Austin Michael Beutner (born April 8, 1960) is an American businessman, civic leader and philanthropist, who was selected as the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) on May 1, 2018, by the Los Angeles Board of Education. LAUSD is the second largest school district in the U.S. The school district spans over 720 square miles with over 640,000 students, 900 schools, 187 public charter schools, 60,000 employees, and a $7.5 billion budget.
Austin Michael Beutner
April 8, 1960
|Education||B.A., Economics at Dartmouth College|
|Occupation||Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District|
|Known for||CEO and publisher of Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune|
First Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles
Founder of Evercore Partners
Founder of Vision to Learn
He co-founded Evercore Partners and is the former publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune. He was the first deputy mayor of Los Angeles in 2011 and ran for Mayor of Los Angeles in 2012.
The son of German immigrants who came to America for economic opportunity, Beutner was born in New York and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His mother was a retired schoolteacher and his father was a retired manufacturing engineer.
After graduation in 1982 he went to work at Smith Barney as a financial analyst. At the age of 29, he became partner at The Blackstone Group. In the 1990s he co-founded the investment banking group Evercore Partners, which went public in 2006.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Beutner went to work for the U.S. State Department. The Clinton administration tapped him to lead a team into Russia and help transition them from communism to a free-market economy, including the decommission of weapons and other materiel.
In 1996 Beutner co-founded Evercore Partners, an American independent investment banking advisory firm, with former Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Roger Altman. When Evercore went public (NYES-EVR) in 2006, the IPO reportedly made Beutner more than $100 million.
In January 2010, Beutner was appointed by Antonio Villaraigosa to be the first deputy mayor of Los Angeles, with oversight of twelve city agencies, including the Port of Los Angeles, Department of Water and Power and the Housing Authority, with over 17,000 employees. As deputy mayor he focused on making the city more business-friendly and streamlining permitting processes. In 2013, with Villaraigosa's term ending, Beutner launched a campaign to run for Mayor of Los Angeles, but dropped from the race after a year having captured only 2% of likely voters. The election was a year away when Beutner suspended his efforts.
In 2013, Beutner and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Mickey Kantor co-chaired the 2020 Commission to study and report on the financial matters in Los Angeles. One of the report recommendations was to reform the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP). In 2016 Beutner and Kantor penned an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times aimed to bring about reform and changes to the DWP noting that "The city deserves a public utility that is operated in the long-term best interests of its customers, employees and our environment."
He has lectured on his experiences in business, government, and journalism at the University of Southern California Bedrosian Center on Governance, the UCLA Anderson School of Management as well as the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Beutner is a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School where he teaches Relational Coordination Leadership and Corporate Accountability In 2016, Beutner gave the commencement address to the 2016 graduating class of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.
In 2018, the Los Angeles Downtown News journal recognized the businessman/civic leader/former deputy mayor/ex-L.A. Times publisher and now LAUSD Superintendent "as a visionary with extensive political and business connections."
In 1994 Austin Beutner founded The Beutner Family Foundation with a focus on philanthropy and education for economically disadvantaged people.
In 2012 Beutner founded Vision To Learn. A non-profit that provides children with free eye exams and free glasses by bringing its mobile eye clinics to schools and to other neighborhood youth and community organizations. Since 2012 Vision To Learn has helped more than 100,000 school kids with free eye exams and glasses. Since its inception Vision To Learn has expanded to several other states and school districts. Beutner is known to take up causes that help children in the inner city and economically depressed communities.
In 2014, Vision To Learn partnered with the Compton Unified School District to provide free eye exams and glasses to schools kids in their community. Vision To Learn has partnered with other charities including The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and recently the LA Clippers Foundation, who are supporting the Inglewood Unified School District. with former LA Clipper Chris Paul and Inglewood High School alumnus and former LA Clipper Paul Pierce. In 2018 Steve Ballmer and the L.A. Clippers Foundation partnered with Beutner and the Los Angeles Unified School District to provide the 600,000 LAUSD students with free eye exams, and students in need will receive free glasses. The former Clippers's star Blake Griffin was on hand to support this event.
Beutner serves on the board of trustees and former chairman of the board of the California Institute of the Arts, chairman of the board of directors of The Broad Stage, chairman of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports and co-chairman of the CalArts Community Arts Partnership. He is also chairman and founder of the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation. Additionally, he serves on the boards of directors of Autism Care & Treatment Today! and Inner City Education Foundation for Public Schools. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In March 2016, Beutner signed an amicus brief in support of The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) expansion and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) which would provide relief for millions of immigrant families and their communities. In July 2017, Buetner created a task force for the Los Angeles Unified School District to look for solutions for declining attendance and other problems. Beutner co-chairs the task force with SEIU President Lophanza Butler. "We are here to support Michelle King, and offer suggestions," Beutner said in an interview with LA School Report. King stated that she is "excited and energized by the opportunity to collaborate with these community partners in the bold and transformative work of educating our future leaders."
On April 25, 2018, Beutner along with music mogul, producer and rapper Percy "Master P" Miller and his non-profit Team Hope NOLA, led a four-state tour to provide free eye exams and glasses to children in Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Jackson, Miss., and New Orleans. Beutner and Miller visited four schools on the trip, all of which demonstrate the need. 46% of kids at a middle school in Atlanta needed glasses and did not have them, 16% at an elementary school in Charlotte, 16% at an elementary school in New Orleans, and 21% at an elementary school in Jackson.
In 2014, Beutner took over as publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times when Eddy Hartenstein left to become the non-executive chairman of the board of Tribune Publishing. When Tribune Publishing acquired the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2015, Beutner was named its CEO and publisher, as well as CEO of the newly formed California News Group.
He was fired as publisher and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Times on September 8, 2015. He wrote on Facebook that the dismissal was not voluntary: "I am not departing by choice, nor is this some 'mutual agreement' on my part and Tribune Publishing".
In 2015, more than 50 community leaders protested Beutner's firing, including philanthropists, business leaders and two former Los Angeles mayors. Media analyst Ken Doctor called Beutner's departure "a small tragedy for American journalism." Tom Johnson, former publisher of the LA Times, wrote "To see Beutner's leadership abruptly ended by Tribune is both tragic and very sad. Reversing the dynamic momentum Beutner had ignited is reprehensible."
During Beutner's 13 months as publisher, the Times won two Pulitzer Prizes — for cultural criticism and for feature writing — along with other national journalism awards for coverage of the California drought, the plight of Mexican farm workers and other stories. The California Newspaper Publishers Assn. awarded the Times its 2015 general excellence award.
In 2016, Beutner was invited to speak about the role of the media in homeland security and his experiences in the media and public service at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security. His keynote address was published in Watermark, the quarterly magazine of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School – Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
- Chairman and founder, Vision To Learn (March 2012 – present)
- Chairman and founder, Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation (2009 – present)
- Granada Hills Charter High School Education Foundation (2012 – present)
- Hopkins Center for the Arts Board of Overseers, Dartmouth College (March 2013 -
- National Park Foundation (July 2015 – present/2021)
- The Nature Conservancy (February 2013 – present)
- The Pacific Council on International Relations (2013 – present)
- U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation (March 2014 – present)
Past board affiliations:
- Chairman of the board of trustees, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)
- Chairman, The Broad Stage
- Chairman, Carlthorp School
- Chairman, California Governor's Council of Physical Fitness and Sports
- ACT Today!
- Inner City Education Foundation
- The Los Angeles Fund for Public Education
- Kevin Roderick (August 11, 2014). "Austin Beutner goes from potential buyer to publisher of LA Times". LA Observed.
- Andrea Chang (May 7, 2015). "L.A. Times parent to buy San Diego paper, expanding reach in Southern California". Los Angeles Times.
- Goffard, Christopher. "Austin Beutner named publisher and CEO of Los Angeles Times". latimes.com.
- Williford, Stanley (November 12, 2011). "Austin Beutner speaks softly and plans to carry a big city". OurWeekly LA.
- Christopher Goffard (August 11, 2014). "Austin Beutner named publisher and CEO of Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times.
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- "It's time to give the DWP a reboot". latimes.com. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Austin Beutner | Bedrosian Center | USC". bedrosian.usc.edu. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Affiliates of UCLA Luncheon – Lunch with Austin Beutner". alumni.ucla.edu.
- Columbia Journalism School (2015-10-22), A Conversation With Austin Beutner, retrieved 2016-03-07
- Harbus, The (2017-04-20). "The End of Facts = The End of Empathy - The Harbus". The Harbus. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
- USC (2016-05-16), Austin Beutner USC Commencement Speech | USC Price School of Public Policy Commencement 2016, retrieved 2018-05-02
- Regardie, John (July 2018). "BEST EDUCATIONAL STEP LAUSD Hires Austin Beutner". LA Downtown News.
- "Find Grantmakers & Nonprofit Funders | Foundation Directory Online". fdo.foundationcenter.org. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Vision To Learn | Providing Free Eye Exams & Free Glasses to Children in Low Income Communities". visiontolearn.org. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Crisis in California's schools: 250,000 schoolchildren need glasses". latimes.com. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Annual Totals | Vision To Learn". visiontolearn.org. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Vision to Learn and Compton Unified Join Forces to Help Children See Better - Los Angeles Sentinel". Los Angeles Sentinel. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Foundation | Vision to Learn". Los Angeles Dodgers. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "LA Clippers, Vision To Learn Provide Free Eye Exams and Glasses To All Inglewood Students". LA Clippers. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Visionary program delivers eyeglasses to all Inglewood students in need". www.dailybreeze.com. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "United States v. Texas: A Fight for Families". www.fightforfamilies.org. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
- Szymanski, Mike (July 19, 2017). "Austin Beutner explains the purpose of the LA Unified Advisory Task Force, and 7 other things you should know about how it will help kids". LA School Report. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
- "Former LA deputy mayor to head LAUSD task force. First mission: boost attendance". Retrieved 2017-08-16.
- "Billionaire Eli Broad Teams With Financier to Make L.A. Times Bid".
- Lang, Brent (11 August 2014). "Los Angeles Times Taps Austin Beutner as Publisher and CEO".
- Chang, Andrea. "L.A. Times parent to buy San Diego paper, expanding reach in Southern California". latimes.com.
- Ravi Somaiya (September 8, 2015). "Austin Beutner Ousted as Los Angeles Times Publisher". New York Times.
- "A billionaire, a fired publisher, and a spectacle at the LA Times". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "LA Civic Leadership Letter to Tribune 9-10-15". Scribd. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Publisher Austin Beutner is fired after a yearlong drive to reshape The Times". latimes.com. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Former LA Times publisher calls Beutner firing 'tragic, reprehensible'". LA Observed. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Pulitzer Prizes for the Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
- "Center for Homeland Defense and Security - APEX".
- "Alumni magazine". www.chds.us.
- "Home - Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Officers Association". Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Officers Association. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
- "United Firefighters of Los Angeles City".
- "Leadership Symposium - Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Officers Association". Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Officers Association. Retrieved 2018-05-02.