Chair, City Year, Inc. Trustee
Jonathan Lavine is Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Sankaty Advisors, one of the world’s leading credit specialists and an independently-managed affiliate of Bain Capital, LLC. He attended and earned degrees from both Columbia College and Harvard Business School. It was at Harvard Business School that Jonathan met his wife, Jeannie, and, Bill McClement, a mutual friend that introduced the pair to City Year before they were married. Jonathan and Jeannie have since been involved with City Year for more than 20 years. In 2013, Jonathan Lavine was named the Chair of the National Board of Trustees. In addition, he chairs City Year's 25th Anniversary Campaign. He proudly spends much of his spare time working for philanthropic causes. Jonathan and Jeannie Lavines’ commitment has been essential to City Year’s growth and evolution over the past two decades.
Jonathan Lavine Highlights
Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine Committed to City Year
• From their first gift of $18 to their most recent multimillion dollar commitment, each gift has been given with purpose and compassion, and at critical junctures in City Year’s impact and growth.
Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine Pledge $10 Million
• A $10 million pledge from longtime City Year supporters Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine will enable City Year to begin to build the capacities needed for achieving the impact and scale goals of City Year’s Long-Term Impact strategy -- a 10-year plan to build the Nation's urban graduation pipeline.
• The Anti-Defamation League of New England honored Jonathan Lavine with the2012 Distinguished Community Service Award for his “immense civic leadership and influence to affect positive change in our community.”
Jonathan Lavine's Profile
Excerpted from the City Year, Inc. 2011 Annual Report
Managing Partner, Sankaty Advisors, LLC
Chair, City Year, Inc. Trustee
Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine have been involved with City Year for more than 20 years. The two were introduced to City Year, before they were married, by Bill McClements, a mutual friend at Harvard Business School – in fact, the first check Jonathan ever wrote to City Year was for $18 in 1991 (he still has a copy of it) to support Bill’s fundraising efforts. Now, as a national trustee, he wears his red jacket regularly and keeps a bright red City Year tie in the closet at his office. “I see myself as an ambassador – I want to be stopped on the street and I want people to ask me what the red jacket stands for.”
The Lavines’ commitment has been essential to City Year’s growth and evolution over the past two decades. From their first gift of $18 to their most recent multimillion dollar commitment, each gift has been given with purpose and compassion, and at critical junctures in City Year’s impact and growth. We are proud that hundreds of community groups use the Lavine Civic Forum annually in our national headquarters building in Boston and that the Lavines’ generosity helps to scale City Year across the country.
Jonathan is the Managing Partner of Sankaty Advisors, Bain Capital’s credit and fixed income affiliate, and proudly spends much of his spare time working for philanthropic causes. He and Jeannie believe public education is the biggest and most important challenge facing society today. Jonathan sees similarities between City Year’s work – and the broader efforts of education reformers to transform schools – and President Kennedy’s ambitious goal to put a man on the moon.
“There were a lot of people who thought it was important to put a man on the moon, and they were awfully supportive of activities in the public and private sectors to make it happen,” he explained. “We do not yet have that consciousness around public education in America, how it’s funded, how it works, the whole system. We need to go back to first principles – education is the most important thing at the root of prosperity for our country.”
Jonathan met Jeannie on their third day of business school 22 years ago – City Year was the first philanthropic cause they embraced as a couple. They have also made it a priority to expose their two daughters, Allie and Emily, to the world – its joy and suffering in equal parts. The girls have participated in several City Year service events, and have even organized a few of their own. “We have been incredibly fortunate, I dare say lucky,” Jonathan said. “I was able to go to a good public school, and have the chance to go to a great college and on from there. If you forget how fortunate you are, on some level you lose who you are.”
There is also a deep connection between the Lavines’ philanthropy and their Jewish faith. Over the years, they have worked to bring City Year to the attention of Boston’s Jewish philanthropic community. “I’ve always joked that City Year is a double mitzvah,” he said (mitzvah means “good deed” in Hebrew). “This is one of the few organizations where the money you donate helps students in high poverty public schools succeed and, at the same time, the corps members who are providing that service are being developed as the leaders of tomorrow.”
As Chair of the Development Committee of City Year’s Board of Trustees, Jonathan leads the Board’s overall commitment to resource the organization.
“City Year is doing serious, focused work on transforming schools,” he added. “It is doing that by engaging a set of young people to serve. Hopefully they will carry that forward well beyond the work they’re doing in the school system. City Year sparks a lifetime of commitment.”