Carl Schramm Decides to Step Down as Kauffman Foundation CEO

Wendy Guillies, (816) 932-1046,

Trustee Benno C. Schmidt, Jr. to serve as interim CEO

KANSAS CITY, Mo, Jan. 3, 2012—The Ewing Marion Kauffmann Foundation and Carl Schramm, President and CEO of the Foundation, today announced that, after achieving the milestone of a decade of dedicated service, Schramm has decided to step down from the Foundation in order to return to scholarship and business.

"We appreciate the valuable service of Carl Schramm and his many contributions to entrepreneurship and education," said Tom McDonnell, chairman, speaking on behalf of the Board of Trustees. "He has served the Kauffman Foundation longer than any former leader of the Foundation and longer than almost any non-founder executive. His service has expanded the influence of the Kauffman Foundation to have a truly global impact on the appreciation and development of entrepreneurship."

Schramm and the Trustees are committed to fulfilling the vision and maintaining the legacy of its founding donor, Ewing Marion Kauffman, by continuing to promote entrepreneurship and to improve education in our community and country. Under Schramm's leadership the Foundation has revamped Kauffman Scholars, created Global Entrepreneurship Week and became the authoritative source for research on entrepreneurship and its implications for growth and social welfare. Schramm has assured the Board of Trustees that he will continue to be available to support the continuing evolution of the Kauffman Foundation and its transition to new leadership that will address its ongoing changes and challenges.

"The Kauffman Foundation has researched and practiced entrepreneurship and change over the past ten years," said Schramm. "I feel gratified to have played a role in the growth of its influence and the quality of its programs. The Kauffman Foundation's position as the vanguard of entrepreneurial education is due in large part to its remarkable people. And, as I leave the Foundation, it is the day-to-day interaction with those great people that I will most cherish."

To ensure the Foundation continues its progress during this transition, Trustee Benno Schmidt has been appointed the interim president, effective January 1, 2012. A search for a new president and CEO will begin in 2012.

Benno Schmidt is among the world's leading innovators in primary, secondary and tertiary education and has a deep knowledge of Kansas City. Prior to his appointment to the Kauffman Foundation Board of Trustees, he was the blue ribbon task force chairman and primary author of Time to Get it Right, an influential strategy for higher education in Kansas City. Schmidt currently chairs the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York, the largest urban public university in the world, with some 500,000 students. He served as president of Yale University from 1986 to 1992, growing its endowment from $1.7 billion to nearly $3 billion, the highest rate of growth among the major endowed private universities in this country. Earlier in his career, he served as dean of Columbia University Law School and as a law clerk to Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.