Tim MBA '94 and Caroline Reynolds pictured with Reynolds Foundation President and CEO Dr. Álvaro Salas Castro MPA '14.

Around Cornell

News directly from Cornell's colleges and centers

Reynolds Foundation commits $1.25M to fund Brooks School initiatives

The Reynolds Foundation, established by Tim MBA '94 and Caroline Reynolds, and led by Dr. Álvaro Salas Castro MPA '14 as President and CEO, has committed $1.25M to fund a range of initiatives at the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy. The donation includes project funding for research on financial freedom and virtual currency conducted by the Brooks School Tech Policy Institute, unrestricted program funding for the launch of Brooks’ Center on Global Democracy, and underwriting for the establishment of the Reynolds Leadership Scholarships to support extraordinary students in the Master of Public Administration program (MPA).

“I’m so grateful to Dr. Salas Castro and to Tim and Caroline Reynolds for this significant contribution to the Brooks School at a crucial moment in our history,” said Brooks School Dean Colleen Barry. “It’s especially gratifying to begin this partnership as we expand into new areas of global research and engagement.”

The Reynolds Foundation is part of a family office committed to philanthropy in the areas of medical and spinal cord research and treatment, education, and democracy and freedom. Under Dr. Salas Castro’s leadership, the foundation has specialized in identifying emerging talent and supporting disruptive projects, offering strategic and financial backing, and fostering growth among its partners. 

The Reynolds Foundation's commitment to supporting Democracy and Freedom aligns directly with the work of the Center on Global Democracy at the Cornell Brooks School of Public Policy. The Center's focus on strengthening democratic institutions and practices resonates with the Foundation's belief in fostering a more just and equitable world.

“As a graduate and lecturer of the MPA program and a believer in the role the Brooks School has to play in fostering democracy worldwide, I’m so pleased to be able to support these initiatives with enterprise funding,” said Dr. Salas Castro. “The goals of these programs are aligned with The Reynolds Foundation’s values, and we cannot wait to see the impact they create over time.” 

BTPI Financial Freedom Research

Led by BTPI Director Sarah Kreps, John L. Wetherill Professor in the Department of Government in the College of Arts & Sciences and the Brooks School, the research on financial freedom will employ quantitative and qualitative approaches to understanding the use of Bitcoin and stablecoins by individuals living in fully or partially authoritarian countries.

Supported by funding from the Human Rights Foundation and The Reynolds Foundation, the work will focus on 12 countries with either fully or partly authoritarian governments, including India, Nigeria, Egypt, Cuba, and Russia. Kreps and her research team will partner with a major global research firm to develop and deliver surveys to 1,000 participants in each country that include questions aimed at understanding their use of Bitcoin and stablecoins with special attention to adoption behaviors and market trends, identifying user demographics, and evaluating perceptions and attitudes.

Center on Global Democracy

Led by Rachel Beatty Riedl, the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies director and John S. Knight Professor of International Studies and professor in the Department of Government in the College of Arts and Sciences and Brooks School, the Center on Global Democracy will bring together leading experts from across the university to tackle the fundamental questions facing democracy around the globe, and serve as a central hub to catalyze research and learning aimed at strengthening democratic institutions and actions. By harnessing Cornell’s expertise across disciplines and regions, the center can create a comparative laboratory that will translate cutting-edge research in ways that yield specific policy recommendations and engage directly with policy stakeholders. 

Reynolds Leadership Scholarship

The Reynolds Leadership Scholarship will support extraordinary MPA students with a demonstrated record of leadership and passion for promoting democracy and human rights around the world. Reynolds Leadership Scholars will leverage research, teaching, and engagement in other areas of the Brooks School, including those that the Reynolds Foundation supports, such as the Center for Global Democracy and the Tech Policy Institute. The program will run from academic year 2024-2025 through 2029-2030 and support three cohorts of outstanding students for the two years of the residential MPA program.

Media Contact

Media Relations Office