February 14, 2012
Steven A. Denning elected chair of Stanford University Board of Trustees
Denning, who has been a member of the board since 2004, served as co-chair of The Stanford Challenge, the recently concluded campaign that raised $6.2 billion.
By Kathleen J. Sullivan
Steven Denning joined the Stanford Board of Trustees in 2004. (Photo: Courtesy of Steven Denning)
Steven A. Denning, the chairman of General Atlantic LLC, a leading global growth capital firm that provides equity financing and strategic support for growth companies, has been elected chair of the Stanford University Board of Trustees.
Denning, who joined the university's Board of Trustees in 2004, will begin his two-year term in July, the board announced at its Feb. 6-7 meeting.
He succeeds Leslie P. Hume, who served as chair for four years. Hume will leave the board at the end of June, after having served 11½ years.
Hume described Denning as a "very active, engaged, inspirational" member of the Board of Trustees.
"Steve is the most committed, hard-working, and insightful of board members," Hume said. "He has taken a leadership role on a number of committees and projects. He served as co-chair of The Stanford Challenge and chaired the board's Task Force on Globalization, which later became the Special Committee on Globalization. He served as chair of the Endowment Strategic Review Committee and, most recently, as chair of the Presidential Advisory Committee on New York.
"His contributions to the university are wide-ranging, and the generosity with which he and his wife, Roberta, have supported so many areas of the campus has been truly inspiring. Stanford is fortunate to have someone as talented and dedicated as Steve to chair the Board. I could not be more pleased to have Steve as my successor."
The Board of Trustees, which currently has 33 members, is the custodian of the university's endowment – which was $16.5 billion as of Aug. 31, 2011, the last day of Stanford's fiscal year – and all of its properties. Trustees administer invested funds, set the annual budget and determine policies for the operation and control of the university.
Denning, a Utah native, earned a bachelor's degree in industrial management from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta in 1970. He served in the U.S. Navy for six years and earned a master's degree in management from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., in 1971.
He earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1978.
After graduating from Stanford, Denning worked for McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, in its New York and San Francisco offices.
Denning joined General Atlantic in 1980, the same year it was founded. Currently, the company has investments in about 50 companies around the world. General Atlantic has offices in Greenwich, Conn., New York, Palo Alto, London, Munich, Hong Kong, Beijing, Mumbai, India, Singapore and Sao Paulo.
At Stanford, Denning is an active volunteer for the Graduate School of Business, where he is a member and former chair of the Advisory Council. (Members of the Business School's Advisory Council are recommended by the dean and appointed by the president of Stanford.)
In 2007, Denning received the Business School's Excellence in Leadership Award, which is given to an outstanding graduate of the school who has made a mark in the corporate world and the community at large.
Denning served as co-chair of The Stanford Challenge, the recently concluded campaign that raised $6.2 billion. The campaign was aimed at seeking solutions to complex global problems and educating the next generation of leaders.
"I look forward to working with Stanford's exceptional leadership and distinguished faculty to build upon the success of The Stanford Challenge and to address the challenges and opportunities the university faces at the beginning of the 21st century," Denning said in a Monday interview.
Denning is a director of the Thomson Reuters Corp. and several General Atlantic portfolio companies. He is co-chair of the board of directors of The Nature Conservancy, a trustee of the Brookings Institution and the Bridgespan Group, and a member of the board of directors of the American Museum of Natural History.
Denning also is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the McKinsey Investment Office Advisory Council and the Georgia Tech Advisory Board. He is emeritus chairman of the National Parks Conservation Association. He previously served as a member of the advisory board of the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University in Beijing and a member of the Board of Trustees of Georgia Tech Foundation Inc.
Denning, who lives in Greenwich, Conn., is married to Roberta Bowman Denning, a 1978 graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, who also earned her bachelor's degree from Stanford in 1975. The couple has two children, Robert (Columbia, '06, Stanford GSB '11) and Carrie (Stanford, '08, MA '09). The Dennings have provided support to a number of areas and programs across the university.