Board of Directors
Dean Karlan is a Professor of Economics and Finance at Northwestern University, and President and Founder of Innovations for Poverty Action. He was previously a Professor of Economics at Yale University. He received his Ph.D. in Economics in 2002 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and prior to that completed an MBA and MPP from the University of Chicago. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. Dean is also on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the M.I.T. Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab.
His research focuses on microeconomic issues of public policies and poverty. Much of his work uses behavioral economics insights and approaches to examine economic and policy issues relevant to developing countries, with particular attention to policies to increase income and financial wellbeing for those in extreme poverty. In the United States, he works on charitable giving, financial services for the under- and un-banked, and behavioral health.
Michael M. Weinstein
Executive DirectorMichael M. Weinstein holds a Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T. and previously served as chief program officer for the Robin Hood Foundation. He served as the founding director of the Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations while holding the Paul A. Volcker Chair in International Economics. During the 1990s, he served on the editorial board of The New York Times and as the Times’ economics columnist. He is co-founder and chairman emeritus of Single Stop U.S.A., a national nonprofit that helps low-income Americans solve financial problems, and founder of W.A.D. Financial Counseling, Inc., a non-profit foundation which counsels low-income families. Weinstein co-authored The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving (with Ralph Bradburd, 2013) and The Democracy Advantage: How Democracies Promote Prosperity and Peace (with Mort Halperin and Joseph Siegle, 2004); edited Globalization: What’s New? (2005); and authored Recovery and Redistribution under the N.I.R.A. (1980).
Paul Brest is Former Dean and Professor Emeritus (active), at Stanford Law School, a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a faculty co-director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, and co-director of the Stanford Law and Policy Lab. He was president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation from 2000-2012.
He is co-author of Money Well Spent: A Strategic Guide to Smart Philanthropy (2008), Problem Solving, Decision Making, and Professional Judgment (2010), and articles on constitutional law, philanthropy, and impact investing. His current courses include Problem Solving for Public Policy and Social Change, Measuring and Improving Social Impact, and Advanced Topics in Philanthropy and Impact Investing. He also is the instructor in an online course, Essentials of Nonprofit Strategy, offered by Philanthropy University.
Professor Brest is a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and holds honorary degrees from Northwestern University School of Law and Swarthmore College. Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1969, he clerked for Judge Bailey Aldrich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and Justice John M. Harlan of the U.S. Supreme Court, and did civil rights litigation with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in Mississippi.
Tamara Fox is the Senior Advisor for Learning and Evaluation Strategy at the Social Science Research Council. She previously worked as Director for Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation for the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and Senior Director for ELMA Philanthropies Services. Before ELMA, she was a Program Officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and conducted research at the World Bank and the Urban Institute. She received her BS from Cornell University, M.Sc. in Health Planning and Financing from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Agricultural and Resource Economics.
Kevin Starr directs the Mulago Foundation and the Rainer Arnhold Fellows Program, both of which are focused on scalable solutions to meet the basic needs of the very poor.
Kevin had a perfectly good career in medicine when he stumbled into philanthropy in 1994. His friend and mentor Rainer Arnhold died suddenly when they were working together in Bolivia, and the Arnhold family asked Kevin to help carry on Rainer's work through the Mulago Foundation. He spent the next decade working with projects in countries from Afghanistan to Zambia, trying to figure out what makes for real impact at big scale.
Kevin established the Foundation's Rainer Arnhold Fellows Program in 2003 to apply Mulago's principles and tools to help social entrepreneurs turn good ideas into lasting change at scale. The program gives fellows a chance to design for impact that can go big. Kevin teaches and mentors fellows in numerous other programs for social entrepreneurs and serves as the chairman of Big Bang Philanthropy, a group of funders working together to direct more money to those best at fighting poverty.
Kevin went through medical school and residency at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and has lived in San Francisco ever since.