Richard L. Kauffman joined The Wallace Foundation’s board of directors in 2015. Kauffman is chairman of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Beginning in January 2013, Kauffman served in the executive chamber of Gov. Andrew Cuomo as New York State’s first “energy czar,” or chairman of energy and finance. In this capacity, he oversaw the state’s energy agencies, including the Department of Public Service, the New York Power Authority, the Long Island Power Authority, and NYSERDA. He stepped down from that role in January 2019 while continuing as chairman of NYSERDA and, as such, he remains energy adviser to Cuomo and his administration.
Previously, Kauffman worked in energy and finance at some of the nation’s highest levels. Most recently, he served as senior adviser to then-Secretary of Energy Steven Chu at the U.S. Department of Energy. In his private sector career, Kauffman was chief executive officer of Good Energies, Inc., a leading investor in clean energy technologies; a partner at Goldman Sachs, where he chaired the Global Financing Group; and vice chairman of Morgan Stanley’s Institutional Securities Business and co-head of its Banking Department.
Kauffman has served as chairman of the board of Levi Strauss & Co., as well as on the boards of the Yale School of Management, the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, The New School, the Brookings Institution and the Wildlife Conservation Society. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University and two master’s degrees from Yale University, one in international relations, the other in public and private management.