Gary and Ellen Davis

NET WORTH: Unknown  

SOURCE OF WEALTH: AIG Trading Group, DKR Capital

FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Jewish Causes, Health, Arts & Culture

OVERVIEW: Gary Davis and his wife Ellen move their philanthropy through the Gary and Ellen Davis Foundation, which gave away around $1.1 million in a recent year. The couple strongly support Cornell University and other educational causes. Another interest is the Jewish community. Giving often tracks with board memberships. 

BACKGROUND: Gary Davis graduated with a B.A. from Cornell University in 1976 and M.B.A. and J.D. degrees from Columbia University Law and Business Schools in 1980. He was in private practice with the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and was an officer at Drexel Burnham Lambert Trading Corporation. He was also president and CEO of AIG Trading Group. Davis went on to found DKR Capital. 

ISSUES:

EDUCATION & YOUTH: The Davises have steadily supported Davis' alma mater, Cornell University through the years: they endowed the Gary S. Davis Professorship of Government, the Gary and Ellen Davis Curator of Photography at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art in Ithaca, and established a joint fellowship at the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering and Weill Cornell Medicine to advance research into epilepsy. Davis is a trustee of his school.

The family has supported Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich, Columbia Law School (and the Gary S. Davis Scholarship Fund), Duke University, Harlem Village Academies, Horace Mann School (Ellen was on the board), and University of Pennsylvania, Ellen's alma mater.

JEWISH CAUSES: Ellen developed and launched a virtual JCC platform for Greenwich, Connecticut, and currently serves as chair of UJA-JCC Greenwich, which the family supports. She's active in the local Jewish community. Support has gone to Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, Jewish Family Service, Cornell University Hillel, Colel Chabad, and Chabad Lubavitch of Greenwich, among others.

HEALTH: In 2016, the couple made a $2 million gift to Weill Cornell Medicine to drive ongoing research in immunotherapy, and launch the Ellen and Gary Davis Immune Monitoring Core, "a critical research infrastructure [serving] as a repository for patient tumor samples, genomic sequencing and bioinformatics." Ellen is on the Weill Cornell Medicine board of overseers. Other grantees include Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and Melanoma Research Alliance (Ellen is on the board).

ARTS & CULTURE: Grantees include The Met, National Gallery of Art, Jazz at Lincoln Center, International Center of Poverty, and Aspen Film. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect this funder to stick with their interests for now. Board memberships are something to watch—Ellen, in particular, is active in civic life.

CONTACT:

The Ellen and Gary Davis Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address

Ellen and Gary Davis Foundation
45 Pecksland Road
Greenwich, CT 06831