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Pulte Family Charitable Foundation makes $9 million gift to Notre Dame

The Pulte Family Charitable Foundation has made a $9 million gift to the University of Notre Dame to create the Pulte Platform for Policy Studies in the Keough School of Global Affairs.
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The Pulte Family Charitable Foundation entered into a $111 million partnership with the University of Notre Dame in 2019 to establish the Pulte Institute for Global Development and other associated initiatives within the Keough School of Global Affairs to develop a worldwide focus on serving people most in need, the most alienated and the most displaced.

Now, the foundation has made an additional $9 million gift to create the Pulte Platform for Policy Studies in the Keough School.

“The generosity of the Pulte family through their foundation is making a significant difference in addressing poverty,” Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., said. “We remain deeply appreciative of the family’s commitment to these issues and their confidence in Notre Dame’s ability through our scholarship and research to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable people in this country and around the world.”

The Keough School integrates the work of academic researchers, policy experts and practitioners to generate new knowledge and elicit practical insights and solutions to the world’s most challenging problems. The Pulte Platform for Policy Studies will expand that work through the appointment of three senior faculty who will enhance the international impact of the school on the themes of integral human development, poverty and peace.

Andrés Mejía Acosta is the first Pulte Family Professor of Policy and Practice. Acosta is the Keough School’s Kuster Family Associate Dean for Policy and Practice and an expert in the formal and informal political bargaining dynamics among government elites when adopting sustainable and inclusive policies in low- and middle-income countries.

“I am delighted that Professor Mejía Acosta has joined our leadership team and is already coordinating with great skill and insight our multidimensional policy and practice research, publications and outreach program,” said Scott Appleby, the Marilyn Keough Dean of the Keough School. “Andrés is an accomplished scholar of comparative political institutions, political economy, governance and public finance management in Latin America. He has led multidisciplinary, multisectoral teams investigating critical global development issues such as government investment in strategies to reduce child malnutrition in low- and middle-income countries. I am grateful to the Pulte Family Foundation and to Cheryl and Tom Kuster, whose vision and generosity made his appointment possible.”  

The Pulte Platform for Policy Studies will support two more professors with expertise in the field to further the academic excellence and policy relevance in areas that are critical to the Keough School’s strategic plan, such as environmental justice, climate change, poverty and inequality.

Guided by the belief in the inherent dignity of all people, the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation works to meet the basic human needs of the most marginalized members of the human family, including socio-economically disadvantaged youth; the aged; people with physical, emotional and mental disabilities; and those with the fewest material resources. In addition, the foundation seeks to serve religious communities and correlative organizations of Judeo-Christian beliefs. To this end, the foundation strives to enact through its grantees the seven corporal works of mercy: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, care for captives, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and assist the mourning.

“Through our involvement with various organizations, we have witnessed firsthand that the path to achieving success ‘the right way’ in today’s world often diverges significantly from traditional approaches,” Nancy Pulte Rickard, chair of the board of directors and president of the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation, said. “While change may be the key to progress, it tends to unfold at a frustratingly sluggish pace, notably when one needs more skills to navigate the complex political landscape. However, observing and absorbing the wisdom of the Pulte Institute over the past several years has enlightened our board, revealing the profound impact that dedicated organizations like the Pulte Institute and honorable politicians can have in driving positive change for marginalized communities through policy reform.

“Recognizing the potential of financially supporting the Pulte Platform for Policy Studies, we aimed to empower the institute to recruit top-tier policy experts capable of crafting forward-thinking policies suitable for the present era. By challenging ineffective policies and outdated regulations or creating policies for new issues, this collaboration will foster the development of impactful and transformative policies in integral human development, ultimately enhancing the well-being and lives of all marginalized people worldwide.”

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