Silicon Prairie News

Kauffman Foundation CEO Schramm resigns, interim leader named

Kansas City January 3, 2012 by Michael Stacy

Carl Schramm (far left), the president and CEO of the The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, today announced that he is stepping down from his post at the Kansas City, Mo.-based foundation.

Kauffman Foundation trustee Benno Schmidt (near left) has taken over as the organization's interim president, and the search for a new president and CEO will begin this year.

During a decade with Schramm at its helm, the Kauffman Foundation revamped its Kauffman Scholars Program and created Global Entrepreneurship Week, among other notable initiatives. Schramm is leaving the foundation to return to scholarship and business, per a Kauffman Foundation release. 

"The Kauffman Foundation has researched and practiced entrepreneurship and change over the past 10 years," Schramm said in the release. "I feel gratified to have played a role in the growth of its influence and the quality of its programs. The Kauffman Foundation’s position as the vanguard of entrepreneurial education is due in large part to its remarkable people. And, as I leave the Foundation, it is the day-to-day interaction with those great people that I will most cherish."

Schramm will continue to be available to support the ongoing evolution of the Kauffman Foundation and its transition to new leadership.

"We appreciate the valuable service of Carl Schramm and his many contributions to entrepreneurship and education," Tom McDonnell, chairman of the Kauffman Foundation board of trustees, said in the release. "He has served the Kauffman Foundation longer than any former leader of the Foundation and longer than almost any non-founder executive. His service has expanded the influence of the Kauffman Foundation to have a truly global impact on the appreciation and development of entrepreneurship."

The foundation touts Schmidt as an innovator in education and a leader who possesses a deep knowledge of Kansas City. Prior to his appointment to the Kauffman Foundation's board, Schmidt was chairman of the blue ribbon task force and primary author of Time to Get it Right, a strategy for higher education in Kansas City. Schmidt currently serves as chairman of the board of trustees of the City University of New York. He previously served as president of Yale University from 1986-'92, and before that he was the dean of Columbia University Law School and a law clerk to Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.

Image credit: Photos of Schramm and Schmidt from

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