Philanthropist and Advanced Energy Advocate Tom Steyer to Address Stanford GSB Graduates

Alumni couple have demonstrated commitment to finding solutions to looming energy challenges.

March 27, 2015

Investor, philanthropist, and advanced energy advocate Tom Steyer will deliver the 2015 graduation address at Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) on June 13.

Tom Steyer, MBA ’83

Tom Steyer, MBA ’83

Steyer, MBA ’83, was instrumental in the creation of the joint business and law school Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, which examines issues of funding and public policy surrounding alternative energy. Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, JD/MBA ’86, also funded the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy, which provides research grants for alternative energy innovations in wind, solar and advanced transmission technologies.

“Tom has demonstrated a commitment to examining the most complex global problems of our time,” said Garth Saloner, the Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean of Stanford GSB. “He has been a leader in the debate over climate change and has steadfastly pursued new solutions to our looming energy challenges.”

Stanford GSB’s alumni speaker program was inaugurated in 2010 as a means to inspire graduates in their future careers.

Steyer has been a member of the Stanford Board of Trustees since 2007 and as a member of the Stanford GSB Advisory Council from 2003-08. He also served on the board of directors for the Stanford Management Company from 2009-13 and served on the Stanford GSB Trust from 1996-2000.

Before retiring from the private sector, Steyer was a founding partner at Farallon Capital Management. He is actively engaged in climate politics through his NextGen Climate political organization, and works to promote economic development and environmental protection in California and across the country. In 2010, Steyer teamed up with former Secretary of State George Shultz to defeat Proposition 23, an effort by out-of-state oil companies to dismantle California’s groundbreaking clean energy law, AB 32. In 2012, he served as co-chair with Shultz for Yes on Proposition 39, which closed a tax loophole for out-of-state corporations and created jobs in California.

Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, joined Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates, and other philanthropists in the 2010 “Giving Pledge,” a promise to donate the majority of their wealth to charitable and nonprofit activities during their lifetimes. The couple also created and funded the Oakland-based Beneficial State Bank, which provides loans and banking services to underserved small businesses, communities, and individuals in California and along the West Coast, and the Beneficial State Foundation, which engages in charitable and educational activities.

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