Topics: International Relations
Regional focus: Global
Origin: United States
Fellowship: Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow

Stephen Heintz has served as president and CEO of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) since 2001. A private foundation established in 1940, the Fund works to help build a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world through grantmaking and other activities in the U.S. and internationally.

After 15 years in government service in the state of Connecticut, Heintz served as executive vice president for the EastWest Institute during the 1990s. Based in Prague, he helped propel civil society development, economic reform, and international security in Central and Eastern Europe’s burgeoning democracies.

Upon his return to the U.S., Heintz co-founded Dēmos, a research and advocacy organization working to reduce political and economic inequality. In 2002, he led the RBF’s joint initiative with the UN Association of the USA to open a Track II dialogue that helped lay the groundwork for the Iran nuclear deal. Heintz has been actively engaged in China, Afghanistan, and the Middle East. In 2014, Heintz led the Fund’s decision to divest fossil fuel investment in its endowment.

Heintz is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and co-chaired the Academy commission that produced Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2012, President Bronisław Komorowski of Poland granted him the Officer’s Cross – Order of Merit for his contributions to building civil society and democratic institutions in Poland and in 2018 the Council on Foundations presented its Distinguished Service Award to Heintz.

Last updated: 2023