Newsletter: Research at Siegel Family Endowment

Posted on Thursday, April 15th, 2021

Siegel Family Endowment is proud to announce our new, in-house research capacity. John Irons, our recently appointed Senior Vice President and Head of Research, will lead this new endeavor.

John’s career thus far has been spent across the worlds of philanthropy and academia, and as Head of Research, he’ll be responsible for building out a team of researchers tasked with driving progressive answers to each of our fundamental inquiry questions, and determining where there are opportunities to make programmatic interventions. SFE’s research operation will also amplify the ongoing research work of our grantees, and elevate their insights and thought leadership to new audiences and policymakers.

You can read more about the development of our research arm in a two-part Insights series authored by John Irons. The first installment focuses on the context for and rationale behind the development of this program, and examines the historical overlaps between philanthropy and research. The second post explores the specific objectives of SFE’s research program, and articulates our vision for knowledge creation and the development of insights to share with our peers in the field.

Read both parts of John’s Introduction to Research at SFE here

We’re excited to begin this work to strengthen our grantmaking and thought leadership efforts, and to enhance the contributions that we’re able to make to the fields of research and policy at large.

We hope you’ll read more about this new endeavor to learn more about what’s guided our thinking, and how we see it unfolding – and stay tuned for more opportunities and updates about our findings!


We have a new research opportunity at Siegel Family Endowment. We’re looking for a research consultant to work with us on developing a conceptual framework for measuring the return on investment (ROI) for public investments in infrastructure across physical, digital, and social dimensions.

Read more about the project, and express your interest here.


A major part of our strategic approach to grantmaking involves hearing directly from grantee leadership about their work, and amplifying their findings and lessons from work in the field. We’ve recently launched a new series of interviews with leaders and executives from grantee organizations, titled “ED Q&A” – you can read the first two installments, featuring interviews with the leaders of Merit America, Creo College Prep, and ICA below.

A lot of attention gets paid to innovation and the development of new, exciting technology and ideas. But what about managing the resources we already have at our fingertips? And what about keeping up the considerable infrastructure that makes innovation possible in the first place? Explore these topics and more in a profile of grantees The Maintainers, an organization that creates communities of practice around keeping up all parts of the world around us.

SFE grantees Data & Society and Stanford PACS recently co-hosted a discussion to celebrate the release of a new volume edited by Rob Reich and Lucy Bernholz of Stanford PACS, and Hélène Landemore, titled Digital Technology and Democratic Theory. The book offers insights for creating a world that’s more critically engaged with technology and the ways in which it impacts our communities, democratic institutions, and the wider world around us. Read more here.



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