Chief Executive Officer, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
United States of America
Jim Bildner is the CEO of the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation where he focuses on investing in nonprofits and social enterprises that are working to solve complex issues including systemic poverty, environmental and conservation issues, food insecurity, access to healthcare, homelessness, community development and second generation strategies to address these issues. Jim is also an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Senior Research Fellow at the Hauser Institute for Civil Society and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University. At the Kennedy School, his research interests include understanding the role of private capital in solving public problems, extending the capacity of foundations to solve complex societal issues and the sustainability of public and private systems when governments disinvest in these systems. His course load includes Social Entrepreneurship/Social Enterprises 101: How to Go From Start Up to End Up (MLD 836).
Among his board affiliations, he is a trustee of The Kresge Foundation, The Non Profit Finance Fund, The Public Citizen Foundation, Healthy Americas Foundation (National Alliance for Hispanic Health Foundation), New Jersey Performing Arts Center, The Newport Festivals Foundation, Trustee Emeritus at Case Western Reserve University, an Overseer Emeritus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a member of the board of WBUR (Boston Public Radio). He also serves on the boards of ROCA, Inc., Baroo, Inc., Fox Islands Wind, LLC, the EBSF Loan Fund, the Island Institute and Coastal Innovation Loan Fund, Education SuperHighway, IDEO.org, SIRUM, the Earth Genome, CAST, OpenBiome, Service Year, Open Up Resources, Inc., Landed, Inc., the GroundTruth Project, the Empowerment Plan, UpTrust, and on the board of the Lizard Island Research Foundation in Australia. He is a member of Young Presidents/World Presidents Organization and a member of the Chief Executives Organization.
In his board service, Mr. Bildner serves on the Investment Committees of boards with aggregate endowments in excess of $4 B as well as a member of numerous finance, investment and/or audit committees of these boards. In 2010 he was named Chair of Kresge’s Social Innovative Capital Committee and in 2014 became Chair of Kresge’s Investment Committee.
Mr. Bildner is a nationally recognized lecturer, panelist, and speaker on nonprofit organizations, social enterprise, capitalization and the institutional role of philanthropy in solving complex societal issues. His prior experience includes 22 years in the private sector including as a consultant at Deloitte and serving as the CEO of two public companies. Mr. Bildner’s government service includes serving as a legislative aide and speechwriter in the United States Senate, a run for the NJ State Assembly, election to two terms as a Selectman in Manchester by the Sea and an appointment by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services to the Advisory Panel on Medicare Education of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Mr. Bildner has written numerous articles, op-ed pieces and commentaries for newspapers, magazines and radio including NPR’s Morning Edition, The Boston Globe, The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Hampshire Daily Gazette, Inc. Magazine, as well as cases for the Harvard Business School (Education SuperHighway) and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (The Role of Philanthropy in Community Revitalization). A lifelong sailor and pilot, he has published two recent books, A Visual Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast, published by McGraw Hill in May of 2006, and A Visual Cruising Guide to Southern New England, published in November of 2009.
Mr. Bildner earned his AB from Dartmouth College, his MPA from Harvard, his J.D. from Case Western Reserve School of Law and an M.F.A. from Lesley University. He is a member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 2008, Mr. Bildner was awarded the Dartmouth Alumni Award for service to the College and to his community.