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Foundations are often taken to task for being too risk-averse, but no one could apply that epithet to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Among other efforts in pursuit of social justice, sustainability, and peace, the 76-year-old foundation played a long-term role in brokering the U.S.-Iran nuclear agreement and is perhaps the most prominent philanthropy to cease investing in oil, coal, and gas.
In this segment from the Business of Giving, Stephen Heintz, the fund’s president, tells the story behind its decision to divest from fossil fuels, despite its wealth being derived from one of America’s great oil fortunes. He also shares his thoughts on the Iran deal, how a big-but-not-huge foundation can leverage and maximize its influence, and the history of Rockefeller family philanthropy.