Malcolm Richardson

Senior Visiting Research Fellow
German Historical Institute
1607 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington DC 20009
Phone +1.202.387.3355

Biographical Summary & Research

Malcolm Richardson is an independent scholar and historian of philanthropy. Over the course of his career he has worked with many of the leading American organizations in the arts and humanities, including the National Endowment for the Humanities where he served most recently as the agency liaison to private sector partners. He left NEH in 2016 to pursue his research and writing full-time.

Prior to joining the Endowment in 1983 as a program officer, he was a Visiting Research Fellow in the Humanities at the Rockefeller Foundation (1977-79) and served (1980-83) as a consultant to the Foundation, the Helsinki Watch Committee and other New York-based organizations. Between his assignments at NEH, he worked at the White House, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served on the White House Millennium Council from 1998 to 2000 as the Agency Representative of the NEH. Before joining the Millennium Council staff, Mr. Richardson was Deputy Director for the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities where he directed research for this presidential advisory committee. He was a co-author of Creative America, the 1997 report calling for the creation of the White House Millennium Council and public-private partnerships to benefit cultural organizations in the arts and the humanities. He also edited other publications for the President’s Committee, including reports on international scholarly exchange, private philanthropy and the arts and humanities, and cultural tourism.

While at the Millennium Council, he organized the first national conference on online giving and helped organize the 1999 White House Conference on Philanthropy. 

He received a Ph.D. in European history from Duke University in 1975. During his career most of his publications focused on the history of philanthropy and public and private support for the humanities and the arts in the United States. But in 2000 the German Historical Institute published his discovery of a hitherto secret effort by Weimar leaders to use Rockefeller funds to bolster democratic education in Germany in its Bulletin. Along with Jürgen Reulecke of the University of Giessen and Frank Trommler of the University of Pennsylvania, he is the co-author and editor of Weimars transatlantischer Mäzen: Die Lincoln-Stiftung 1927 bis 1934. Ein Versuch demokratischer Eliteförderung in der Weimarer Republik (Essen: Klartext, 2008).

He has held research awards from the British Council and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and he spent the fall, 1998 semester as Visiting Professor at the University of Leipzig while on a Fulbright fellowship. With the DAAD grant in 2010 he was a scholar in residence at the Free University of Berlin at the JFK Institute for North American Studies.