MENLO PARK, Calif.—Veteran attorney Stephen C. Neal has been named board chair of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the foundation announced today. Neal, a board member since 2006 and chairman of the global law firm Cooley LLP, succeeds Walter B. Hewlett, who has served as interim chair since Harvey Fineberg stepped down when he became president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in January. Both Fineberg and Hewlett, who earlier served as chair for nearly twenty years, will remain on the board.

“I’m honored by the trust the board has shown in me,” Neal said. “As the Hewlett Foundation’s new board chair, I am proud to follow in some remarkable footsteps. This is an organization devoted to making our world a better and more enriching place today and for generations to come.”

“I’m very happy that Steve Neal has agreed to chair our board,” said Walter Hewlett, who has been deeply involved with the foundation since its creation nearly 50 years ago by his parents. “I’ve known Steve for many years, and his counsel as a board member for the foundation over the past decade has been extremely valuable. His deep understanding of how organizations achieve success and the importance of strong governance will ensure our board can continue to effectively guide the strategic direction of the Hewlett Foundation and support the work of hundreds of organizations serving the public good.”

“The Hewlett Foundation has long been blessed with an exceptionally strong board, and much of the credit has been due to strong leadership from its chairs,” said the foundation’s president, Larry Kramer. “I cannot think of anyone better than Steve Neal to take that mantle now. Steve brings a rare combination of intelligence, thoughtfulness, and balanced judgment informed by his experience at the Hewlett Foundation and in leadership roles at other organizations. He understands the importance of continuity with the past but also is open to trying new things. I am eager and excited to work with him as the foundation enters this next phase of its work.”

Neal is based in Palo Alto, California, at the largest office of the law firm Cooley, a global leader in technology and life sciences work located across the United States and in Europe and Asia. The many civil and criminal cases he has tried throughout the United States over the course of his career has led the National Law Journal to name him one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” in both 2006 and 2013, among his many other professional accolades. As a member of the Hewlett Foundation’s board, he has served on nearly all of its standing committees and chaired the search committee that selected Larry Kramer as president in 2012. He also chairs the board of Levi Strauss & Co., and the board of trustees of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a law degree from Stanford University.


The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation helps people build measurably better lives, concentrating its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development and population, performing arts, and philanthropy, as well as grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. On the web: