iOS app Android app

Dr. Judith Rodin
Judith Rodin is president of the Rockefeller Foundation. She was previously president of the University of Pennsylvania and the first woman to lead an Ivy League institution.

Dr. Rodin has recalibrated the Rockefeller Foundation's focus for the 21st century, launching major initiatives to mobilize an African agricultural revolution, bolster resilience to climate change, rebuild New Orleans, strengthen working families’ economic security, and shape sustainable transportation policies in the U.S.

At the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Rodin oversaw an unprecedented decade of progress. Under her leadership, Penn tripled its fundraising and the size of its endowment, engineered an internationally heralded community renewal program, attracted the most selective classes in the university’s history, and climbed from 16th to fourth in the leading national rankings.

Dr. Rodin has authored more than 200 articles and 12 books, including The University & Urban Renewal: Out of the Ivory Tower and Into the Streets (2007).

Entries by Dr. Judith Rodin

Universal Health Coverage: A Smart Investment

(2) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 12:55 PM

Just as a patient with a weak immune system is more susceptible to disease, the Ebola crisis reminds us that a nation with a weak health system is more susceptible to epidemics. This lesson is on our minds not only because of the crippling impact of the worst Ebola outbreak...

Read Post

Universal Health Coverage: A Smart Investment

(4) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 11:27 AM

Just as a patient with a weak immune system is more susceptible to disease, the Ebola crisis reminds us that a nation with a weak health system is more susceptible to epidemics. This lesson is on our minds not only because of the crippling impact of the worst Ebola outbreak...

Read Post

7 Things We've Learned About Impact Investing in 7 Years

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 12:41 PM

This post was co-authored by Margot Brandenburg.

Today, our new e-book, The Power of Impact Investing: Putting Markets to Work for Profit and Global Good, hit the digital shelves. This e-book has been in the making since 2007, when the term "impact investing"...

Read Post

The State of Philanthropy: How to Maximize Impact

(4) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 1:24 PM

When I took the job as the president of the Rockefeller Foundation in 2005, philanthropy was facing a kind of identity crisis, and had been for a while. The rules had changed since our founder, John D. Rockefeller, opened the doors of the Rockefeller Foundation, 100 years ago...

Read Post

Realizing the Resilience Dividend

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 9:53 AM

When senior leaders at a large, global financial institution were choosing between cities in India for the location of their next operations center, they certainly considered the factors you might expect: an educated workforce, transportation links and cost. The bank chose Pune, and the competitiveness advantage that Pune had was...

Read Post

On the Path to a More Resilient New York

(11) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 1:03 PM

One year ago, Superstorm Sandy made landfall along the Eastern Seaboard, destroying homes, devastating businesses, and damaging key pieces of New York's physical infrastructure beyond recognition. The storm was just the most recent catastrophic event in a new century characterized by the sudden and unforeseen -- and a reminder that...

Read Post

Urban Resilience for a New Century

(45) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 11:32 AM

One hundred years ago today, on May 14, 1913, when the Rockefeller Foundation was granted its charter with the mission to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world, only 10 percent of people lived in cities. The population of Mumbai, now approaching 20 million, was just about...

Read Post

The Transformative Power of Philanthropy

(8) Comments | Posted May 9, 2013 | 5:20 PM

Next week, Tuesday, May 14, the Rockefeller Foundation will mark our Centennial. In the lead up to the celebration, I’ve been contributing a series of posts about what we’ve learned about strategic philanthropy over the last 100 years.

Last week, in my third entry, I wrote about philanthropy’s...

Read Post

Philanthropy as Backer of Brains

(1) Comments | Posted May 2, 2013 | 2:20 PM

 In my second post on the unique attributes that have made the first 100 years of strategic philanthropy so successful, I highlighted the role of philanthropy as field-builder, drawing from the stories of the Rockefeller Foundation’s history of creating, defining and advancing fields, from public health,

Read Post

Philanthropy as Field Builder

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 10:39 AM

Last week, I discussed role of philanthropy as risk-taker – taking on the hardest parts of the work so that the private and public sectors can crowd in with their own resources and carry the work to scale. A second point of difference and an equal strength of philanthropy...

Read Post

Philanthropy Is the Go-To Partner for Risk

(8) Comments | Posted April 18, 2013 | 12:19 PM

When we look back over the Rockefeller Foundation's history and pinpoint the moments when philanthropy is at its best, it's almost always at those moments when the work is the hardest, and the risk of failure is greatest -- from spraying down an entire island to eliminate mosquitoes...

Read Post

Rebound: Building a More Resilient World

(95) Comments | Posted January 23, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Financial crises, floods, hurricanes, epidemic disease.

In these early decades of the 21st century, we are witnessing stresses and shocks that come with a new intensity. The long held fundamentals of a strong economic system -- globalization and free trade -- have increased efficiency, but they have created challenges...

Read Post

Investing for Impact

(29) Comments | Posted October 3, 2012 | 7:32 PM

Venture capitalists in Silicon Valley know a good opportunity when they see one. And this week, investors and entrepreneurs flocked to San Francisco's fourth annual Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) conference to explore how the invisible hand can lend a helping hand.

In the world of finance,...

Read Post

Empowering Cities Through Service

(51) Comments | Posted June 30, 2010 | 11:03 AM

Henry David Thoreau wrote that, "City life is millions of people being lonesome together." Viewed from afar, city life can indeed appear impersonal and isolated. But that view, to turn a rural cliché on its head, misses the trees for the forest. Most cities are really a collection of local...

Read Post

Meeting our Metropolitan Challenge

(0) Comments | Posted October 5, 2009 | 1:07 PM

At the United Nations General Assembly this month, President Obama called on each of the world's countries to shoulder its share of responsibility for a "global response to global challenges." Few of these challenges are more daunting or imbued with possibility than the global demographic shift taking place in metropolitan...

Read Post

America's Moment for Improvisation

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2009 | 11:51 AM

At the start of Ken Burns' extraordinary documentary on baseball, essayist Gerald Early mused that, in 2,000 years, American civilization will be known for only three things: the Constitution, baseball, and jazz. Early's point, Burns later wrote, was that "the genius of America is improvisation."

This week, as millions gather...

Read Post

The Post-Social Contract Generation

(80) Comments | Posted July 17, 2008 | 4:00 PM

This week, the Rockefeller Foundation and TIME released a comprehensive survey, which asked several thousand Americans about their sense of economic security. One finding took us especially by surprise: almost half of America's youngest workers believe the nation's best days may have come and gone.

This is Generation Y:...

Read Post