Who's Who At the Anschutz Foundation

In a more just world, places like the Anschutz Foundation, endowed with more than $1 billion in assets and ranked as one of the largest foundations in the United States, would at least have a website. 

You'll find none of that with Anschutz, but that doesn't mean folks shouldn't know what they can about this funder, even if the foundation itself — and the man behind it — are media shy. After all, more than $50 million was awarded in 2013 in a wide variety of grantmaking areas, such as "conservative concepts and public policy", conservation, poverty outreach, health, housing, and education at all levels. Through these different categories, hundreds of nonprofits have been supported annually.

With that in mind, similar to the post in which we lifted the veil on the staff working at the opaque Susan Buffett Foundation, we thought we'd provide a who's who at the Anschutz Foundation.

For starters, its 2013 tax filings lists thirteen staff. The foundation staff is comprised of the Anschutzes, their three children, and a few associates:

Nancy P. Anschutz is listed as a director at the foundation. Nancy is Anschutz's wife and serves as Vice President and Director of the Anschutz Collection at the American Museum of Western Art in Denver. The Collection "surveys the history of the development of American art as it pertains to the west." In 2013, the American Museum of Western Art received at least $200,000; other museum and arts outfits in Denver, Oklahoma and New York received support as well.

Nancy also serves as Vice President and Director of the Foundation for Better Life, a nonprofit founded by Anschutz in 2000 to "promote good values." Among other things, the foundation installs billboards with inspirational quotes.

In 2013, the Nancy P. Anschutz Center opened at the Jack A. Vickers Boys and Girls Club in Denver after a $5 million gift from the Anschutzes.

M. Lavoy Robison, meanwhile, serves on the board of the Anschutz Foundation since 1998 and was the foundation's executive director from 1998 to 2010. He currently serves as a Director of the foundation. Robison worked for KPMG, the big 4 accounting firm, after graduating with a degree in accounting from BYU. Robison is also currently a director at Discovery Communications.

Ted E. Harms is currently executive director of the foundation and like Robison appears to come from the auditing world, where he also worked for KPMG.

Christian P. Anschutz serves as president and director at Anshutz. Post 9/11, Christian became involved with the Denver Police Foundation (DPF), an organization that supports families of police killed in duty. As of 2013, Christian also served as chairman of the Denver Police Organization (DPO) and as a board member for the University of Colorado Hospital Foundation, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. In 2004, Christian founded Western Development Group, a real-estate group. He also runs his own eponymous foundation, the Christian P. Anschutz Foundation, which gives modestly in the Denver area, much of it to civic causes.

Lisa Rucker is program officer according to Anschutz's 2013 tax records; however, her LinkedIn suggests she ended a five year run at Anschutz (2009-2014), and now works at the Gates Family Foundation. It's unclear who has filled this program officer position.

Sarah A. Hunt and Elizabeth A. Brown - Anschutz's daughters Sarah and Elizabeth also serve as Vice Presidents and Directors at the foundation. Sarah was director of the Anschutz Collection at the American Museum of Western Art in Denver, and remains an avid art collector. Both daughters graduated from Princeton. In 1997, the Anschutz family created the Anschutz Distinguished Fellowship in American Studies at Princeton. 

In a profile in the New Yorker, Anschutz mentions that as their children grow older, “[t]hey are bringing in more diverse interests than what we first started with, certainly.” He credits them, and their spouses, for the foundation's increasing interest in education.


Finally, it's worth mentioning that Anschutz's parents, Fred and Marian Pfister Anschutz, started a foundation in 1982 called the Anschutz Family Foundation. Anschutz's sister, Sue Anschutz-Rogers, runs the organization. Ironically, the Anschutz Family Foundation maintains a website and emphasizes that it is not the Anschutz Foundation—the one shrouded in secrecy. However, the Anschutz Family Foundation lists a number for the Anschutz Foundation: 303-308-8220.