Programs and grants made possible by the LBJ Foundation


Through the generosity of many individuals, the LBJ Foundation holds numerous endowments for the benefit of the LBJ School of Public Affairs.  These endowments support a vast array of public programs, grants for domestic and international scholars and researchers, and educational initiatives and outreach.  Many of the endowments held by the Foundation honor notable individuals, such as the Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values, the Sid Richardson Chair of Public Affairs, the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Health and Social Policy Excellence Fund, and the Dean Rusk Chair in International Affairs.  Additional LBJ Foundation endowments include:

Sid Richardson Chair

The Sid Richardson Chair supports a faculty member who holds the chair as well as fellows who have distinguished careers in the academic and public service fields.  The second Chair established at the LBJ School, it honors Sid Richardson, a prominent Texas oil producer and philanthropist.

RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service

The RGK Center strives to build knowledge about nonprofit organizations, philanthropy and volunteerism and to prepare students and others to make effective contributions to their communities.  Nonprofit organizations increasingly are making critical contributions to public problem solving in almost every field imaginable.  The RGK Center was created in 2000 and received initial start-up funding along with a $5 million matching endowment pledge from RGK Foundation of Austin.

The RGK Center annually sponsors the Dell Social Innovation Competition, which encourages students to tackle social problems and help people in need reach their fullest potential.  The competition attracts more than 700 student venture plans, and the winner receives $50,000 to launch his proposed venture.  The 2012 winning submission, Essmart Global, gives rural retail stores in India access to products that improve their customers' lives.  By sourcing and distributing high-quality technologies, Essmart is able to address many problems at once, including lighting, clean water, breathable indoor spaces, and agricultural productivity, while benefitting local citizens and suppliers alike.

Ben Barnes Fellowships in Public Leadership

The Ben Barnes Fellowships make it possible for the LBJ School to recruit and support graduate students who have strong leadership potential and a demonstrated interest in public service.  The fellowships honor former Texas Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes.

Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law

The Strauss Center is a collaborative effort among the LBJ Foundation, the LBJ School, and the College of Liberal Arts and School of Law at The University of Texas at Austin.  The Strauss Center was created to provide the imagination, leadership and intellectual innovation required to help meet the challenges of the 21st century.  It is designed to be a new kind of institution, one that engages the best minds in academia, government and the private sector in developing practical solutions to the pressing problems of an increasingly globalized world.  Among its many activities, the Center convenes meetings, conferences, lectures and other events that bring government officials, national opinion makers, international figures and prominent thinkers to the UT Austin campus to debate and discuss major global issues.   Mr. Strauss served as U.S. Trade Representative and special envoy to the Middle East under President Carter and U.S. Ambassador to the former Soviet Union and Russia under President George H. W. Bush and is a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. Several additional endowments have been created to support the flagship programs of the Strauss Center:

  • Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs  The Mack Brown Chair brings high profile leaders in global policymaking to UT Austin to inspire and instruct the next generation of leaders to better meet global challenges facing this country and the world in decades to come.  The chair honors Mack Brown, head UT football coach, for his leadership both on and off the field.

  • Jon Brumley Chair in Global Affairs  The Jon Brumley Chair supports programs that examine current and past efforts to reconcile technological advances with security needs, particularly the world's struggle to contain the threat of nuclear proliferation.  Named for energy executive I. Jon Brumley, the chair is dedicated to developing peaceful ways to ensure that technological and scientific advances do not endanger global security.

  • William H. Crook Program in International Relations  The William H. Crook Program is dedicated to promoting global economic development and fighting poverty.  It sponsors innovative research on global poverty with the specific aim of generating concrete, practical recommendations that policymakers and the public can embrace.  Bill Crook was a pioneer in global development and poverty relief.  He established the Office of Economic Opportunity at the request of President Johnson in 1965 and served as national director of VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America, now AmeriCorps) and U.S. Ambassador to Australia. 

Contact Us

Mark K. Updegrove
President and CEO
[email protected]

Samantha Stone
Chief Operating Officer
[email protected]

Sally Allen
Director of Development
[email protected]

Courtney R. Hughes
Social Secretary & Event Coordinator
[email protected]

Rebecca Szeto
Executive Assistant
[email protected]

See full staff list