—Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-Founder Lowell Milken
The question of how to enrich people's lives has been at the forefront of every endeavor that — be it business or philanthropic, local or national, social or economic — Milken Family Foundation Chairman (MFF) Lowell Milken has undertaken professionally and personally. His answer has been formulated from three decades of academic research, policy analysis and community involvement: the key is to prepare people with the skills, knowledge and experiences that will allow them to take advantage of life's opportunities.
Currently serving as chairman of two global corporations, and having graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from the UC Berkeley — receiving the School of Business Administration's Most Outstanding Student Award — and earning his law degree from UCLA with the highest honors, Lowell Milken has brought business-minded leadership to the cause-driven ideals of MFF, which he co-founded in 1982 with his brother Michael Milken. With the underlying commitment to help people help themselves and those around them to live productive and satisfying lives, MFF seeks to realize this goal by unlocking the power of human potential.
To realize this goal, Lowell has devoted much of his time, thought and resources to improving kindergarten through 12th-grade education. Lowell founded the Milken Educator Awards in 1987 to publically honor talented teachers in the hopes that other educators — young and old, veteran and aspiring — will emulate their best practices. Today, the Milken Educator Awards is the nation's preeminent teacher recognition program, having honored 2,500 K-12 teachers, principals and specialists with more than $64 million in individual, unrestricted $25,000 awards. A total of $137 million has been devoted to the overall program, which includes powerful professional development opportunities throughout the recipients’ careers in education. Awardees are heralded in early to mid-career for what they have achieved… and for the promise of what they will accomplish in the future.
Recognizing the need to not only reward excellence in teaching, but also to generate it, Lowell formulated TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement in 1999, and later founded the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching in 2005 as an independent public charity to support and manage TAP nationally and to foster powerful teacher quality initiatives through the NIET Best Practices Center. A comprehensive research-based strategy to attract high-caliber talent to the American teaching profession, TAP's proven system along with NIET's Best Practices network, now impacts over 200,000 teachers and 2.5 million students across the country and is growing exponentially. Based on an integrated model of career advancement, professional growth, focused accountability and performance-based compensation for educators, TAP is a proven system for increasing student achievement and teacher effectiveness.
Lowell's proactive approach to education reform is at work at Los Angeles: High Tech High, which offers students a public charter school curriculum rich in technology and complemented by real-world internships.
The breadth of Lowell's work in education is not limited to traditional classroom settings. Quite the contrary, the scope of his work extends to innovative cultural and historical initiatives. Lowell founded the Lowell Milken Center in 2007 -- an organization dedicated to discovering, developing and communicating the stories of unsung heroes who have made a profound and positive difference on the course of history through student-driven, project-based learning.
After a two-year process of exploration initiated by UCLA Law Leadership with Lowell Milken to develop initiatives in business and law that serve students, faculty and the greater community through innovative research, hands-on skills training and real world problem solving, UCLA School of Law and Lowell Milken established the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy. In addition to significantly expanding UCLA School of Law’s already exceptional programs for business law and policy, the Lowell Milken Institute will create fellowships for young law practitioners to gain teaching experience, extend new opportunities for law students with an expanded business law and policy curricula—including increased access to clinical and transactional courses, seminars and conferences—and provide greater resources to support business law and policy research for faculty members.
With both passion and purpose, Lowell Milken has charted a course for philanthropic activism to empower individuals, community and society to embrace self-sufficiency and public service for a more promising future. His innovative programs are prime examples of Lowell's commitment to individual and social improvement through higher learning and the pursuit of excellence.
February 20, 2019
San Gabriel Valley Tribune