Lowell Milken

Lowell MilkenAn international businessman and philanthropist with over four decades of work in education research, policy and practice–as well as firsthand visits to thousands of U.S. classrooms–Lowell Milken has earned the reputation as an education visionary. His personal and professional philosophy is guided by the belief that in every endeavor, it is the human element that makes the defining difference. The Milken Archive of Jewish Music is a cultural and historic project of unprecedented scope, launched by Lowell in 1990 to preserve the diverse body of sacred and secular music inspired by 350 years of Jewish life in America. The Archive has grown to encompass 600 newly recorded works–500 of them world-premiere recordings–more than 800 hours of oral history videos, and a database of approximately 50,000 photographs. The Milken Archive's "virtual museum" website makes this content available to educate and inspire people of all faiths and cultures.

The Milken Archive's mission to preserve, disseminate and create works of the American Jewish experience is amplified through the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. As North America's first permanent academic home for the study of Jewish American music, UCLA MAJE fosters artistic creativity, scholarship, performance and other cultural expression to advance and advocate for the field of American Jewish music in order to engage and educate the community. 

Lowell's focus on human potential is what drives the foundation's groundbreaking initiatives to strengthen K-12 education. The Milken Educator Awards were created by Lowell to recognize the importance of outstanding educators and encourage talented young people to enter teaching. First presented in 1987, the initiative has evolved as America's preeminent teacher recognition program with a national network of nearly 3,000 recipients.

Realizing that sufficient numbers of quality teachers would never result from current education practices, Lowell created the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement (TAP) in 1999 as a comprehensive school reform to create powerful and sustained opportunities for career advancement, professional growth, teacher accountability and competitive compensation. Demand for TAP System reforms compelled Lowell to establish the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) in 2005. NIET partnerships have impacted more than 350,000 educators and 3,500,000 million students in more than 1,000 school districts with sustained and meaningful improvement in teacher practices and student learning. More than two decades and hundreds of research studies later, NIET/TAP rubrics are being integrated into teacher preparation programs at over 75 colleges and universities.

As an international nonprofit education organization, the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes (LMC), founded by Lowell in 2007, discovers, develops and communicates the stories of unsung heroes who have made a profound and positive difference on the course of history. Through a unique project-based learning approach, LMC works with students and educators across diverse disciplines to develop history projects that highlight role models who demonstrate courage, compassion and respect. ARTEFFECT extends the learning around Unsung Heroes as role models by inviting middle and high school classrooms to interpret these stories through the visual arts. The initiative offers opportunities for advocacy, recognition, exhibitions, educational resources, and professional development through its Ambassadors Program – all to create a world-class art collection by students that honors the profound impact of one individual to inspire the many. LMC has reached over 3,000,000 students worldwide through its online projects, educator resources and student competitions.

The Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law extends greater opportunities to UCLA Law students, faculty, young law practitioners and alumni with a mission to ensure that students are prepared to not only assume leadership roles in the practice of law, but also in the areas of business, government and philanthropy. Building on UCLA School of Law's already outstanding programs, the Lowell Milken Institute provides expanded curriculum, clinical experience and scholarships for students; additional research opportunities and fellowships for faculty; respected business law conferences and a $100,000 Prize for New Entrepreneurs. The Lowell Milken Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofits (LMPN) serves as a central hub for education, thought leadership and scholarship at a time when the generational wealth shift is transforming philanthropy and giving.

The Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena honors the legacy of Leah Hoffmitz Milken and is dedicated to setting the global standard of excellence in typography and design education at a time of rapidly changing visual communication methods and devices.

Recognition for Lowell's achievements in education has included awards from organizations such as the Education Commission of the States, National Association of State Boards of Education, the Horace Mann League, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Jewish Theological Seminary, Hebrew Union College, Kappa Delti Pi International Honor Society, and UCLA School of Law – which honored Lowell as Alumnus of the Year for Public Service. Champman University and Hebrew Union College have each presented him with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. The Education Commission of the States recognized Lowell with the James Bryant Conant Award, its highest honor for significant improvements by an individual to American education.

Named by Worth magazine as one of America's most generous philanthropists, Lowell also chairs London-based Heron International, a worldwide leader in property development. Lowell's experience in business at the global level informs his strategic vision for the high-caliber educational opportunities vital to equip future generations to compete on the world stage and to secure America’s heritage as a democracy.

Lowell Milken is a product of California's public school system, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from the University of California at Berkeley, where he received the School of Business Administration's Most Outstanding Student Award. He earned his law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, with the distinctions of Order of the Coif and UCLA Law Review.


Don't miss our latest releases, podcasts, announcements and giveaways throughout the year! Stay up to date with our newsletter.

{{msToTime(currentPosition)}} / {{msToTime(duration)}}