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Barbara Harman – Harman Family Foundation

At first glance, it may not seem like Barbara Harman and Dave Moss have much in common. First glances can be deceiving. Like Dave, our host, Barbara inherited control of her family foundation. The Harman Family Foundation was founded by her father, Sydney Harman who was Undersecretary of Commerce under President Carter and co-founder of the Harman-Kardon speaker company. Also like Dave Moss, Barbara Harman founded a nonprofit whose activities include publishing a list (in her case it’s a catalogue) of philanthropies. The Catalogue for Philanthropy is a D.C. institution (like Barbara herself) that has raised almost $30 million for local charities.

Barbara Harman and Dave Moss

Barbara Harman and Dave Moss

Their overlap does not end there, Barbara Harman began her career as a women’s literature professor at Wellesley College before switching professions to move to DC and run the Catalogue. Dave was raised by Jane Moss, a women’s studies professor who graduated from Wellesley College and recently retired from Duke University to help Dave run the Unfunded List.

Barbara Harman is a member of the board of the Catalogue and a trustee of the Shakespeare Theatre Company. She received the Mayor’s Arts Award for Visionary Leadership in the Arts (with her step-mother, former Congresswoman Jane Harman). She was named one of Washington’s “most powerful women” by Washingtonian Magazine in 2013 and 2015. Barbara graduated from Tufts University and she received her MA and PhD degrees from Brandeis University.


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