The Marie-Josee and Henry R. Kravis Foundation is the family foundation of Henry R. Kravis, who co-founded and led. KKR, a private equity firm. Henry Kravis is a trustee of Claremont McKenna College and has served as a trustee of Rockefeller University. Marie-Josee Kravis is the chair of the Museum of Modern Art and was formerly a senior fellow and vice-chair of the Hudson Institute, a center-right think tank.
The foundation primarily gives money to universities, but also gives to arts organizations and hospitals.
Along with his cousin George Roberts and investor Jerome Kohlberg, Henry Kravis created Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (now KKR), which Forbes in 2019 noted “popularized the leveraged buyout of the. 1970s and 1980sand became known as the face of Wall Street’s conquest of corporate America.” 1
In 2009, the company announced that it would practice environmental, social and governance principles in the companies it invested in and hired Elizabeth Seeger from the Environmental Defense Fund. Seeger stated in November 2021 that her goals were for KKR to invest in “climate action” and “a just energy transition, one that supports a shift to a clean energy future” while recognizing the need for near-term fossil fuel production.” 2
In 2021, Henry Kravis retired from KKR. 3
Claremont McKenna College
Henry Kravis graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 1967 and is a trustee. He received an MBA from Columbia University’s business school in 1969. He has made large donations to both universities.
In 2008, the Kravis Foundation donated $75 million to Claremont McKenna towards construction of the Kravis Center, used for classrooms and conferences. 4 Between 2008 and 2015, Claremont McKenna also administered the Kravis Prize for Nonprofit Leadership, which awarded a $250,000 prize. 5
In October 2021, Claremont McKenna students organized as “KKR Kills” demanded that Kravis and George Roberts’s names be removed from campus buildings because of KKR’s 20 percent ownership in Sempra Energy, which is planning a natural gas pipeline between Arizona and Mexico that would pass through the Yaqui Indian reservation. The group said the proposed pipeline was a “genocidal investment” although the Yaqui are divided about whether the pipeline should be constructed. A Claremont McKenna spokesperson said that Kravis and Roberts” are valued members” of the college’s board of trustees and their names would stay on school buildings. 6
Other Large Donations
The Kravis Foundation has made three $100 million donations. In 2010, Kravis pledged $100 million to construction of a new building for the Columbia University business school in Manhattanville, nine blocks north of the Columbia campus. The grant followed an earlier donation of $24 million to Columbia. 7
In 2014 the Kravis Foundation donated $100 million to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to establish the Marie=Josee and Henry R. Kravis center for Molecular Oncology, which aimed to detect and eliminate cancerous tumors. 8
In 2015, the foundation donated $100 million to Rockefeller University for a new laboratory research building. 9
In 2019 the Kravises pledged $10 million to the restoration of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris after a fire. 10
Marie-Josee Kravis is an economist who has worked as a senior fellow and vice-chair of the Hudson Institute board of trustees. 12 The Kravis Foundation donated $100,000 to the Hudson Institute in 2016. 13
In 2021 Marie-Josee Kravis became chairman of the Museum of Modern Art board of trustees, having previously served as president. 14The Kravis Foundation also endows a curatorship in painting and sculpture at the museum. 15
- Antoine Gara, “Gentlemen at The Gate,” Forbes, May 31, 2019.
- Elizabeth Seeger, “KKR’s Climate Action Strategy: Managing Risks and Seizing Opportunities,” https://www.kkr.com/global-perspectives/kkr-blog/kkrs-climate-action-strategy (accessed January 28, 2022)
- Miriam Gottfried, “Two KKR Founders Pass the Baton,” Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2021.
- “Claremont McKenna College Receives a $75 Million Gift from The Marie-Josee and Henry R. Kravis Foundation,” press release from Claremont McKenna college, July 1, 2008.
- “Kravis Prize: About,” https://kravisprize.cmc.edu/about/ (accessed January 28, 2022)
- Jenna McMurtry and John Paul Gerrantino, “Students Demonstrate Against CMC Trustees’ Fossil Fuel Investments,” Pomona College Student Life, October 8, 2021.
- Kravis Pledges $100 Million For B-School’s Move to Manhattanville,” Columbia Magazine, Winter 2010-11, https://magazine.columbia.edu/article/kravis-pledges-100-million-b-schools-move-manhattanville (accessed January 28, 2022).
- “Landmark Gift of $100 Million From The Marie-Josee And Henry R. Kravis Foundation Will Support Groundbreaking Approach To Precision Oncology,” press release from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, May 20, 2014, https://www.mskcc.org/news-releases/landmark-gift-100-million-marie-josee-and-henry-r-kravis-foundation-will-support-groundbreaking-approach-precision-oncology (accessed January 28, 2022)
- Melanie Grayce West, “Major Donations Bolster Hospital, Medical Research,” Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2015.
- Joshua Robinson and Stacy Meicjtry, “Notre Dame Rebuilding Vow Draws Yellow-Vest Ire,” Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2019.
- 2016 Marie-Josee and Henry R. Kravis Foundation 2016 Form 990.
- “Hudson Institute Congratulats Marie-Josee Kravis On Election to American Academy of Arts and Sciences,” press release from Hudson Institute, April 20, 2017, https://www.hudson.org/research/13556-hudson-institute-congratulates-marie-josee-kravis-on-election-to-american-academy-of-arts-and-sciences (accessed January 28, 2022)
- 2016 Marie-Josee and Henry Kravis Foundation Form 990.
- Robin Pogrebin, “MoMA Board Picks Kravis As Its New Chairwoman,” New York Times, April 29, 2021.
- “The Museum of Modern Art Appoints Beverly Adams As The New Estrella Brodsky curator of Latin American Art,” press release from the Museum of Modern Art, April 19, 2019.