Washington, April 8, 2009 -- Thomas A. Saunders
III, a New York investment banker who champions the importance of
American history and higher education, has been elected chairman of
The Heritage Foundation's board of trustees.
Saunders, a member of the Heritage board since 2005, is its
first new chairman in 17 years. He succeeds David R. Brown, a
retired orthopedic surgeon who had served as chairman of the
leading Washington think tank since 1992.
"Tom's wide experience in the worlds of high finance and higher
education proved to be perfect for Heritage," Heritage President
Edwin J. Feulner said in making the announcement. "We're run like a
business and aim to increase understanding that conservative policy
solutions work. Tom is a steady leader who won't blink at the
mounting challenges of this juncture in American history."
Saunders previously served as chairman of Heritage's Investment
Committee. He most recently oversaw the "Leadership for America"
campaign and its 10 initiatives, which include reforming
entitlements, improving health care, protecting America from her
enemies and recovering the nation's founding principles.
Saunders is president of Ivor & Co., a private investment
company. In 1990, he co-founded Saunders Karp & Megrue, a
private equity firm that merged in 2005 with Apax Partners of
London. From 1974 to 1989, he was a managing director of Morgan
Stanley & Co.
With Saunders' installation April 2 as chairman, Brown, a board
member since 1978, assumed the title of chairman emeritus.
The change came 10 days after Brown accepted the Clare Boothe
Luce Award, Heritage's highest honor, bestowed for distinguished
contributions to the conservative movement
"Thanks to David's wise counsel and generosity, Heritage has
grown into a permanent rampart for the defense of freedom," said
Feulner, president of the organization since 1977 and a board
member since its founding in 1973. "Tom couldn't ask for a better
example as he takes the gavel as chairman."
In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded the National
Humanities Medal to Saunders. He also is the recipient of the most
prestigious awards bestowed by the New York Historical Society, the
Marine Corps University Foundation, VMI Foundation and the
University of Virginia's Darden School of Business.
Saunders' service on other nonprofit boards includes the New
York Historical Society and the University of Virginia Investment
Management Co. He previously served as chairman of the board of the
Thomas Jefferson Foundation. He was on the board of visitors of
both the University of Virginia, where he earned his master's in
business administration in 1967, and Virginia Military Institute,
where he received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in
He and his wife, Jordan, live in New York City and Locust
Valley, N.Y. They have two children and three grandchildren.
The Heritage Foundation is the nation's most broadly supported
public policy research institute, with more than 400,000
individual, foundation and corporate donors. It has a staff of 244
and an annual expense budget of more than $60 million.