Current and Founding Commissioners

Lee Bolinger

Lee Bollinger is the nineteenth President of Columbia University. He is a leading First Amendment scholar, a member of the Columbia Law School faculty, and the author of numerous books and articles on freedom of speech and the press. His most recent book, Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open: A Free Press for a New Century, considers the legal, economic and political challenges faced by a news media responsible for reporting on our global society. Having previously served as both president and law school dean at the University of Michigan, Bollinger played a leading role in the twin Supreme Court cases—Grutter v Bollinger and Gratz v Bollinger—that upheld and clarified the importance of diversity as a compelling justification for affirmative action in higher education. He is a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board at Columbia and a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He is also on the board of the Washington Post Company and currently chairs the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Jim Coulter

James (“Jim”) Coulter is a Founding Partner of TPG Capital, L.P. (“TPG”), one of the world’s largest private equity firms. TPG is a leading private investment firm managing in excess of $48 billion in assets in more than 35 countries. Prior to co-founding TPG in 1992, Mr. Coulter began his career at Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb. In 1986, he joined Keystone Inc., a private equity firm formerly known as the Robert M. Bass Group. Mr. Coulter actively serves on the Dartmouth College Board of Trustees, the Stanford University Board of Trustees, and the San Francisco University High School. He also serves as a member on numerous corporate and charitable boards; including Common Sense Media, IdeaVillage, Creative Artist Agency, J. Crew Group, and Neiman Marcus Group.

James Steyer

James (“Jim”) Steyer is the founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, the nation’s leading advocacy organization focused on media and technology issues for families, and a founding board member of The Center for the Next Generation, a nonpartisan organization that supports programs and policies that benefit the next generation of young Americans. He teaches a civil rights class at Stanford University, and is the author of two books, The Other Parent: The Inside Story of the Media’s Effect on Our Children (2002) and the upcoming Talking Back to Facebook, available May 8th of this year.


Founding Commissioner

Margaret Spellings

Margaret Spellings is the President and CEO of Margaret Spellings and Company, a public policy and strategic consulting firm that offers extensive experience crafting and framing major public policy on national, state, and local issues. She also serves as a senior advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and as President of the Chamber’s U.S. Forum for Policy Innovation. Spellings was the United States Secretary of Education from 2005-2009 where she led the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act and convened “The Commission on the Future of Higher Education.” Spellings also served as White House Domestic Policy Advisor under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. Prior to her work in Washington, she served as a senior advisor to then-Governor George W. Bush of Texas and in various strategic roles for the Texas Legislature.