About the Foundation

The Carol and Gene Ludwig Family Foundation is a 501( c)(3) private foundation that makes charitable investments in support of medical research, education, and communities.

Established in 2002, the foundation seeks to create positive change within three core issue areas. Through strategic grantmaking, we invest in organizations that accelerate medical and scientific discovery, enable access to educational and economic opportunity for young people, and enrich and strengthen the communities where our founders live and work. We review grant proposals on an invitation-only basis and regrettably cannot accept unsolicited funding requests

Our Team

Carol Ludwig, MD
Co-Founder and President

Carol Ludwig is a neurologist and the President of the Carol and Gene Ludwig Family Foundation. She supports medical research, particularly in the neurodegenerative diseases, and educational opportunities for low- and moderate-income students. She serves on the Board of KIPP-DC and has supported KIPP in improving the college persistence of their alumni. She also serves on the Council of Medical Advisors for the Columbia University Irving Medical Center where she is part of the Neurology Advisory and Medical Education Committees and the Precision Medicine Council. Carol is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.

A graduate of Bryn Mawr College and The Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, she was a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. She has worked at the National Institutes of Health, The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, and as a faculty member in the Dept. of Neurology at the George Washington University Medical Center. She lives in Washington, D.C., and she and her husband have three children. She has previously served on the Boards of the Beauvoir School, The Septima Clark Charter School, The National Capital Poison Center, PEN-Faulkner, and the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Gene Ludwig
Co-Founder and Vice President

Gene Ludwig is an expert on banking, regulation, risk management, and fiscal policy. He is the CEO of Promontory MortgagePath, a technology-based mortgage fulfillment and solutions company, and founder and chairman of Promontory Financial Group, now an IBM Company, and was the founder of Promontory Interfinancial Network (now IntraFi). Gene is co-managing partner of Canapi Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on investments in early to growth-stage fintech companies. 

In 2019, Gene founded The Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity (LISEP), which is dedicated to improving the economic well-being of middle- and lower-income Americans. LISEP has developed new economic indicators, including the True Rate of Unemployment (TRU) and True Weekly Earnings (TWE), which more accurately depict the economic situation of so many struggling Americans.

As U.S. comptroller of the currency from 1993 to 1998, Gene served as the Clinton administration’s point person on the policy response to the credit crunch of the early 1990s. Under his purview, lending to low- and moderate-income Americans increased tenfold, as did national bank investments in community development corporations. He brought 27 fair-lending cases, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in fines against violators. Gene graduated magna cum laude from Haverford College and earned a J.D. from Yale University. 

Bob Barnett
Director

Robert B. Barnett is a partner at Williams & Connolly LLP and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Carol and Gene Ludwig Family Foundation. He has a diverse practice representing national and international corporations and individuals on a wide variety of matters.

Bob represents major corporations in litigation matters, corporate work, contracts, crisis management, transactions, government relations, and media relations. During his more than forty years of practice, he has represented clients before almost every executive department and administrative agency in Washington. His clients have included JM Family Enterprises, USAA, Walmart, Toyota, Deutsche Bank, Discovery Communications, Comcast, MacAndrews & Forbes, Revlon, the NBA, Southeast Toyota, Promontory Financial Group, McDonald's Corporation, General Electric, and Toll Brothers, among others.

Bob is one of the premier authors' representatives in the world. He is also one of the leading representatives of television news correspondents and producers as well as former government officials in conjunction with their transitions to the private sector.

Katie Kaplun
Executive Director

Katie Kaplun serves as Executive Director of the Carol and Gene Ludwig Family Foundation. She leads the day-to-day operations of the organization and ensures alignment of the foundation’s charitable investments with its founders’ strategic vision. Katie also holds a senior leadership role with SpringHarbor Financial Group, a family office and private investment firm owned by the Ludwig family.

Katie has held a mix of roles in the corporate and nonprofit sectors which inform the perspective she brings to the Foundation’s work. Katie previously worked as a private banker with J.P. Morgan, where she advised entrepreneurs, executives, and business owners on wealth management strategies including asset allocation, lending, pre-transaction preparation, estate planning, and charitable giving. 

Earlier in her career, Katie spent several years with Teach For America, where she served as an advisor to the organization’s senior leadership team on market research and strategy. Katie began her career as a management consultant with the Monitor Group (now Monitor Deloitte), where she advised executives in the national security, healthcare, and nonprofit industries.

Katie earned an M.B.A. from Yale University and a B.A. in American Studies from Georgetown University, where she was a George F. Baker Scholar. Outside of her philanthropic work with LFF, she serves as a board member of the Children’s Chorus of Washington.

Diana Shineman, PhD
Medical Program Director

Diana Shineman, PhD, is a cell and molecular biologist with over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector leading medical research programs. Prior to joining the Carol and Gene Ludwig Family Foundation, Diana was the Vice President of Research and Medical Programs at the Tourette Association of America (TAA) where she supervised a team to increase awareness, promote public health efforts, support research, and improve medical care for those affected by Tourette Syndrome and related disorders. Prior to TAA, Diana spent nine years at the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation where she directed the Foundation’s drug discovery and development grant programs and led strategic initiatives with foundation, government and industry partners. 

Diana earned a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research and a B.A. in Biology from Cornell University where she was named a Howard Hughes Research Scholar.  Diana has also authored numerous articles and peer-reviewed publications.

Meghan Behnke
Education Program Officer

Meghan Behnke serves as the Education Program Officer for the Carol and Gene Ludwig Family Foundation. Meghan is a passionate college and career access advocate who has devoted her career to working with organizations that are committed to ensuring that students receive the high-quality education and resources that they deserve so they can lead choice-filled lives. 
 
Meghan has worked extensively in the education and non-profit sectors, with a specific focus on supporting postsecondary success for students from low-income communities. She most recently served as the Deputy Director of the KIPP Through College & Career Program at KIPP DC. During her decade-long tenure there, Meghan played a key leadership role in operationalizing KIPP DC’s comprehensive alumni support program, including the establishment of its highly successful emergency grants program, which has been replicated in KIPP regions across the country.

Meghan earned a B.S. in English Education from Boston University.