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Thinking, and Acting, Globally
Annie, '79, and Ned Lamont have funded a new Middle East Studies faculty position, as well as research to improve affordable consumer health care delivery.
Their marriage transcends college rivalries—she went to Stanford, he to Harvard. But from the very start, Annie Huntress Lamont, '79, and Ned Lamont were united by a desire to resolve conflict.
Together, they're bolstering Stanford's efforts to address crises throughout the world by creating the Annie and Ned Lamont Professorship in International Studies. Their $3 million gift will fund faculty who are doing scholarship and research on a global scale, a commitment that qualifies for a $1 million matching gift from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. They hope the first Lamont Professor will be a specialist in Middle East Studies.
"The Middle East is so important to the economic and national security of the United States, but Americans don't know enough about it," says Annie. Ned first visited the Middle East a generation ago, conducting an assessment study for cable television systems in Kuwait and Bahrain. His race for U.S. Senate from Connecticut in 2006 revolved around the war in Iraq and America's place in the Middle East, and today he is back in the Middle East involved in economic development, as a board member for Mercy Corps.
The Lamonts' gift will help Stanford realize the more globalized curriculum envisioned by Richard Saller, the Vernon R. and Lysbeth Warren Anderson Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. "We need to expand our programs to educate new leaders for this century," Dean Saller says. "In the 21st century, educating 'cultured and useful' students has to mean educating them not only in European traditions but also in Asian, African, Middle Eastern, and Latin American traditions and cultures."
The Lamonts also have made a commitment to another area—one closer to home. Their $500,000 gift to the Clinical Excellence Research Center (CERC), the Stanford think tank focused on streamlining health care, draws from Annie's professional expertise and passion. As managing partner of Oak Investment Partners, a multistage venture capital firm, she leads the health care and financial services information technology teams. She and Ned hope their support for CERC will lead to better and more innovative models of health care delivery that lower per-capita spending.
"My life has been devoted to developing innovations in health care," she says. "When I see how other countries like Canada and Sweden handle, for example, kidney disease, offering at-home dialysis treatment at lower costs than the U.S. can provide at dialysis centers, I know there is so much room for improvement here."
When the Lamonts talk about hopes for the next generation of leadership, they also speak as parents. They have three children: Teddy, a sophomore at the University of Southern California studying media and communication; Emily, who studies at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and will start her first year at the Stanford Graduate School of Business next year; and Lindsay, '13, who was president of Stanford Democrats.
"We've tried to instill a sense of public service in our children," says Annie. "Our activism seems to be impacting them. We hope our involvement with Stanford has the same impact, if not more."