Announcing a Milestone in Tony Cortese's Career

October 2020

Dear IEN Community,

It is bittersweet to share the news that our co-founder Tony Cortese will be retiring this fall.  

This marks not only a milestone for the Intentional Endowments Network, but also for an amazing career of service, leadership, and vision. 

Tony’s story is a powerful one. Starting in Boston’s North End (“Little Italy”), he graduated from Boston Latin School and was the first in his family to attend college at Tufts and receive a doctorate from the Harvard School of Public Health. Deeply driven by the impulse to serve, Tony charted a path in public health and sustainability in public service for the US EPA and MA Dept. of Environmental Protection. He then turned his attention to Higher Education, inspired by the power of education to improve society.

As a systems-thinker he was able to connect dots few others saw as related. As a visionary he has been able to inspire whole movements. And with determined persistence, he has shepherded these movements through to concerted action. 

Tony has been strategically and responsibly preparing for this transition and the team and organization are well-positioned to continue thriving. And, we won’t be letting him leave the work all together; he will remain involved as a volunteer Senior Fellow, to continue to provide valued strategic advice and counsel. He will also continue to actively support the higher education sector and sustainability movement in other ways, as a volunteer, mentor, and through other affiliations.  

In the coming year, we will have more to share on Tony’s legacy, and will be inviting you to join us in celebrating his monumental contributions to society --- and, at Tony’s insistence, doing so in ways that aren’t about the individual, but about the collective effort to create a better world for all people, now and in the future; and that help advance this critical work in concrete ways. 

On behalf of Tony and our entire team, we thank all of you in the IEN community for your leadership, hard work, openness and commitment to supporting higher education and creating a better world.






Georges Dyer

Co-founder and Executive Director

International Endowments Network & 

The Crane Institute of Sustainability

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