Rich and Nancy Kinder established the Kinder Foundation in 1997 to provide major gifts to public causes with the intention of helping people realize healthy and rewarding lives. Since then, the Foundation has focused its grants on projects and programs that enhance urban green space, education and quality of life in the Houston area.
Richard D. Kinder grew up in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Missouri. He is chairman of the board and CEO of Kinder Morgan, Inc., the largest midstream and the third largest energy company (based on enterprise value) in North America. Rich has served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards. He is chair of the board of trustees and a life trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and chairman of the advisory board of Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research.
Nancy Goins Kinder (see full bio) is originally from New Iberia, Louisiana and attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is a focused philanthropist and serves on several boards for the advancement of Houston, the arts, and the health and protection of children. Nancy is the founding chairman of Discovery Green Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that worked in partnership with the City of Houston and other Houston foundations to develop an urban park in downtown Houston. She has also dedicated her time to serving on the board of trustees of The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and is currently on the board of directors of Discovery Green Corporation and MD Anderson Cancer Center. She is the president of the advisory board of Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research and also president of the Kinder Foundation.
Rich and Nancy both grew up in small towns (in Missouri and Louisiana respectively). In their adult lives, they have witnessed first hand the extraordinary culture of entrepreneurship of their longtime home city of Houston. The Kinder Foundation’s mission is to enable the Greater Houston community to flourish by providing sizable, impactful gifts to projects dedicated primarily to three key areas: urban green space, education and quality of life issues. The Kinder Foundation has granted more than $230 million in gifts and pledges to date.