NoVo Foundation


The mission of NoVo Foundation is to foster a transformation from a world of domination and exploitation to one of collaboration and partnership. Among NoVo Foundation’s priorities is advancing social and emotional learning to support girls and boys with skills that help them work well together for success in academics and in life.

NoVo Foundation, led by Jennifer and Peter Buffett, believes that SEL at scale can and will play a significant role in shifting our culture of systemic inequality and violence to greater collaboration and partnership. SEL aligns directly with NoVo Foundation’s commitment to help nurture a new generation with the skills and motivation to build a more equitable, cooperative, and just world. Although SEL happens in many settings, NoVo Foundation, like CASEL, has chosen to focus primarily on schools.

NoVo Foundation is a critical thought partner and CASEL’s primary collaborator in its national growth initiative. Both CASEL and NoVo Foundation place great value in collaboration. We have been working closely together, engaging experts in the fields of practice, research, policy, and communications, to ensure SEL is embedded in every classroom across the country.

Through the first-of-its-kind Collaborating Districts Initiative (CDI), CASEL and NoVo Foundation have engaged eight large school districts in the United States to plan for and implement district-wide SEL. CDI is the only large-scale strategic effort promoting systemic SEL in the country. CASEL and NoVo Foundation are partners in bringing this significant effort to scale and making social and emotional learning an essential part of education.

Investiture of Roger P. Weissberg as NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair

On Oct. 20, 2011, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) celebrated the investiture of CASEL President and CEO Roger Weissberg as the NoVo Endowed Chair in Social and Emotional Learning. Weissberg is also a UIC professor of psychology and education. The topic of his presentation was “Establishing Social and Emotional Learning as an Educational Priority Across Chicago, Illinois, and the United States.”

Attendees at the event included Chris Kennedy, chair of the University of Illinois board of trustees; Jennifer Buffett, president of NoVo Foundation; other members of CASEL’s board of directors; and many of Weissberg’s colleagues who have been active in the field of social and emotional learning over the years.

Jennifer Buffett set the stage for Weissberg’s presentation by affirming her foundation’s commitment to supporting social and emotional learning. “In the complexity of the 21st century,” she said, “we need to give young people the skills to recognize and master their emotions, to resolve conflicts, to build their resilience, and to work together creatively. If generations of children develop these skills from early childhood, we will soon be living in a very different—and much better—world.”