Claire Fiddian-Green of Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation on Tackling Big Issues

Twitter: @cfiddiang

Claire Fiddian-Green.jpg

Claire Fiddian-Green is president and CEO of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. The Foundation was established in 1986 by Richard M. (“Dick”) Fairbanks to strengthen the city of Indianapolis and perpetuate the Fairbanks legacy in the city where his family prospered for over a century. He was the President of the Foundation until his death in August 2000.

The mission of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation is to advance the vitality of Indianapolis and the well-being of its people. The Foundation achieves this mission by focusing on three issue-areas: education, tobacco and opioid addiction, and the life sciences.

Previously, Ms. Fiddian-Green served as special assistant for education innovation to Indiana Governor Mike Pence and co-founder of the Center for Education and Career Innovation. Ms. Fiddian-Green also served as the founding executive director of  the Indiana Charter School Board, a statewide charter school authorizing agency created during the 2011 legislative session. Prior roles include president of The Mind Trust, grants officer for the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, and senior analyst within Eli Lilly & Company’s Corporate Finance Investment Banking group. She serves on the board of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, on the executive committee and board of BioCrossroads, on the board of United Way of Central Indiana, on the board of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, on the board of Regenstrief Institute, and as president of The Economic Club of Indiana. She earned a B.A. from Brown University and an MBA from Columbia University. She is a member of Class XXXIV of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series.



In this interview, we discuss:

  1. More about the "three-pronged approach" of the Foundation. (4:30)
  2. The rise of the opioid epidemic, and why the Foundation chose to respond. (7:40)
  3. The Foundation’s strategies and grantmaking aimed at combating the addiction crisis. (9:30)
  4. The role of philanthropy vs. government in responding to a national crisis. (14:30)
  5. The complex ecosystem, and how to arrive at the best results. (19:25)


"In a Foundation, you have the opportunity to allocate resources to help support programs and initiatives that have the potential to make a positive difference." -Claire Fiddian-Green


  1. Blog post on Confronting the Opioid Crisis in Indiana by Ms. Fiddian-Green. 
  2. Indiana Business Journal article on filling Indiana’s need for effective addiction treatment.  
  3. IndyStar article on the work of the Foundation to stem the tide of the opioid crisis. 
  4. Report on the Toll of Opioid Use in Indiana and Marion County,” commissioned from the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI.
  5. "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic" by Sam Quinones ( on Amazon) 


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