The Stephen A. Schwarzman Foundation today announced that Bruce Simpson, former Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, will join as CEO.
The Stephen A. Schwarzman Foundation has been the primary vehicle for Schwarzman’s philanthropic giving, which totals over $1 billion in his lifetime so far. Schwarzman is one of the largest donors in the world to educational institutions across levels and has also supported cultural organizations, civic groups as well as individuals in need. His major donations often seek to tackle complex global challenges with transformative solutions.
Commenting on the appointment, Schwarzman said: “I am thrilled to have Bruce join as CEO of my foundation. His experience building teams and improving organizations in the private sector will be invaluable as the scale and impact of my philanthropy grows in the years ahead. Bruce’s career has provided him a strong global perspective and deep understanding of the most complex challenges that society faces today, and we share a common desire to address these challenges in creative, impactful ways.”
Simpson spent over 30 years at McKinsey in various leadership positions across North America and Europe. Among other roles, he served as Managing Director of McKinsey Canada, led their Operations Practice – the largest practice globally, and served on McKinsey’s global board. Most recently, he led the firm’s Purpose/ESG practice, advising on ESG strategy and investing, and helping companies integrate societal purpose into their core business objectives. He holds an MA and an LLM in law from Cambridge University, an MBA from The Wharton School, and an MA in international studies from the Joseph H. Lauder Institute for Management & International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Bruce Simpson added: “I greatly admire Steve’s vision and approach to philanthropy. His focus on finding new solutions and paradigms that can help meaningfully solve big challenges is similar to how I have spent my career consulting with organizations around the world, in the private, public and social sectors. I am excited both to expand on his existing efforts and find new areas where the foundation’s support and expertise can benefit society.”
The foundation’s recent major giving includes £150 million to help establish a new center at the University of Oxford to redefine the study of the humanities for the 21st century and house a new Institute for Ethics in AI and a cultural center, and $350 million to create a new College of Computing at MIT dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, including the critical ethical and policy considerations. In 2020, Schwarzman signed the Giving Pledge, a campaign created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett where signers commit to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.
As part of today’s announcement, Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation and CEO of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Education Foundation (SASEF) which supports Schwarzman Scholars, an international scholarship program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and Bruce Simpson will also be named Co-CEOs of Schwarzman Philanthropies, which will encompass all of Schwarzman’s charitable giving. Stursberg will also join the board of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Foundation and Simpson will join the board of SASEF. Together, Simpson and Stursberg will partner closely with Schwarzman on the vision of his future philanthropic efforts.
Schwarzman added: “For over a decade, Amy has overseen the tremendous growth of both the Blackstone Charitable Foundation and my personal philanthropy. This includes the creation of entrepreneurship programs like Blackstone LaunchPad, which is expanding to 75 university campuses, the inception and daily operations of Schwarzman Scholars at Tsinghua University in Beijing, as well as the coordination of transformative projects at universities in both the US and UK. She’s been instrumental in helping scale each of these organizations and initiatives and will continue to work closely on my foundation while managing the Blackstone Charitable Foundation and Schwarzman Scholars.”
About Schwarzman Philanthropies
Schwarzman Philanthropies encompasses all philanthropic initiatives of Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone. This includes over $1 billion in lifetime giving to educational institutions, cultural organizations, civic groups as well as individuals in need.
In June 2019, Schwarzman, through his foundation, donated £150 million to the University of Oxford to help redefine the study of the humanities for the 21st century. This gift – the largest single donation to Oxford since the renaissance – will create a new Centre for the Humanities which unites all humanities faculties under one roof for the first time in Oxford’s history, and will offer new performing arts and exhibition venues as well as a new Institute for Ethics in AI. In October 2018, his foundation announced a $350 million gift to establish the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, an interdisciplinary hub which will reorient MIT to address the opportunities and challenges presented by the rise of artificial intelligence, including critical ethical and policy considerations to ensure that the technologies are employed for the common good. In 2015, Schwarzman donated $150 million to Yale University to establish the Schwarzman Center, a first-of-its-kind campus center in Yale’s historic “Commons” building. In 2013, he founded an international scholarship program, “Schwarzman Scholars,” at Tsinghua University in Beijing to educate future leaders about China. At approximately $600 million, the program is modeled on the Rhodes Scholarship and is the single largest philanthropic effort in China’s history coming largely from international donors. Mr. Schwarzman is Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees of Schwarzman Scholars. In 2007, Mr. Schwarzman donated $100 million to the New York Public Library on whose board he serves.