Former US attorney becomes managing director of Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a financier of young social enterprises.
When President Donald Trump fired 46 US attorneys in March, the last appointee of former President Barack Obama in Columbus avoided being swept up in the media buzz, and a local nonprofit is thrilled.
Carter Stewart, tapped by Obama in 2009 as US attorney in the Southern District of Ohio, accepted the implied term limit of his position and began looking for his next opportunity long before Obama's successor was known. Stewart resigned a year ago and turned his attention to creating a Midwest presence for the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a global venture philanthropy firm that provides early support to grow social enterprises.
Ruling Our Experiences Inc., known as ROX, is receiving the foundation's first grant in this area after Stewart's endorsement. ROX started as a research study at Ohio State University and now works with schools and communities to teach girls in grades 4-12 to live healthy, independent, productive and violence-free lives. Stewart says ROX addresses “a need I saw in my own daughters.”
“With our strong program outcomes and increasing demand for our work, the DRK partnership will help leverage the resources that ROX requires to impact and empower thousands of girls across the country. I am thrilled and honored to be a part of this prestigious portfolio,” says ROX founder and Executive Director Lisa Hinkelman.
Stewart is a managing director of the foundation, which he explains “raises the money and then gives it all away.” The foundation started with a $15 million fund in 2002, then raised and distributed $35 million and now is closing a $65 million fund.
All DRK grantees receive receive $100,000 in unrestricted capital in each of three years and agree to put a DRK managing director on their board to provide counsel for growing their impact. “It's a venture capital model to help them in every way you can, almost like an operating partner,” Stewart says.
ROX started in one Columbus school five years ago and now has 150 programs in eight states, growing by word of mouth. “My hope in joining the board and helping Lisa is that it will spread to all 50 states; maybe not in three years, but on track to do that,” Stewart says.