Samuel J. Heyman

Samuel J. Heyman

Founding Chairman, Partnership for Public Service, 2001-2009 (March 1, 1939-November 7, 2009)

In September 2001, Mr. Heyman founded the Partnership for Public Service, with a gift of $45 million, to address the need for reform in government service and served as the Partnership’s Chairman from 2001-2009. Mr. Heyman passed away in November 2009.

Heyman was the owner and Chairman of one of the nation’s major privately-held companies, which does business as GAF Corporation and consists of an international specialty chemicals company and North America’s largest manufacturer of residential roofing products. GAF has more than 7,500 employees worldwide, approximately $4 billion in sales and is headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey. Mr. Heyman waged a successful proxy contest for control of GAF in 1983, which Barron’s characterized as “one of the most striking achievements in the annals of corporate finance.”

A graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School, Mr. Heyman began his career as a lawyer for the United States Justice Department and later served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut. He left government service in 1968 to take over his family’s Connecticut-based real estate development business and subsequently built Heyman Properties into a leading commercial real estate development firm with operations throughout the United States.

Mr. Heyman’s community activities included service on the Boards of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law/Yeshiva University, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1988; Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy/Duke University, the Dean’s Advisory Board/Harvard Law School, as well as a trustee of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue, an associate at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and a former Board member of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The focus of Mr. Heyman’s most recent activity surrounded his interest in advancing government service. In November 1999, he announced a gift of $5 million to the Harvard Law School for the establishment of an innovative program designed to encourage Harvard Law School graduates to enter Federal Government service upon graduation from law school. He subsequently created similar fellowship programs at Yale Law School and Seton Hall School of Law.

Mr. Heyman and his wife, Ronnie Feuerstein Heyman, have numerous philanthropic interests, which have included the establishment of The Samuel & Ronnie Heyman Center on Corporate Governance at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University; The Partnership for Public Service in Washington, D.C.; The Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Center for Ethics, Public Policy and the Professions, Sanford Institute, Duke University; Heyman Commons, the kosher dining hall at Yale; the Yale Tennis Facility; and The Heyman Chair in Legal Ethics at Yale Law School. Past involvements include the Bicultural Day School (the Heyman Gymnasium), the Ramaz School (the Heyman Auditorium and Pre-School) and Congregation Agudath Shalom (Heyman Chapel).