Michael B. Keating
Michael B. Keating is the new chairman of the Boston Foundation. Keating is a partner of Foley Hoag LLP and chairman of the firm’s litigation department. A member of the foundation’s board of directors since 2004, Keating succeeds the Rev. Ray Hammond, who stepped down due to term limits.
Founded in 1915, the Boston Foundation is one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations. It makes grants in the Boston area, works with other donors to achieve high-impact philanthropy, and serves as a nexus for discourse on how to address Boston’s challenges.
It is in the latter role that Keating believes the Boston Foundation has stood out in recent years. In addition to its “creative grantmaking,” he says, “the Boston Foundation has become the convening body that brings together persons of various interests and expertise to address specific problems and develop means to deal with those problems.”
This emphasis on discourse about Boston’s public policy challenges represents “a big change over what the foundation was 10 years ago,” he explains, and it makes the foundation unique in Boston’s philanthropic community. Among the challenges that the Boston Foundation seeks to address are education, crime, housing, and employment.
“Public education is a major area of interest,” Keating says. Philanthropy, he notes, can leverage the “advantages of pilot schools and charter schools to address the weaknesses of public school education . . . and close the achievement gap.” Keating’s interest in education is of long standing. As president of the Boston Bar Association in 2001–02, he worked to bring lawyers into public schools as mentors and advisors.
In addition to its convening work, the Boston Foundation has been increasing its grantmaking during the recession (please see Philanthropy, Summer 2009). It also has been more receptive to requests for general operating support, Keating adds.
Keating is a trustee of the Foley Hoag Foundation, which focuses on diversity in the city of Boston. He has been a litigator for Foley Hoag for more than 30 years, prior to which he clerked for U.S. District Judge W. Arthur Garrity Jr. He received his LL.B. from Harvard Law School and his B.A. from Williams College, of which he is a trustee.
On September 1, Lawrence Kutner became the second executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (JKCF). He succeeds founding executive director Matthew Quinn, who has retired. Founded in 2000 with a bequest from the late Jack Kent Cooke, JKCF supports disadvantaged and low-income students with extraordinary promise in high school, college, and graduate school.
Kutner’s background—being raised by a single parent who was a high school dropout—is similar to that of many Jack Kent Cooke Scholars. He attributes his success to people who did what JKCF does. “The transformative experience of my life,” he says, “was receiving a scholarship to attend a private school with a rigorous curriculum and caring adults. Their support, both inside and outside the classroom, helped me envision a future far different from what I otherwise would have imagined.”
JKCF provides more than cash grants—it also provides mentoring and advising to its scholars. “What I liked is they’re not just giving scholarships,” says Kutner. “They’re providing multi-modal support, especially to the young scholars.” Advisors work with students and their families to equip them to succeed inside the classroom and out.
Kutner brings to JKCF a professional background as a child psychologist and journalist. He was co-founder and co-director of the Center for Mental Health and Media at Massachusetts General Hospital, and taught psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He also wrote the “Parent & Child” column in the New York Times for seven years, contributed to Parents and Parenting magazines, and was an Emmy-winning documentary producer.
“Child psychology and developmental psychology help us see the world from the perspectives of children, adolescents, and young adults,” Kutner says. “My background as a psychologist and as a teacher gives me a set of tools and a sense of perspective that should prove very helpful in my new role at JKCF. I have an acute appreciation for the pressures on today’s teenagers and young adults, both inside and outside the classroom. I know the developmental issues that affect their behavior, both positively and negatively. And I am familiar with the research into what helps adolescents and young adults make the most of their lives.”
“It’s rare that someone gets the opportunity to put his or her values into action in a profound way, and that’s what I’m excited about,” he adds.
Kutner is the author of six books on child development and parent-child communication. He received his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota.
On July 1, Kevin Hall joined the Charter School Growth Fund (CSGF) as president and CEO. CSGF provides venture capital to high-performing charter school management organizations to scale up and serve more students. Hall is successor to John Lock, who has joined Project Lead the Way as chief executive officer.
Hall will seek to continue and expand CSGF’s work in underwriting scaling efforts, facilities development, and human capital recruitment. “We’ll finish the commitments for the first fund that we’ve raised, which was about $100 million,” he says. “We’ll have made commitments to around 20 organizations during the life of the first fund.” This capital will be used to “create new seats for 100,000 students.”
He will also develop what he called “CSGF 2.0,” the second fund, which will focus on the development and scaling-up of “very high-performance charter management organizations around the country.” CSGF is also creating a $20 million facility enhancement fund to allow providers to develop much-needed facilities.
“We’ve helped to identify and bring several more people to the market on this, helping to identify several promising entrepreneurs who five years ago weren’t on anyone’s radar screen,” Hall notes. “Our focus is on providing entrepreneurs with more flexible capital, helping them realize their plans, and holding them accountable for results.”
Most recently, Hall was chief operating officer of the Broad Foundation. He also co-founded and was senior vice president of business development at Chancellor Beacon Academies, which manages public charter and private schools across the United States.
Hall has also served as senior vice president of infoUSA, a publicly traded information services company, and he held positions at McKinsey & Co., Goldman Sachs & Co., and Teach For America. He has been an elementary school teacher and a teaching fellow at Harvard University.
Hall received his B.A. with honors in political science and economics from Swarthmore College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Anthony Pienta has joined The Philanthropy Roundtable as deputy director of K–12 education programs.
In this role, Pienta will organize the breakthrough group’s regional meetings. “Strategic philanthropy has proven to be successful in serving needs throughout the K–12 education reform movement,” says Pienta. “I think this focus can continue to produce quality education for all children.”
“We are pleased to have Anthony on our team and look forward to his contributions, especially in the area of measurement and performance management, which will strengthen and focus our service to donors,” adds Rebecca Stewart, director of K–12 education programs at the Roundtable.
Pienta will also reach out to donors interested in strengthening the nation’s faith-based schools. “These schools are an amazing resource that gives thousands of parents nationwide the option of their children receiving a strong moral formation and excellent academic preparation,” he says.
Before joining the Roundtable, Pienta spent four years with the Acton Institute in Michigan. While there, he managed the National Catholic High School Honor Roll, as well as the institute’s scholarship and awards program. He also helped develop a metrics knowledge-sharing platform called the “Measuring Freedom Roundtable.”
Pienta holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, business, and theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, and he is a graduate of the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation’s Koch Associate Program.
In July, Evan Sparks joined The Philanthropy Roundtable as managing editor of Philanthropy. In his new capacity, he also edits the Roundtable’s guidebooks, monographs, website, and other publications.
“Philanthropy stands out as a publication that serves donors—it’s unique in that regard,” Sparks says. “It’s an honor to help tell the stories of the great work they’re doing.”
He will work with Philanthropy editor-in-chief Christopher Levenick to ramp up the Roundtable’s publications program. “The Philanthropy Roundtable’s guidebooks and monographs are some of the best literature produced for grantmakers,” Sparks explains. “I’m looking forward to joining Chris in making them even better and breaking new ground in areas where donors are working on the front lines. I’m also looking forward to working on improving the Roundtable’s online footprint.”
Sparks was previously an associate editor at the American Enterprise Institute. His articles and reviews have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes.com, the Weekly Standard, the American, TCS Daily, and other outlets. He is also a Washington Fellow at the National Review Institute and a writer for the National Geographic Bee.
Prior to joining AEI, Sparks coordinated Hurricane Katrina relief at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New Orleans. He received his B.A. in political science and history from Tulane University.