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Larry Kramer, incoming President and Vice Chancellor of the London School of Economics: lessons in philanthropy and aspirations for the LSE

Larry Kramer, incoming President and Vice Chancellor of the London School of Economics (LSE), joins Alberto Lidji on the Do One Better Podcast to reflect on his 10+ years as President of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, discuss key lessons in philanthropy, and shed light on his aspirations for the LSE.

The Hewlett Foundation is one of the world's largest philanthropic foundations and was a leading force in creating the field of climate philanthropy. Within the context of climate, we discuss collaboration; the progress that's been achieved in the field during the past decade; adaptation vs mitigation; investing vs divesting; shifting strategies from 'raising ambitions' to 'implementation'. Spoiler alert: the direction of travel on climate is positive.

We explore the state of affairs in philanthropy and the key lessons Larry learned during his time as President of the Hewlett Foundation. Much ground is covered: from philanthropists' increased appetite for learning, experimentation, and collaboration; to encouraging journalists who cover the field of philanthropy to gain first-hand experience working in foundations; to trust-based philanthropy, and quite a bit more.

We also hear of Larry's aspirations for the London School of Economics, which he describes as pretty much 'the' global institution unlike any other university, perfectly placed to leverage its social sciences prowess to tackle the world's most pressing problems. We learn what must be done to ensure the LSE achieves greatest impact.

This episode will inform you and provide much food for thought. Please leave us a rating and a review. Join us every Monday for new and insightful conversations.

About Prof Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer will become President and Vice Chancellor of the London School of Economics and Political Science on 1 April 2024.

He served as President of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation from 2012 to 2024. Under his leadership, the foundation significantly adapted its strategies to meet changing circumstances and seize new opportunities, including new efforts to respond to pressing and timely challenges related to democracy, economics, climate change, and racial justice.

Larry spent most of his career in the academy, most recently as the 15th Dean of Stanford Law School, a position he assumed in 2004. During his tenure, he spearheaded significant educational reforms. He pioneered a new model of multidisciplinary legal studies, while growing the clinical education program, incorporating a public service ethos, and enlarging the physical campus.

Previously, Larry researched and taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, and New York University, where he served as Associate Dean for Research and Academics and Russell D. Niles Professor of Law. He clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Henry J. Friendly of the Second Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr., following his education. Larry holds an A.B. in Psychology and Religious Studies from Brown University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Larry’s teaching and scholarly interests include American legal history, constitutional law, federalism, separation of powers, the federal courts, conflict of laws, and civil procedure. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including The People Themselves: Popular Constitutionalism and Judicial Review.

Larry is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Philosophical Society. He serves as board chair of iCivics and has been a director on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations, including the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the ClimateWorks Foundation, the Independent Sector, and Equal Justice Works.


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