Lewis M. Feldstein served for 24 years as the CEO and President of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the state’s largest foundation. During his tenure the Foundation’s assets grew for $25MM to almost $500 MM, becoming one of the largest community foundations in the nation. Feldstein was several times selected as one of the ten most influential people in the state.
For ten years following the fall of the Soviet Union he played a lead role in building community foundations across Europe, and for seven years worked on the World Bank leadership team as the Bank invested in, and tested, the role of community foundations and private philanthropy in the developing world. He co-chaired the Saguaro-Seminar “Civic Engagement in America” together with Robert Putnam at Harvard University and with him co-authored “Better Together: Restoring the American Community,” a book analyzing the grassroots development of civic engagement in the United States.
In the political field, Mr. Feldstein participated in the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi and was an Assistant to New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay. Among his singular achievements were seven-year tenure as the MC of the International Zucchini Festival, and a stint as wine steward and personal assistant to John Wayne on his yacht in the Mediterranean. Mr. Feldstein was listed among the Top 50 of nonprofit executives by the “NonProfit Times” and holds honorary doctorates from seven universities.
Since retirement in 2010 Feldstein has taken an active leadership role on several major NH public policy issues, including the lead role in opposing repeal of NH’s Marriage Equality law, continued to partner with Robert Putnam on emerging social capital issues, and acts as Senior Fellow on a national project working with selected Community Foundation CEOs.