Ever since early college days reading the likes of John Rawls, Alex was a strong advocate of social awareness, especially amongst those who are most privileged. Specifically he felt that civic engagement – an involvement, and moreover taking an active responsibility for the public sector – is a necessary quality of any complete citizen.
Yet it went further than just being a duty. Being civically engaged, Alex felt, was an integral part of a complete individual. He believed that this attitude was grounding, and connected a person to society in a structural way that would improve who that person was in all other walks of life as well.
Alex’s focus in both his professional and personal life bore out these beliefs. Colleagues at McKinsey recall he was always pushing for “the next great thing we could do with the firm at our back – serving governments, transforming healthcare, supporting universities…”
Alex worked tirelessly to make these ideas reality. He played a key part in establishing a non-profit ‘Center for Jobs and the Economy’ in Sacramento with the CA Business Roundtable. He co-founded a non-profit to raise public awareness about social issues. He worked in the White House with the SEC on market regulation after the housing bubble of 2008. He made himself an expert on the public health care system and then helped myriad clients ply the system to support their employees as completely as possible. He was even a private supporter of museums in San Francisco.
In the last few months before Alex’s passing, he was keen to share the message about civic engagement. After a number of interviews and conversations, Alex and family established a foundation to further this legacy.
The Alexander Maasry foundation has as mission statement:
In recognizing that the most challenging of social, political, and economic issues are likely to be solved only through broad participation of society, the Alexander Maasry Foundation seeks to inspire, encourage, and enable civic engagement across local communities.
And this captures the most fundamental insight. Alex believed that it was not just a responsibility to be civically engaged, and not just that doing so was important to cultivate the best citizen; but he also realized that ultimately, the largest problems facing society are only going to be solved if leaders adopt this approach.
The Foundation’s First Initiative
Alex spent almost his entire career at McKinsey and Company, and by age 35 had already begun to move and shape the firm’s engagement with the public sector.
The first initiative of Alex’s foundation will be to fund a bi-annual award at McKinsey recognizing a staff member who has demonstrated leadership in both the office and the community. McKinsey will award the staff member at their bi-annual retreat, and the foundation will grant its award to a charity designated by the recognized leader. We hope that this award will inspire McKinsey, as an industry leader, to continue to search for ways positively to impact the public sector per Alex’s legacy, and also empower chosen charities recognized for doing the best work in this space.
Friends who wish to contribute to the Alexander Maasry Foundation may do so by sending a check:
And in the memo section please write:
The Alexander Maasry Foundation (1116976)
P.O. Box 770001
Cincinnati, OH 45277-0053
The natural distribution is neither just nor unjust; nor is it unjust that persons are born into society at some particular position. These are simply natural facts. What is just and unjust is the way that institutions deal with these facts. – John Rawls