NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Google
FUNDING AREAS: Film & Media, Policy & Civic Action, STEM Education, San Francisco Bay Community
OVERVIEW: David desJardins and his wife Nancy Blachman do their grantmaking through the Desjardins-Blachman Foundation. The charity directs funds to an organization called the desJardins/Blachman Fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. This makes it difficult to get the full scope of this tech couple's philanthropy. However, the couple, via the fund, have supported media and film organizations, policy organizations, STEM education, and more. The couple also founded Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival.
BACKGROUND: David desJardins holds an SB from MIT and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, both in mathematics. In 1999, he joined Google, where he worked as a software engineer until 2005. He was among the first 25 employees of the company. Since leaving Google, desJardins has invested in a number of companies and also co-founded the Scholars Strategy Network, an association of academics and researchers engaged in policy-relevant research.
FILM AND MEDIA: Despite her STEM background and career, Nancy also has a passion for documentary film and has regularly attended Sundance and Telluride. This background perhaps explains the couple's support of film and media organizations, including NOW on PBS, as well as POV. The couple has also supported organizations like Chicken & Egg Pictures, ZALA Films, and International Documentary Association.
POLICY & CIVIC ACTION: desJardins is on the board of Democracy Alliance, a network of progressive donors. The couple has supported organizations like Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Center for Science in the Public Interest, and Bus Federation Civic Fund, a "network of homegrown organizations working with next generation leaders and mobilizing huge numbers of volunteers to develop a democracy that is more just and responsive."
STEM EDUCATION: David and Nancy co-founded the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival, a math education and enrichment program for middle and high school students named after a pioneering University of California professor. They have also supported organizations like Girls' Angle, a math club for girls, and the Math Teachers' Circle Network (MTC), a project of the American Institute of Mathematics and a professional community of K12 mathematics teachers and mathematicians.
BAY AREA COMMUNITY: The couple has supported organizations like Exploratorium, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose , and Save the Bay Action Fund.
LOOKING FORWARD: Like many early Google employees, desJardins netted quite a bit of cash despite his unassuming title. Expect this tech couple to continue to support their established interest areas. Less clear is whether the foundation's grantmaking will become more transparent and accessible.
The desJardins-Blachman Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:
501 Silverside Rd.
Wilmington, DE 19809