Richard and Barbara Debs

NET WORTH: Unknown 

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Morgan Stanley

FUNDING AREAS: Global & Policy, Arts & Culture, Education & Youth

OVERVIEW: Richard Debs, his wife Barbara, and family conduct their philanthropy through the Debs Foundation. Debs is on the boards of several organizations, and his main giving interests include global policy and the arts.

BACKGROUND: Richard A. Debs graduated from Colgate University in 1952 and holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School. He was COO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1976 as the founding president of Morgan Stanley International to develop the investment bank’s international business. 


GLOBAL & POLICY: Not only has Debs worked internationally, but he has also been involved with the boards of international institutions. He is chair of the international council of the Bretton Woods Committee, "the nonpartisan network of prominent global citizens, which works to demonstrate the value of international economic cooperation and to foster strong, effective Bretton Woods institutions as forces for global well-being." Support has gone to Bretton Woods, American Task Force for LebanonColumbia University Middle East Institute, and Middle East Institute

ARTS & CULTURE: Barbara Debs, an art historian, is a former president of the New York Historical Society and a trustee emerita of Brooklyn Museum of Art. The couple have supported Brooklyn Museum, American Friends of Lucerne FestivalBrooklyn Historical Society, New York Historical Society, and Carnegie Hall, whose board Debs once chaired. In the 1990s, the couple endowed the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall. 

EDUCATION & YOUTH: Debs is chairman emeritus of the American University of Beirut, which the family supports. Other grantees include Institute of International Education (Debs is on the board), Vassar College, and Wheaton College.

HEALTH: Grantees include Arthritis FoundationButler Hospital, and New York Stem Cell Foundation.

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the Debs family to continue funding their interest areas, with an eye towards international work and the arts. 


The Debs Foundation
1 Beekman Pl., Apt. 7A
New York City, NY 10022