As the Foundation’s general counsel, secretary, and chief ethics officer, John Tyler manages all legal aspects of the Foundation’s operations, including governance, intellectual property, employment, investments, and compliance with applicable state and federal regulations.
Tyler is a frequent presenter on such diverse topics as nonprofit governance, private foundations, intellectual property, and advancing university innovation for national organizations such as the Philanthropy Roundtable, Association of Small Foundations, the Council on Foundations, the American Bar Association Committee on Taxation, the Max Planck Institute, Indian Institute of Science, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Tyler has authored or coauthored numerous scholarly articles published in law reviews and legal journals, such as a recent article on advancing university innovation in the University of Minnesota Law School's Journal of Law, Science and Technology. He is also the co-author (with Evelyn Brody) of the monograph How Public is Private Philanthropy? Separating Reality from Myth (Philanthropy Roundtable 2009).
Prior to joining the Kauffman Foundation in 1999, Tyler was a partner with one of Kansas City’s oldest and largest law firms, Lathrop and Gage, where his practice emphasized commercial litigation, personal injury litigation, and employment law.
Tyler serves and has served in leadership roles for several nonprofit organizations, including the Alliance for Charitable Reform, The Philanthropic Collaborative, Kauffman Innovation Network, Inc., Urban Entrepreneur Partnership, Inc., UEP Gulf Coast, Inc., and Kauffman Scholars, Inc. Tyler has served as a member of the Advisory Board to NYU Law School’s National Center on Philanthropy and the Law and as President and member of the School Board for the Diocese of Kansas City–St. Joseph, among many others. Tyler has received numerous awards for public service from the Missouri Bar Association, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, the Kansas City Business Journal, Junior Achievement, Ingram’s Magazine, and others.
He earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Notre Dame.