President, The Goldman Sachs Foundation, New York, N.Y.
Stephanie Bell-Rose, president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, is a staunch believer in the exhortation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the 19th century German philosopher: “Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” The Brooklyn, N.Y., native graduated with honors from Harvard College, earned an M.P.A. from the Kennedy School of Government and a J.D. from Harvard Law School before studying urban development for a year in Venezuela and Mexico as a Harvard University Rockefeller Scholar. These educational experiences “were pivotal in defining my own high standards and personal measures of success,” she says.
She is “very proud” of helping to launch the Goldman Sachs Foundation and of creating, through the foundation, the Next Generation Venture Fund, whereby companies invest in talented young people from underrepresented groups at an early stage in their development. The Fund helps her reach a solid base of young people being groomed to become global leaders.
Before joining Goldman Sachs, Bell-Rose served as counsel and program officer for public affairs at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, where she was responsible for legal affairs and creating funding and research initiatives and public policy in the United States and overseas. Still, she finds the time to serve on the board of the Barnes Foundation, an art museum, and the advisory board of Harvard University’s Hauser Center for Non-Profit Organizations. “I attribute my achievements to my parents, especially my mother; John C. Whitehead, my boss, who taught me so much about the corporate world; and Dr. Bernard Watson, president of the Barnes Foundation, who generously shares his experiences with younger colleagues to promote their development and success,” she says.
Married since graduate school, Bell-Rose says starting her career with a husband and children helped her understand the value of her time and the importance of being focused. “My family is my greatest personal triumph,” she declares.