Blum Endows Poverty Center
The Richard C. Blum Center for Developing Economies was launched last year with a $15 million gift to UC Berkeley by San Francisco financier, philanthropist, University of California regent, and Haas School alumnus Richard C. Blum, BS 58, MBA 59.
The Blum Center will educate UC Berkeley students about the world of foreign assistance, its potential, and its challenges. It will draw on UC Berkeley faculty expertise from a wide range of disciplines. George Scharffenberger is the center's executive director.
"I believe UC Berkeley can have a singular effect in the fight to alleviate human suffering," says Blum. "If you look at the dangerous political divisions in today's world, you will find that most extremism has its roots in poverty and lack of education. We hope that our center will help train the next generation of leaders to be dedicated to alleviating poverty in the developing world."
Blum has been devoted to fighting poverty for three decades, with particular emphasis on helping local communities develop greater economic self-sufficiency. He founded the American Himalayan Foundation 25 years ago, which runs over 130 Himalayan-region projects including schools, health services, cultural preservation, forest restoration, and small-scale economic development.