NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Third Avenue Funds
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Policy & Global, Jewish Causes, Health
OVERVIEW: Martin and Lois Whitman move their philanthropy through the Hilda Mullen Foundation, which gave under $855,000 in a recent tax year. Martin Whitman is a strong benefactor of his alma mater, Syracuse. Lois, meanwhile, takes the lead as a human rights advocate; the couple supports several major policy and international organizations. Jewish causes are another interest.
BACKGROUND: Martin J. Whitman graduated from Syracuse University and New School for Social Research. A veteran value investor, Whitman founded the predecessor firms to Third Avenue Funds and M.J. Whitman LLC.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: Martin Whitman is a strong benefactor of his school, Syracuse University, whose business school, The Martin J. Whitman School of Management, is named after him. Via the Hilda Mullen Foundation, Whitman and his wife Lois have supported Lois’ school Columbia, as well as places like CUNY Law, Say Yes to Education, UPenn, UChicago, Yale, and Bard High School Early College.
POLICY & GLOBAL: Lois Whitman, a lawyer and social worker, plays a strong role in this grantmaking category. She’s been associated with Human Rights Watch since the mid-1980s and has conducted human rights investigations and written reports on abuses in numerous countries. She also founded and formerly served as director of Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Division, which investigates and seeks to end human rights abuses against children.
The couple via their foundation have supported Human Rights Watch, ACLU, Center for Reproductive Rights, The Exoneration Initiative, Center for the Victims of Torture, and Worldwide Orphans Foundation.
JEWISH CAUSES: The Whitmans also earmark funds for Jewish organizations like American Association of Ben-Gurion University, American Friends of Tel Aviv University, Israel Policy Forum, UJA-Federation of New York, T’Ruah - The Rabbinical Call for Human Rights, and World Jewish Congress.
HEALTH: The couple also has an interest in health, with a particular eye towards mental health. They’ve supported Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, The Aaron T. Beck Psychopathology Research Center, and Physicians for Human Rights, where Lois is a board member.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the couple to stick with their established interest areas.
The Hilda Mullen Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:
Hilda Mullen Foundation
1 Chase Manhattan Plaza
New York, NY 10005