Stephen Viederman

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Stephen Viederman, Chair, Finance Committee, Christopher Reynolds Foundation

My vocation is Grandparenting—doing what I can to leave options open for my grandchildren and all children. I am involved in advocacy, writing, speaking, and consulting on a wide range of issues. These topics include sustainable investing and fiduciary duty; philanthropy and democracy; higher education and public policy; the limits of corporate responsibility; and economic and environmental justice and community governance.

My primary focus now is to develop a holistic understanding of fiduciary responsibility consonant with not-for-profit organizations’ obligations to serve the public benefit.

Current affiliations include:

  • Vice-Chair (U.S.), Network for Sustainable Financial Markets
  • Chair, Finance Committee, Christopher Reynolds Foundation
  • Advisory Council, Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASBE)
  • Advisory Committee, Inflection Point Capital Management
  • Advisory Board, Strategic Philanthropy
  • Fellow, Governance and Accountability Institute
  • Advisory Board, Ethical Marketplace
  • Leadership Advisory Committee, Mission Investors Exchange

 Recent published papers include “The Philanthropic Fiduciary” (with Keith Johnson) (2014); “Fiduciary Duty” (2008); “After the Credit Crisis—The Future of Sustainable Investing” (with Nick Robins and Cary Krosinsky) (2009); “Philanthropy’s Bermuda Triangle” (2011); “Barriers [to sustainable Investing]” in Evolutions of Sustainable Investing (Wiley 2012); and “Investing as if the Future Matters” (2012).

I am an active shareowner, both personally and as a representative of the Christopher Reynolds Foundation, leading discussions with ExxonMobil and Chevron on the financial risks of climate change, and with Pfizer and Accenture on transparency of political contributions. I retired in 2000 from the presidency of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation where, in the early 1990s, I developed and guided the effort to harmonize our asset management with our grant making, including some of the first “impact investments” in ‘”responsible-growth companies.” I also served as a board and finance committee member of the Needmor Fund. My wife and I, native New Yorkers, did our undergraduate and graduate degrees at Columbia. We have two children and four grandchildren, ages 11 to 20.