Howard Warren Buffett

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Howard Warren Buffett
Howard Warren Buffett.jpg
Born (1983-10-14) October 14, 1983 (age 35)
EducationColumbia University (MPA)
Northwestern University (BA)
EmployerColumbia University
Spouse(s)Lili Thomas Buffett
Parent(s)Howard Graham Buffett
Devon Goss Buffett
RelativesWarren Buffett (grandfather)
Susan Thompson Buffett (grandmother)
Susan Alice Buffett (aunt)
Peter Buffett (uncle)
Doris Buffett (paternal great-aunt)
Howard Buffett (great-grandfather)
Leila Stahl Buffett(great-grandmother)
J. Schuyler Long (great-great-grandfather)

Howard Warren Buffett (born October 14, 1983) is an American professor in public policy and international affairs, political advisor, and philanthropist. He serves as an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs[1] and was previously the executive director of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation that funds initiatives aimed at improving the standard of living and quality of life for the world’s most impoverished and marginalized populations.[2] He previously led agriculture-based economic stabilization and redevelopment programs in Iraq and Afghanistan while at the United States Department of Defense,[3] and as a policy advisor in the Executive Office of the President of the United States under President Barack Obama.

Prior to joining the White House, Buffett served as a special assistant at the U.S. Department of Agriculture,[4] as a member of the Office of the President-Elect,[5] and as director of National Surrogate Radio for Obama for America.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Buffett was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to farmer and philanthropist Howard Graham Buffett and Devon Armour Goss (by first husband Morse).[7][8][9] He has four half sisters: Erin Christian Morse, Heather Kirsten Morse, Chelsea Armour Morse, Megan Moreton Morse. He is a grandson and the only biological grandchild of famed American investor and philanthropist Warren Edward Buffett.[10] His maternal grandfather was Norman Leffingwell Goss, a celebrity Pasadena businessman, a restaurateur, a vineyard and winery owner and a classical musician. And he is a great-great-grandson of Michael Cochrane Armour, president of a Chicago Iron and Steel Corporation.[11] Howard Warren Buffett is also a great-great-grandson of Dr. J. Schuyler Long.

Raised in Omaha, he attended Ponca Elementary School before moving to Decatur, Illinois, where he attended Mount Zion High School and was elected president of the local chapter of the National FFA Organization. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communication Studies in 2006 at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois,[12] where he also served as the student body vice president.[13] He went on to receive a Master of Public Administration in Advanced Management and Finance at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University in 2008.[14]


Public service[edit]

In 2009, Buffett was appointed to the United States Department of Agriculture, where he served as a special assistant in the Office of the Secretary. There, he managed the national expansion strategy for the Department’s $480 million Cooperative Extension Service program. Additionally, he was charged with identifying strategic external partnerships aimed at advancing the core mission areas of research, education, and economics. He also served on the five-year Strategic Planning Initiative, and represented the department in the White House Innovation and Information Policy Working Group.[15]

Upon completion of his service at the Department of Agriculture, Buffett served as a policy advisor in the Executive Office of the President of the United States at the White House, where he was responsible for the Cross-Sector Partnerships portfolio. In this role, he directed strategy development for cross-sector partnerships and innovation strategies aimed at enhancing collaboration between the White House, federal departments, agencies, corporations, nonprofits and foundations.[14]

After leaving the White House, Buffett became the director of agriculture development at the Task Force for Business Stability Operations under the U.S. Department of Defense, where he was tasked with designing and implementing a strategy for agricultural development in Afghanistan and Iraq under the leadership of Paul Brinkley.[16]

White House Energy Innovation Conference[edit]

In May 2010, Buffett spearheaded a White House Energy Innovation Conference focused on promoting partnerships. Represented at the event were four federal departments, three federal agencies, entrepreneurs, state government officials, academia, private sector leaders, nonprofits and innovators.[15]

At the conference, the United States Department of Energy and the Small Business Administration jointly announced that both the Small Business Investment Company program and the Small Business Technology Transfer program would begin using their existing funding networks to promote small green energy firms through a new $60 million Business Clean Energy Innovation Fund. The event also served as the launch vehicle for the Regional Energy Innovation Conferences.[15]

The first Regional Energy Innovation Conference was hosted in Omaha, Nebraska on June 17, 2010. The event focused on connecting entrepreneurs and small enterprise with representatives from organizations across sectors and was itself a partnership between the City of Omaha, The Gallup Organization, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Over one hundred local, regional, and national organizations were represented at Gallup University’s Omaha Campus to discuss issues ranging from regional gap funding and human capital needs to collaboration and the early adoption of energy innovation.[17]

Social value investing[edit]

At the 2011 Social Good Summit in New York, Buffett introduced an approach premised on addressing social problems by systematically lining up nonprofits to each need.[18]

On May 28, 2018, Buffett announced the release of his book titled "Social Value Investing: A Management Framework for Effective Partnerships."[19] Published by Columbia University Press, the book details specific case studies and examples on topics including clean energy, water scarcity and sustainable agriculture.[20]

Advisory positions[edit]

In 2010, Buffett joined the advisory board for Toyota Motor North America.[21] He chairs the advisory board for the Harvard University International Negotiation Program.[when?][22]

He previously served on the Board of Visitors for the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University,[when?] and on the boards of New York Needs You and the Clark and Hinman Foundation.[when?] Additionally, he has served as an advisor to both the United Nations Office for Partnerships and the FEED Foundation.[when?][23]

He served as a judge for the Collaboration Prize,[when?][24] the American Express 2009 NGen Fellows Program, and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s business plan competitions.

He is an active member of the Nebraska Society and a lifetime alumni member of the Future Farmers of America (FFA).[25]


Buffett currently[when?] serves as the executive director of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, a private family foundation focused on improving the standard of living and quality of life for the world’s most impoverished and marginalized populations. He has engaged in the humanitarian and agriculture development efforts of the Foundation worldwide.[26]

Buffett also sits on the board of Doris Buffett's Learning By Giving Foundation. He has referred to Learning by Giving as the first step in the implementation of the Social Value Investment model, "By simply empowering students to become problem solvers in their own communities, we maximize the impact of our efforts, encourage innovation, and inspire life-long engagements with philanthropy."[27]


In the fall of 2013, Buffett served as a co-professor teaching an Innovations of Public Management class at his alma mater at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Buffett taught the course with program head William Eimicke, and is currently an adjunct associate professor and research scholar at the school, teaching philanthropy, social value investing, and management innovation.[28]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Lili Thomas Buffett. They split their time between Omaha, Nebraska, and Decatur, Illinois.[29]

Buffett operates a 400-acre no-till farm near Tekamah, Nebraska.[when?][30]

Buffett is a published photographer, his work has appeared in National Geographic,[when?][31] World Wide Fund for Nature,[32] and Encyclopedia of Earth.[33]


  1. ^ "Howard W. Buffett - Columbia SIPA". Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  2. ^ "Mashable & 92Y Social Good Summit - Speakers" Mashable Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  3. ^ "Mashable & 92Y Social Good Summit - Agenda." Mashable Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  4. ^ "Building Trust Annual Symposium" Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  5. ^ Kang, Cecilia (November 25, 2008) "Obama Names Team To Create "Innovation Agenda"". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  6. ^ "Policy Working Groups" Archived January 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Office of the President-Elect. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  7. ^ "Pasadena Independent from Pasadena, California on August 16, 1966 · Page 4".
  8. ^ "Howard Buffett Net Worth - TheRichest".
  9. ^ "Devon Goss Buffett, Executive Vice President, Secretary, Director at Howard G. Buffett Foundation - Relationship Science".
  10. ^ Chang, Yi-Hsin (May 5, 1999) "Woodstock for Capitalists". The Motley Fool. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  11. ^ "Chester Franklin Ericson & The Armours". February 15, 2015.
  12. ^ Thompson, Peter (November 22, 2002) "Life NewVoices Military" KRT Direct. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  13. ^ Angela Tablac, Erin Stock (April 16, 2004) "Fierce Competition in All Races Frames ASG Elections". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  14. ^ a b "Executive Office of the President Staff" The White House. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  15. ^ a b c Buffett, Howard (May 10, 2010) "Promoting Partnerships for Innovation in Energy". The White House. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  16. ^ "Mashable & 92Y Social Good Summit - Speakers" Mashable. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  17. ^ Buffett, Howard (June 17, 2010)"Partnerships for Regional Energy Innovation in Omaha, Nebraska" The White House. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  18. ^ Ferenstein, Gregory (September 6, 2011) "How Howard Buffett Will Use His Grandfather's Recipe For Riches To Disrupt Philanthropy" Fast Company. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  19. ^ Bloomberg News. "How Social Value Investing Can Solve Some Of The World's Challenges". Bloomberg News. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  20. ^ School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. "Social Value Investing Case Study Collection". Columbia University. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  21. ^ "Toyota Names Jyoti Chopra and Howard W. Buffett to Its North American Diversity Advisory Board". Toyota Motor North America. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  22. ^ "Harvard International Negotiation Program, Who we Are". Harvard University. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  23. ^ "United Nations Office for Partnerships Staff" the United Nations Office for Partnerships. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  24. ^ "Lodestar Foundation Announces Final Selection Pane" The Collaboration Prize. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  25. ^ "Members of the Nebraska Society of Washington D.C.". The Nebraska Society of Washington D.C. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  26. ^ Walton, Don (June 12, 2010) "A Young Buffett Eyes Public Service in Nebraska" The Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  27. ^ Learning by Giving Foundation "Learning by Giving Foundation - Howard W. Buffett Speech to the 2011 Social Good Summit". Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  28. ^ Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs "Faculty Directory: Howard W. Buffett". Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  29. ^ The Reliable Source (September 19, 2011) "Love, etc.: Howard Buffett and Lili Thomas Wed" The Washington Post. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  30. ^ Steve Jordon (June 10, 2011) "Buffett Grandson to Run Dad's Foundation" Omaha World Herald. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  31. ^ World Wildlife Fund, ed. (2001). "Sahelian Acacia Savanna". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  32. ^ "Nepal Expands Critical Tiger Habitat" World Wide Fund for Nature. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  33. ^ "Sahelian Acacia Savanna" Encyclopedia of the Earth. Retrieved July 16, 2010.

External links[edit]