Paul Brest

Paul   Brest
Professor and Dean Emeritus, Political Economy
Contact Info
PaulBrest
Professor of Law, Emeritus, Stanford Law School
Academic Area: 
Political Economy

Bio

Paul Brest is Former Dean and Professor Emeritus (active), at Stanford Law School, a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a faculty co-director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, and co-director of the Stanford Law and Policy Lab. He was president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation from 2000-2012.

He is co-author of Money Well Spent: A Strategic Guide to Smart Philanthropy (2008),Problem Solving, Decision Making, and Professional Judgment (2010),and articles on constitutional law, philanthropy, and impact investing. His current courses include Problem Solving for Public Policy and Social Change, Measuring and Improving Social Impact, and Advanced Topics in Philanthropy and Impact Investing. He also is the instructor in an online course, Essentials of Nonprofit Strategy, offered by Philanthropy University.

Professor Brest is a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and holds honorary degrees from Northwestern University School of Law and Swarthmore College. Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1969, he clerked for Judge Bailey Aldrich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and Justice John M. Harlan of the U.S. Supreme Court, and did civil rights litigation with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in Mississippi.

Working Papers

How Investors Can (and Can't) Create Social Value | PDF
Paul Brest, Mark A. Wolfson, Ronald J. Gilson, March 2018

Teaching

Degree Courses

2017-18

The course will be structured around the perspective of a foundation or a high net worth individual who has decided to devote substantial resources to philanthropy and wishes to decide which philanthropic goals to pursue and how best to achieve...

Stanford graduates will play important roles in solving many of today's and tomorrow's major societal problems -- such as improving educational and health outcomes, conserving energy, and reducing global poverty -- which call for actions by...

2016-17

The course will be structured around the perspective of a high net worth individual who has decided to devote substantial resources to philanthropy and wishes to decide which philanthropic goals to pursue and how best to achieve them. Although...

GSB graduates will play important roles in solving many of today's and tomorrow's major societal problems - such as improving educational and health outcomes, conserving energy, and reducing global poverty - which call for actions by nonprofit,...

Stanford Case Studies

In the Media

Insights by Stanford Business

August 25, 2015
Social impact investing is changing the way philanthropy is done.