Venture Capitalist Contributes $1 Billion to Stanford for Climate Change School

Published on: 07 May 2022
by KnowESG

John Doerr, a venture capitalist, has contributed $1 billion to Stanford University to launch a new school focusing on climate change.

The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability will open this fall thanks to the gift, one of the largest single donations to an American university. Over the next decade, the school will hire dozens of new faculty members and develop an accelerator to provide financing for new initiatives, combining numerous existing Stanford departments and institutes.

Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, said:

"We have designed a school for the future combining knowledge generation and impact, building on the strong foundation established through Stanford's history of scholarship."

Stanford went through a year-long effort to create a vision for a new climate change school. After learning about the new school, the Doerrs contacted Stanford, according to university spokesperson Mara Vandlik.

John Doerr is the chairman of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, where he has worked since 1980 and has successfully advocated for early investment in Internet startups such as Google, Amazon, and Slack. He wrote "Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now," a book published last year that outlines technology and policy priorities for achieving a livable future.

Ann Doerr is the board chair of Khan Academy, an online education provider, and a former trustee and board member of the Environmental Defense Fund.

The Donors of Color Network's interim executive director, Isabelle Leighton, applauded the gift, saying it's good to see substantial, new donations relating to climate change, but she asked donors and universities to engage populations directly affected by climate change in developing answers.

Her organisation has requested large foundations that support climate change initiatives to provide 30% of their funds to organisations led by persons of colour.

Stanford got $590 million from other contributors in addition to the Doerrs' gift. According to the institution, some of the funds will be used to create two new buildings.

Source: Phys org