Couple Endows Faculty Fellow Position for Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies

Katherine August-deWilde, MBA ’75, and David deWilde, Sloan ’84, endowed a chair to support a faculty member working on entrepreneurship in developing economies.

March 22, 2012

Katherine August-deWilde, MBA ’75, and David deWilde, Sloan ’84, are devoted, long-time benefactors of the university and Stanford GSB. As business school alumni and Stanford parents, they have generously supported causes as varied as the Stanford Center on Longevity, the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research, the Knight Management Center, and undergraduate education, as well as made gifts that celebrated their business school connections to faculty and their class reunions. In the last year, their interest at Stanford GSB was piqued by the school’s leadership in approaching entrepreneurship as a vehicle for achieving greater social impact.


A team of Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability field tests the RiceRunner, a fertilizer applicator, in Cambodia

A team of Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability field tests the RiceRunner, a fertilizer applicator, in Cambodia

Invigorated by the school’s activity at the intersection of entrepreneurship and social innovation, the deWildes realized that the most personally meaningful way for them to have an immediate effect would be through the direct support of faculty who could drive efforts in this realm. Anchored in that confidence, they endowed the Katherine and David deWilde Faculty Fellow/Scholar fund to support a faculty member whose work focuses on entrepreneurship in developing economies, and when possible, specifically on the alleviation of poverty.

The school annually appoints faculty who have distinguished themselves among their peers to named positions that carry a faculty fellow title for senior faculty, or a faculty scholar title for junior faculty. Endowed positions such as these confer high recognition on the holders and provide the necessary financial resources for the school to support their vital teaching and research.

This past year, Katherine, president, COO, and director of First Republic Bank, and David, founder and former CEO of Chartwell Partners International, were delighted to learn that James Patell was named as the inaugural Katherine and David deWilde Faculty Fellow for 2011-12.

The deWildes are enthusiastic about the efforts of Patell to build on his courses and projects that explore the potential for entrepreneurship to advance developing countries. Patell, the Herbert Hoover Professor of Public and Private Management, brings together the disciplines of engineering, design, and business in his ground-breaking course Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability. In his class, multidisciplinary student teams work closely with partner organizations to address the challenges faced by the world’s poor by developing solutions that are often a mix of product design, service innovation, and business development. Past projects have yielded a broad range of innovations, including low-cost medical devices, domestic appliances, and agricultural tools.

Patell’s work was part of the inspiration for the recently established Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED). As one of the two faculty directors of the on-the-ground component of the institute, he is charged with enabling the activities of entrepreneurs, managers, and leaders to have the greatest impact on the communities they seek to serve. “This is a rare opportunity to support a distinguished teacher and researcher, Jim Patell, and to participate in Stanford GSB’s innovative initiative to expand the impact of entrepreneurship in alleviating global poverty and suffering,” said the deWildes.

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