Shelby White

Founder, ISAW
Chair, Director's Council 

Shelby White is the Founding Trustee of the Leon Levy Foundation, which was created from the estate of her late husband, who died in 2003. Its largest program, the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, a center for advanced research and graduate education at New York University, was established in 2007. The Foundation also supports organizations in the arts and humanities, nature and gardens, neuroscience research, human rights and Jewish culture.

In 2017, Ms. White was awarded the  Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in recognition of her far-reaching philanthropic work.  She has been listed as one of the country’s top philanthropists in Business Week’s Annual Review of Top Giver’s and on The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of America’s most generous givers.

Ms. White serves on the boards of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Institute for Advanced Study, The New York Botanical Garden, New York University, Bard Graduate Center, and The Writers Room.  She is president of the American Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority. She also serves as chairman of the Shelby White and Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications at Harvard University.

As an author, Ms. White has written financial articles for publications including The New York TimesTowandCountry, Redbook and Forbes. Her book, “What Every Woman Should Know About Her Husband’s Money,” was published by Random House (1992, 1994). She has taught seminar courses on philanthropy at New York University and museum studies at City College of New York and written articles about both philanthropy and art collecting.