01/03/2012 06:31 pm ET Updated Jan 03, 2012

Carl Schramm, Kauffman Foundation Chief, Resigns

Carl Schramm, the president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a leading entrepreneurship advocacy group, is stepping down.

Schramm, who has led Kauffman since 2002, is departing in order to "return to scholarship and business," according to a statement released by the non-profit organization on Tuesday.

Under Schramm's leadership, Kauffman saw its research gain prominence and its legislative proposals draw bipartisan support in Washington as lawmakers embraced the group's increasingly popular credo that the solution to high U.S. unemployment lies in young, "fast-growth" startups.

Among other initiatives aimed at alleviating America's employment woes through entrepreneurship, Schramm spear-headed Startup America, a public-private partnership designed to boost U.S. innovation by encouraging private investment in startups.

Schramm was not immediately available for comment. In a statement, he said, "The Kauffman Foundation has researched and practiced entrepreneurship and change over the past ten years. 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."

Benno Schmidt, a Kauffman trustee and a former president of Yale University, has been appointed the interim president, effective Jan. 1.