Marie-Stéphane MARADEIX


Visiting PhD Fellow (octobre 2023 - ...)

Marie-Stéphane has over 35 years of experience in the public interest sector. She began with a year of research on philanthropy at Johns Hopkins University (USA), then worked for Médecins du Monde, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Apprentis d'Auteuil Foundation, ESSEC Business School, and École Polytechnique. In 2011, she became the Executive Director of the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation, under the auspices of the Fondation de France. She left her position in September 2023 to pursue a PhD project on trust-based philanthropy at Paris Dauphine-PSL University.

She has written three books on the philanthropic sector, served as president of the French Fundraisers Association, been a member of the High Council for Associative Life, and a board member of the French Center for Funds and Foundations. She initiated, with the CFF, the launch of the Coalition of French Foundations for Climate. She is a board member of several sheltered foundations and president of the Mission Committee of EM Lyon.

As part of her PhD project at Paris Dauphine-PSL University, Marie-Stéphane is also a Visiting PhD Student at ESSEC Business School, affiliated with the Philanthropy Chair, which supports her research. She summarizes the main lines of her ongoing research below:

"Since the euergetism of the Greeks and Romans, elite philanthropy has been associated with power, influence, networks, fame, money, and fortunately, depending on the era, with citizenship, charity, altruism, beneficence, generosity, the common good, and the public interest. Recently, academic voices, including that of American researcher Rob Reich, have raised concerns about the risks philanthropy poses to the very notion of democracy: lack of transparency, tax advantages, plutocracy, the entrepreneurial treatment of social problems, distrust, excessive control over grantees, opaque and non-collegial decision-making, etc.

In the face of repeated crises, growing inequalities—social, technological, and now climatic—and the loss of trust in institutions and elites, philanthropy must reinvent itself to legitimize its actions to its stakeholders and society in general.

Over the past decade, a new movement from the United States has advocated for trust-based philanthropy, recognizing that the top-down approach of foundations, which is predominant today, is no longer capable of meeting these challenges. This "new" philanthropy encompasses the foundation’s way of being (its culture), the way it is organized (its structure), its professional practices (some of which are not necessarily very new, such as multi-year funding), and its ability to inspire around shared values. At the heart of this paradigm shift in how foundations envision their public interest mission is the role given to grantees (the beneficiaries of grants) to transition from a top-down approach to a more horizontal relationship between donors and grantees. Using case studies of French foundations, this thesis project will particularly identify the conditions and practices that promote greater involvement of public interest actors in the decision-making processes of their philanthropic funders."

Marie-Stéphane Maradeix

Other team members

Anne-Claire Pache

Anne-Claire PACHE
Chaired Professor

Arthur Gautier

Professor and Executive Director


Gaétane Marchand

Project Manager in Dissemination

Strategy & partnership consultant