investments in mathematical and physical sciences, in life sciences, and in autism research have provided millions of dollars to provide a deeper understanding of our world. Ms. Simons has been, for twenty-five years, the steward and the shepherd of the Simons Foundation’s mission. She has overseen the growth of the Simons Foundation to its current position as one of the country’s leading private funders of basic research. Mr. and Ms. Simons also serve as benefactors to Stony Brook University, the Berkeley Institute, and others—all in the service of furthering the study and application of math and science in the United States.

Mr. Simons is also the driving force behind Math for America, an organization that seeks to improve the state of math education in America. His notion was that by providing training and mentoring to both prospective and veteran math teachers, he could recruit and retain a highly-qualified, highly-motivated, and highly-respected cadre of math and science teachers, who would in turn inspire and produce the next generation of engineers, analysts, and thinkers.

Gallery

Zimin, Dmitry Borisovich

Dmitry Borisovich Zimin

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Free Press | Education | Science

Dmitry Borisovich Zimin, is the founder of the Dynasty Foundation. He created the first family philanthropy in post-Soviet Russia and, in so doing, blazed a trail for a new tradition of philanthropy in an old and venerable culture. As the first recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy from Russia, he provides inspiration to other entrepreneurs and is a role model for sharing his success and passions with his country. He has proven that a life of accomplishment can serve many purposes, including providing opportunities to those who aspire to emulate his success and his many achievements.

A physicist by education and a specialist in radio electronic technology, he began his business, VimpelCom, from scratch in 1992 and built it into one of the leading Russian wireless telecommunications companies. In 1996 VimpelCom became the first Russian company since 1903 to be listed on the New York State Exchange; its “BeeLine” cell phone service now has over 10 million subscribers in Russia.

At age 70, he decided to retire from active management of the company he built and used his experience and expertise to create the Dynasty Foundation. The Dynasty Foundation, which he founded and endowed, and for which he served as chairman for eight years, provides millions of dollars to support fundamental research in the exact and natural sciences. Though Dynasty’s focus is on the sciences, it also gives generously to groups working with at-risk children and their families to prevent adolescent homelessness.

Since its founding, the Dynasty Foundation has sought out and supported talented scientists, science teachers, science students, and science enthusiasts through generous grants, stipends, scholarships, competitions, lectures, seminars, and publications. The foundation sponsors grants competitions not only for students but also for math and science teachers, in order to reward and encourage outstanding work. He also created the aptly named “Enlightenment Prize,” which celebrates non-fiction literature in the natural sciences and in the humanities. He began a new popular science festival called ScienceArtFest to make science fun. The Dynasty Foundation has changed the landscape of science education in Russia.

He has said that “philanthropy is an inevitable process for a businessman. You have to give something back.” Andrew Carnegie would surely agree, and applaud the combination of business acumen and scientific inquiry that Dr. Zimin applied to his philanthropy. Like Andrew Carnegie, he retired from business and devoted himself to the “dissemination of knowledge and understanding.”

Gallery

Pritzker Family, The

The Pritzker Family

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Arts | Health

Pritzker family, you live by the motto, “Giving back to the community.” This commendable family tradition began with Nicholas Pritzker, who came to Chicago from Ukraine in the late 19th century. He worked his way from tailor’s assistant to lawyer, all the while sacrificing time and resources to help found an orphanage. Descendants of Nicholas Pritzker have lived and worked in Chicago ever since, with each succeeding generation growing up in the tradition of giving. While much of your family benevolence is concentrated on your home city, you also have made a significant national impact with your support of social justice, education, health research, child development, and more.

The Pritzker Architecture Prize is perhaps most famously associated with your name. Considered the “Nobel Prize” of the field, it is awarded annually to a living architect who has made a significant contribution to humanity through the art of architecture. As founders of the Hyatt Hotels, the members of your family are acutely aware of the effects of architecture on human behavior, and the award aims to encourage and stimulate greater public awareness of building design. Andrew Carnegie, a believer in “the educating influence of a pure and noble specimen of architecture, built . . . to stand for ages,” would surely approve.

You have generously endowed the Pritzker Consortium, a pioneering force in the mental health field. The consortium seeks to discover the neurobiological and genetic causes of major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Comprising more than 100 scientists from six institutions, the consortium makes it possible to structure a scientific team with leading investigators from different laboratories who work together to achieve what cannot be accomplished by any individual. Your concern for the welfare of children is manifest in the activities of several organizations you liberally support: the Pritzker Consortium on Early Childhood Development, for research; the First Five Years Fund, for early childhood advocacy; and the Ounce of Prevention Fund, helping at-risk infants and toddlers and their families.

Your gifts to Chicago benefit every ward. Your family provided the leadership to build Millennium Park with your gift to the Jay Pritzker Music Pavilion and your selection of Frank Gehry as the architect. You led the campaign to build the Chicago Public Library for the benefit of all of the people of Chicago. Not only do you share your wealth with the city’s many great institutions, including the University of Chicago, the Urban Education Institute, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the Art Institute of Chicago, and others, but you also give your time to leading these institutions. Every major city deserves to have a Pritzker family, but only Chicago is that lucky. It is an honor and a privilege to recognize and thank you here and now.

Gallery

Pew Family, The

The Pew Family

Year

Affiliation

Areas of Focus

Governance | Health | Arts | Environment

The Pew family’s philanthropy began anonymously and, through the years, has been both remarkable and admirable for seeking no earthly reward or recognition. We are honored that you allowed us to include you in this year’s accomplished group of medalists. The board of The Pew Charitable Trusts, which includes descendants of the founders, fittingly agreed to break with tradition and accept an award for what Andrew Carnegie once described as the “serious and difficult task of wise distribution.” We are overjoyed to pay tribute to you, acknowledging the tradition of family philanthropy and integrity that The Pew Charitable Trusts embodies.

The story of The Pew Charitable Trusts begins with Joseph Newton Pew, who was raised on a farm in Pennsylvania and created one of America’s leading corporations—Sun Oil. He was the father of the four founders of The Pew Charitable Trusts: J. Howard Pew, Mary Ethel Pew, Joseph N. Pew, Jr., and Mabel Pew Myrin. He was also the source of the spirit and ideals that infused their philanthropy—the values of education, religion, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility that continue to guide the Trusts’ strategy. From its earliest years, inspired by Joseph Newton Pew, the board took an entrepreneurial approach to grantmaking, leveraging assets and expertise, and bringing creativity to bear on difficult but surmountable challenges. Today, as a nonprofit organization, The Pew Charitable Trusts uses that results-oriented strategy to target pervasive problems in such areas as health, state economic issues, and the environment, and resolutely seeks to improve public policy, inform the public, and stimulate civic life.

In an era of unprecedented creation of wealth by youthful entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as the transfer of great wealth to new generations, the Pew family serves as an indispensable role model for thoughtful philanthropy and public service. The Pew Charitable Trusts’ early history as a family foundation has been one of consistency and continuity balanced with responsiveness to current conditions and unfolding needs. Your understanding that the times and the problems we face change over generations and require new solutions echoes Andrew Carnegie’s belief that “Conditions upon the [earth] inevitably change; hence, no wise man will bind Trustees forever to certain paths, causes or institutions.” While embracing change, your organization remains firmly grounded in its founders’ intent to nurture American democratic traditions, promote an educated and engaged citizenry, protect religious freedom, improve the quality of life in U.S. communities, and assist those in need. Recognizing your decades of striving, as Joseph N. Pew, Jr. put it, to “give Americans a better life, not an easier life,” we take great pride in honoring the Pew family and the organization that bears its name.

Gallery