Kravis, Marie-Josée and Henry R.
Medal Citation: 2019 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy
Andrew Carnegie once said, “Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community.” Marie-Josée Kravis, a prominent economist who also serves as vice chair and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, and Henry R. Kravis, one of the pioneers of private equity investment, are paragons of Carnegie’s philosophy of giving.
The Kravises stand among today’s most active philanthropists, and their generosity spans diverse interests, including education, arts and culture, community development, healthcare, and science. Their magnanimity has touched many causes, enriching and improving lives in New York and across the country.
Throughout their careers, the Kravises have been deeply involved as both benefactors and leaders of the institutions they support. Ms. Kravis’s philanthropic commitments include chairing the Sloan Kettering Institute and presiding over the Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music, one of the world’s most prestigious awards for emerging composers. For 14 years, she served as the president of the board of trustees of the Museum of Modern Art.
Mr. Kravis takes time from his role as co-CEO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., the global investment firm that he cofounded in 1976, to chair Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, a free eight-year program providing low-income youth with academic support and mentoring. The nonprofit prepares underserved public high school students for college, initially by helping them with the college application process and later supporting their studies and career development to ensure they meet their academic and professional goals. Under Mr. Kravis’s extraordinary leadership, the organization has achieved a phenomenal track record of getting students to-and-through college: 100 percent of participants earn admission to college and 90 percent graduate from college, results that far outpace the current countrywide graduation rate.
Together, the Kravises endowed a cutting-edge Center for Molecular Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering, which aims to revolutionize cancer care through individualized therapies derived from the tumors of patients. They’ve also funded a transformational research center at Rockefeller University, where Mr. Kravis has also served as vice chair. The Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College runs leadership and social innovation workshops, conferences, and programs, as well as supporting innovative leadership research.
The Selection Committee believes that Andrew Carnegie would have marveled at the impact and spirit of the Kravises’ philanthropy, and their passionate engagement in its administration.
The Carnegie family of institutions is privileged to welcome Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis as recipients of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.