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Richard A. Marker

Richard Marker is founder and co-principal of The Institute for Wise Philanthropy , a philanthropy education and advisory group.

Marker is a recognized “elder” and thought leader in the philanthropy sector. His columns on philanthropy have been published widely and he is the author of Saying ‘Yes’ Wisely: Insights for the Thoughtful Philanthropist [Blooming Twig Books, 2009; 2011]. A popular lecturer, he has spoken in 40 countries on 5 continents and in over 40 of the United States. [He is a Legacy member of the National Speakers Association Forbes published an extended interview on his work and career in 2012 and he has been interviewed and quoted by many other prominent publications in the United States and elsewhere.

In his work as a philanthropy advisor, Marker has worked with large and small foundations as well as individual philanthropists. His distinctive approach to funder strategy and culture is now utilized by many wealth management groups and philanthropy advisors. He specializes in inter-generational issues and succession, aligning focus, policy, and funding priorities, and in working with boards on developing successful decision-making strategies. He is known, as well, for his expertise in philanthro-ethics and equity.” Currently, he accepts only a small number of clients faced with significant strategic decisions where his several decades of experience will matter.

As of Spring 2016, he became Faculty Co-director of a funder education program of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy.

From 2000-2019, he was an Associate Professor at NYU. In 2002, Marker conceptualized what became the Academy for Funder Education, the oldest university program teaching funders and philanthropists in the United States. In 2007, he was recognized with the NYU Excellence in Teaching Award.

Over a professional career which began in 1968, Marker has been the CEO of a major international grantmaking foundation, a professor, a university chaplain, senior executive of an international not-for-profit organization, and a management consultant in the private sector. His career was the subject of a feature length article in Lifestyles magazine in 2006. He received a lifetime achievement award from the National Speakers Association-NYC in 2016.

In addition to NYU and Penn, Marker has taught at Brown University, Hofstra, and Loyola of Chicago. Over his career, he has chaired and served leadership roles on many boards including several grantmaking foundations and international social change non-profits.

He is married to his partner in The Institute for Wise Philanthropy, Mirele Goldsmith, Ph.D., an prominent environmentalist and nationally recognized expert in program evaluations, is the father of Adam, an EEO attorney in Washington, DC, and is the grandfather of Aiden.