Talk on Philanthropy in the United States by Professor Shale D. Stiller

15 August 2008

On Monday 11th August, Adjunct Professor Shale D. Stiller from The University of Maryland Law School addressed a group of alumni, academics, and alumni relations and philanthropy staff on the topic Philanthropy in the United States.

Professor Stiller also acts as counsel to one of the world's largest law firms, DLA Piper (and is a former partner) and is Trustee and President of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. This is the largest Jewish foundation in the world, with about $2.4 billion in assets. More information about the Foundation can be found at He was in Australia as part of a small delegation from The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

In his recent inaugural lecture, the new Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney Dr Michael Spence had commented "We need to be talking to our communities about the need for greater levels of philanthropic support than have been typical in this country, and to government about ways in which philanthropic support for universities could be encouraged."

Professor Stiller's visit to Sydney Law School therefore represented a timely opportunity for University staff and stakeholders to find out more about the dynamic philanthropic culture of the United States - and to think more about what these current principles and trends may mean for Australia.

Guests at the address were excited to have the opportunity to benefit from Professor Stiller's longstanding, in-depth involvement in philanthropy in the United States, especially his knowledge of trust and foundation grant making, philanthropic giving within the tertiary education sector, and Jewish community projects located in the USA and around the world.

In particular, Professor Stiller's emphasis on the increasing importance of transparency and accountability - as well as the pursuit of "best practice" in these areas - delivered a clear and relevant message to the group. Over drinks and canap├ęs, he lingered to answer a range of individual questions from guests stimulated by his address.

Contact: Guy Houghton

Phone: +61 2 9351 0391

Email: 556d0d085a2032351e0133323b18274207145e662637