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Jonathan Lavine

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Jonathan Lavine
Chair Emeritus, City Year, Inc. Chair, Bain Capital, LP

Jonathan Lavine is Chair of Bain Capital, LP. Mr. Lavine founded Bain Capital Credit, formerly known as Sankaty Advisors, in 1997. Bain Capital Credit has more than $40 billion in assets under management, and has more than 330 employees in offices across the U.S., Europe , Asia and Australia. Before joining Bain Capital, Mr. Lavine worked with McKinsey & Company and Drexel Burnham Lambert.

Mr. Lavine has served as Chairman Emeritus of the City Year Board of Trustees since 2013. Together with his wife, Jeannie, he has partnered with City Year since 1991. In 2018, the Lavines committed $18 million to City Year to launch The City Year Campaign: Investing in Student Success initiative.

When asked about the significance of the number 18, also the dollar amount of the Lavines’ first-ever gift to City Year, Jonathan Lavine said, “The symbolism of the number 18 comes from our Jewish faith—it represents the Hebrew letters for “chai,” which means ”life” or ”luck.“ We hope that making this kind of an investment in City Year will inspire others, signaling how significant City Year is in changing the trajectory of lives of children in the United States, and how worthy it is of such a donation.”

The most recent philanthropic investment from Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine included a $15 million dollar gift in 2022. Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine's continuous support has been integral in furthering City Year's mission to develop diverse leadership and improve educational equity for students and young adults.

In addition to their commitment to City Year, the Lavines are active in a number of philanthropic and civic organizations. In 2007, they founded the Crimson Lion Foundation through which they provide support to nonprofits like uAspire and the Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life, Columbia/Barnard Hillel. Other beneficiary organizations have included the Anti Defamation League, Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston and American Jewish World Service.

The Lavines have also endowed the Lavine Family Humanitarian Studies Initiative at the Harvard School of Public Health, and established the Lavine Family Cornerstone Scholarship Fund for Harvard undergraduates. In 2016, through the Crimson Lion Foundation, the Lavines made a $1 million donation to the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), the largest in the organization’s history. The Lavines’ gift to EJI supports the organization’s work to combat wrongful convictions and excessive punishment of defendants and prisoners in the U.S. In 2019, the Lavines made a $15 million donation to create the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize, an award recognizing accomplishment in the production of historical documentaries.

Mr. Lavine is Chair Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of Columbia University and is a member of the ownership group and a director of the Boston Celtics. In 2016, President Obama named Mr. Lavine to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. He was reappointed in 2023 by President Biden.

Mr. Lavine graduated from Columbia College, Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude, and received his Master of Business Administration with Distinction from Harvard Business School.

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Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine Committed to City Year

From their first gift of $18 to their most recent $15 million commitment, each gift has been given with purpose and compassion, and at critical junctures in City Year’s impact and growth.

Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine’s $18 million pledge in 2018 enabled City Year to catalyze what was then the most recent phase of City Year’s Long-Term Impact strategy — a plan to ensure that more students are on track to graduate from high school and to position City Year to increase its impact, sustainability, scale and permanence. Their more recent $15 million contribution, made in 2022, continues to support City Year’s strategic vision.

The Lavines donate $15 million to create the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Award

Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine’s donation established the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film. This nationally recognized award celebrates outstanding achievement in historical documentaries and will provide the next generation of filmmakers with funding to finish film production for the next decade.

Jonathan Lavine receives Anti-Defamation League Community Service Award

The Anti-Defamation League of New England honored Jonathan Lavine with the 2012 Distinguished Community Service Award for his “immense civic leadership and influence to affect positive change in our community.”


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