James L. Bildner

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy
Senior Research Fellow
Hauser Institute for Nonprofit Organizations
Office Address
Mailing Address
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 143
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-495-8315
Email: Jim_Bildner@hks.harvard.edu
Jennifer Valois (617-495-1339)
James Bildner


Jim Bildner is an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Senior Research Fellow at the Hauser Institute for Civil Society and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University. At the Kennedy School, his research interests include understanding the role of private capital in solving public problems, extending the capacity of foundations to solve complex societal issues and the sustainability of public and private systems when governments disinvest in these systems. His course load includes co- teaching Public Problem Solving and Philanthropy. In addition, he serves as the Managing Partner at the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation where he focuses on investing in domestic nonprofits and social enterprises that are working to solve complex issues including systemic poverty, food insecurity, access to healthcare, homelessness, community development and second generation strategies to address these issues.

 Among his board affiliations, he is a trustee of The Kresge Foundation, The Non Profit Finance Fund, Case Western Reserve University, The Public Citizen Foundation, the Health Foundation for the Americas, the Women’s Funding Network, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, The Newport Festivals Foundation, The Lizard Island Research Foundation in Australia, an Overseer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a member of the executive board of WBUR (Boston Public Radio) and an Overseer of WGBH Public TV and Radio. He also serves on the boards of Fox Islands Wind, LLC, the EBSF Loan Fund, the Island Institute and Coastal Innovation Loan Fund, TurboVote/Democracy Works Inc., Blueprint Schools, Education SuperHighway, WorldReader, IDEO.org, Sirum and as a Corporate Trustee of The Trustees of The Reservation and on the board and executive committee of the Chief Executives Organization.

 In his board service, Mr. Bildner serves on the Investment Committees of boards with aggregate endowments in excess of $5.5B as well as a member of ten finance, investment and/or audit committees of these boards. In 2010 he was named chair of Kresge’s Social Innovative Capital Committee and in 2014 became Chair of Kresge’s Investment Committee.

Mr. Bildner is a nationally recognized lecturer, panelist and speaker on nonprofit organizations, social enterprise, capitalization and the institutional role of philanthropy in solving complex societal issues. His prior experience includes 22 years in the private sector including as a consultant at Deloitte and serving as the CEO of two public companies. Mr. Bildner’s government service includes serving as a legislative aide and speechwriter in the United States Senate, a run for the NJ State Assembly, election to two terms as a Selectman in Manchester by the Sea and an appointment by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services to the Advisory Panel on Medicare Education of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the Department of Health and Human Services.

 Mr. Bildner has written numerous articles, op-ed pieces and commentaries for newspapers, magazines and radio including NPR’s Morning Edition, The Boston Globe, The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Hampshire DailyGazette and Inc. Magazine. A lifelong sailor and pilot, he has published two recent books, A Visual Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast, published by McGraw Hill in May of 2006 and A Visual Cruising Guide to Southern New England, published in November of 2009.

Mr. Bildner earned his AB from Dartmouth College, his MPA from Harvard, his J.D. from Case Western Reserve School of Law and an M.F.A. from Lesley University. He is a member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 2008, Mr. Bildner was awarded the Dartmouth Alumni Award for service to the College and to his community.



Fall 1

  • MLD-836M Social Entrepreneurship/Social Enterprises 101: How to Go from Start-Up to End Up

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