NET WORTH: $20 million, estimated
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Screenwriter, Producer; medical doctor
FUNDING AREAS: LBGT Rights, Healthcare
OVERVIEW: Neal Baer strongly focuses on LGBT rights in his philanthropy. Healthcare, particularly obesity is another interest. He once moved philanthropy through a family foundation but does not currently. He is the founder of the Social Change Institute.
BACKGROUND: Neal Baer graduated with a B.A. in political science from Colorado College, attended AFI Conservatory, and earned master’s degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Education and Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Sociology. He got his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1996. Baer is is executive producer of the CBS television series A Gifted Man. He was executive producer of the hit NBC television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and ER.
LBGT RIGHTS: Baer came out as gay and currently strongly focuses on LGBT causes through his philanthropy. He’s a board member of the ONE Archives Foundation, the independent community partner that supports the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the University of Southern California (USC) Libraries, the largest repository of LGBTQ materials in the world. He created a scholarship for LGBT students at Harvard Medical School and supports the Point Foundation, the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students of merit.
HEALTHCARE: Baer is currently interested in tackling work around obesity, including supporting efforts at Harvard Medical School, where he sits on the board of fellows. Baer joined the Department of Community Health Sciences at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health as a research scientist and is now an adjunct professor. There he established the Global Media Center for Social Impact (GMI), where he works on projects using new media to promote health initiatives and social activism around the world— particularly on HIV prevention and reducing obesity.
In the past, Baer was strongly involved with Venice Family Clinic.
OTHER: Baer is a lifetime trustee of his school Colorado College, where he supports a scholarship. He currently supports Human Rights Watch and is on the board of Venice Arts, which he’s been backing for years. He was a trustee of his institution American Film Institute, which he’s supported. In the past, Baer directed funds to Hillary for America.
LOOKING FORWARD: In his 60s, Baer has refined his focus areas, and should be watched for greater giving in the LGBT space in particular.