NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Google
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth (STEM diversity), Global (health), TBD
OVERVIEW: Jeffrey Dean and his wife Heidi Hopper make their grantmaking through the Hopper-Dean Foundation, which prioritizes global and education issues. They recently funded grants of $1 million each to MIT and UC Berkeley for STEM education diversity.
BACKGROUND: Jeffrey Dean received a B.S. from the University of Minnesota in computer science and economics in 1990, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Washington. From 1996 to 1999, he worked for Digital Equipment Corporation's Western Research Lab in Palo Alto. He joined Google in 1999, where he is currently the head of Google’s AI division. Dean has been with the company since there were only about 20 employees and spearheaded many of the behind-the-scenes products that have helped the company dominate the web.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: The couple has steadily supported their alma maters University of Minnesota and University of Washington. The couple met at University of Minnesota and the school is home to a scholarship named in their honor. University of Washington is the site of the Jeff Dean-Heidi Hopper Endowed Regental Fellowship. The family continues to support these schools via their Hopper-Dean Foundation.
Dean and Heidi also prioritize STEM diversity. The couple recently gave $1 million to MIT to support a series of programs to diversify electrical engineering and computer science, including the school’s Society of Women Engineers chapter. Dean and Heidi also gave $1 million to UC Berkeley to back diversity initiatives in computer science, supporting high school education and attracting CS majors from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds.
The Hopper-Dean Foundation's grantees include Khan Academy, BUILD, which deals with the dropout crisis, and Larkin Youth Services. Heidi sits on the board of Castilleja School, an all-girls school the couple supports—they're also Castilleja School parents. Heidi also helped bring about a partnership between the Palo Alto school and Kisaruni High School, an all-girls school in Kenya.
GLOBAL: A component of the family foundation's philanthropy supports global nonprofits. It is worth noting that Dean has lived in several different countries and for a year or so worked for WHO's Global Programme on AIDS, developing software to do statistical modeling, forecasting, and analysis of the HIV pandemic. As a result, they support global health and other global issues. Via their foundation, the couple has supported places like International Rescue Committee, Cambodian Children’s Fund, Nepal Youth Foundation, and Free the Children, an "international charity and youth empowerment movement." Heidi is strongly involved with Free the Children.
LOOKING FORWARD: Considering Dean is just in his late 40s, the family's philanthropy will likely deepen. Their work in STEM diversity and on the international stage is worth watching.
The Hopper-Dean Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:
P.O. Box 10195, Dept. 656
Palo Alto, CA 94303