Sean Parker Commits $600 Million to Launch The Parker Foundation

Private foundation will focus on Life Sciences, Global Public Health and Civic Engagement

Jun 24, 2015, 09:50 ET from The Parker Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO, June 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist Sean Parker today announced a $600 million gift to formally launch The Parker Foundation. Based in San Francisco, the foundation builds on Mr. Parker's historical philanthropic support and will aggressively pursue programs in three areas: Life Sciences, Global Public Health and Civic Engagement.

"In the increasingly complex and interconnected world we live in, the problems we're confronted with are systemic ones, and they call for systemic answers," said Sean Parker.  "In order to achieve scale and leverage, the philanthropists who take on these challenges will need to search for fresh answers to these problems and aggressively implement the solutions they discover."

The foundation will focus on large societal challenges and act as a bridge between the need for philanthropic investment, public policy expertise, and science and technology to achieve its goals.

The foundation will make big bets on disruptive ideas and bring them to market through a multidisciplinary approach that combines insight, technology, organization building, public policy and communications.

"The Parker Foundation will apply the lessons learned from Silicon Valley start-ups to our philanthropic initiatives: we must move fast, make concentrated bets based on our convictions, have the courage to make mistakes and learn from them," Mr. Parker added. 

Mr. Parker will serve as chairman and play an active role in developing the foundation's programs and partnerships. Recently, he pledged $24 million to create the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research at Stanford and made a $4.5 million grant to support the Malaria Elimination Initiative at the University of California San Francisco's Global Health Group.

"We will be disciplined in selecting problems that we are uniquely equipped to solve: ones where we have novel insights, technological advantages and strong partnerships to increase our leverage and impact," said Mr. Parker. "Our projects may take years or even decades but they will be achievable in our lifetime."

Since 2005, Mr. Parker has been an active donor to cancer research, civic engagement, global public health and environmental causes. In 2012, he pledged a $5 million grant to Stand Up to Cancer and the Cancer Research Institute to create the Immunotherapy Dream Team to unite laboratory and clinical efforts that will lead to the immunological treatment, control and prevention of cancer.

For his leadership in supporting cancer research, Mr. Parker received the 2013 Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research from the Cancer Research Institute.

Earlier this year, Mr. Parker was ranked number 5 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy's 2014 Philanthropy 50 list for his $550 million pledge. The $600 million includes this pledge as well as an additional commitment.

About The Parker Foundation

The Parker Foundation is a private foundation established through a $600 million gift by Sean Parker. Based in San Francisco, the foundation builds upon Sean's philanthropic support over the last 10 years and capitalizes on his pioneering work in the fields of technology, media, company building, and public policy. The foundation aggressively pursues large-scale systemic change in three areas: Life Sciences, Global Public Health and Civic Engagement. More information about the Parker Foundation can be found at

Michael Holland
Edelman for Sean Parker
(212) 642-7760

SOURCE The Parker Foundation