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Laura and John Arnold Foundation
According to the foundation's website, their mission is to "produce substantial, widespread and lasting reforms that will maximize opportunities and minimize injustice in our society. To do this, we identify challenges and address their root causes through innovative, multi-disciplinary solutions. We aim to foster a culture in which individuals have the best chance to succeed and prosper, while encouraging a sense of responsibility, compassion and reinvestment toward their communities and society as a whole."
Areas of focus
The foundation's areas of focus are:
- Criminal justice: "We believe that our criminal justice system should fairly, effectively and efficiently protect the public while fostering individual responsibility and respect for each person’s dignity. A fair criminal justice system should respect victims, safeguard each individual’s constitutional rights and ensure that everyone is treated equally at all stages of the criminal justice process. An effective and efficient criminal justice system should increase public safety, reduce recidivism and optimize the use of public dollars. Our strategy is to initiate and support innovative, substantial and lasting reforms that propel the creation of such a system."
- Education: "The Foundation works for transformational change in K-12 public education. We seek to create effective systems of high-performing schools that maximize the human potential and career opportunities of all students, particularly those in underserved communities."
- Public accountability: "Our first initiative in this area is public employee benefits reform. State and local budgets across the nation are facing considerable financial distress. The cost of public employee benefits in most states and communities is unsustainable. Realistic estimates place the unfunded liabilities due to pension commitments at roughly $3 trillion, and that is just for state run plans. Many cities are facing an even more acute problem. The economic and social costs of this looming crisis are potentially crippling to our nation."
John Arnold became a billionaire as a hedge fund manager. He worked at Enron and then founded an energy-trading hedge fund, Centaurus Advisors. In 2011, Forbes magazine estimated Arnold's net worth at $3.3 billion.
Laura Arnold is an attorney and a former executive at a Houston-based energy company. She sits on the board of "Teach for America."
The Arnolds are among a group of wealthy Americans who have pledged through The Giving Pledge to give away the majority of their fortune to charity. Examples of their philanthrophy include a $25 million donation to "Teach for America."