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CHICAGO — Today, the Obama Foundation announced that Sean Parker, philanthropist and entrepreneur, has joined the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Parker will join current members Martin Nesbitt, John Doerr, Thelma Golden, Dr. Mahalia Hines, Glenn Hutchins, Governor Deval Patrick, David Plouffe, J. Kevin Poorman, Penny Pritzker, John Rogers, Michael Sacks, Juan Salgado, Julianna Smoot, and Robert Wolf, who serve as volunteer members of the Board. Nesbitt serves as the chairman of the Board.

“Civic engagement has long been a driving issue for me and for the Parker Foundation, so I am excited to be working with the Obama Foundation to advance its mission to inspire, empower, and connect people to change their world,” said Parker. “President Obama’s call to all of us was to support and lift up young leaders who are making positive change in their communities, and I am looking forward to making my own contribution to this important work.”

“We’ve seen what’s possible when civic leaders from around the world connect—they learn from each other, organize together, share best practices, and ultimately have a greater impact together than they could alone,” said Foundation CEO David Simas. “Through these powerful connections, our global network of changemakers won’t just have an impact in their own communities—they’ll change the world. Sean’s technology background married with his commitment to social good will benefit us as we work toward this goal.”

In support of its mission, the Foundation recently selected its 2019 Obama Fellows, 20 civic innovators from around the world who will come together for a two-year fellowship intended to help scale their work and inspire others to engage in their communities. And last week the Foundation announced its second cohort of Africa Leaders, who will convene in Johannesburg July 10-14. The gathering will bring together rising leaders from 45 countries and a variety of sectors and issue areas to discuss how to create positive change in their communities.

More updates on the Foundation’s recent work may be found here.

Sean Parker

Sean Parker is a philanthropist and entrepreneur with a record of launching genre-defining companies and organizations. He is the founder and President of the Parker Foundation, which focuses on three areas: life sciences, global public health, and civic engagement. In April 2016, the Parker Foundation announced a $250 million grant to form the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, which builds on Mr. Parker’s leadership in funding and promoting research into the relationship between the immune system and cancer. He helped to establish the Stand Up 2 Cancer and Cancer Research Institute’s (CRI) Immunology Dream Team in 2012 and was honored by CRI with the Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research in 2013. Mr. Parker was ranked number 5 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 2014 Philanthropy 50 list. In 2016 he received the Pontifical Key Philanthropy Award from the Vatican, the Jefferson Foundation Award for Outstanding Public Service by a Private Citizen, and the Friends of Cancer Research Cancer Leadership Award. In 2017, he received UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital’s highest honor, the Kaleidoscope Philanthropic Leadership Award, as well as the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Public Service Award for his efforts in championing cancer immunotherapy. In 2018, he received the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage from Trinity College, Dublin, received the Kemp Leadership Award, and was named one of Time Magazine's 50 Most Influential People in Health Care.

Mr. Parker was the co-founder of Napster at age 19 and of Plaxo at 21. In 2004 he partnered with Mark Zuckerberg to found Facebook and served as its first president. In 2007 he co-founded Causes on Facebook, which registered 180 million people to donate money and take action around social issues. Mr. Parker is also chairman and founder of the Economic Innovation Group, based in Washington D.C. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Alexandra, and their two children.


Contact: Laura Lucas Magnuson, [email protected]