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Yale SOM Launches Governance Center with Largest Gift in School’s History

On Monday, June 12 at the opening dinner for the Yale Governance Forum, Dean Joel M. Podolny announced the establishment of the Yale Center for Corporate Governance and Performance (YCCGP) with the receipt of $20 million in gifts and commitments from individual and corporate donors. This includes a $10 million gift from David Nierenberg, a 1975 graduate of Yale College and a 1978 graduate of Yale Law School, and his wife Patricia, which represents the single largest gift in the history of the Yale School of Management. Dean Podolny also announced that Ira M. Millstein, a senior partner at the international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges and senior associate dean for corporate governance at Yale SOM, has been named the Center’s director.

The forum continued the following day with two panel discussions, an overview of the Center’s future agenda as well as its partnerships, and remarks from Yale President Richard C. Levin. In keeping with Yale SOM’s mission of educating leaders for business and society, the mission of the YCCGP is to explore the role of corporate governance to better enable corporations to be both competitive in their markets and to contribute to society. The YCCGP draws together scholars from a variety of disciplines to explore the roles of the corporation in society and to look globally for models of governance that combine return to shareholders and social benefit.

Gifts to the YCCGP, including the Nierenberg gift, reflect a range of interests in corporate governance, and will fund initiatives from faculty recruitment to interdisciplinary research and database development. The Nierenberg gift will support a professorship, as well as programs that emphasize the importance of American companies being more accountable to their stakeholders and responsive to their shareholders. “Through the generosity of David and Patricia Nierenberg, we are able to announce both the most significant gift in the 30-year history of the Yale School of Management and the establishment of SOM’s newest interdisciplinary center, which will take a leadership role in the study and promotion of good corporate governance models worldwide,” said Dean Podolny.