John and Elaine Chambers

NET WORTH: Unknown


FUNDING AREAS: Education and youth, health and human services

OVERVIEW: John Chambers and his wife Elaine do their grantmaking through the Chambers Family Foundation, which made around $1.9 million in grants in a recent year. The Bay Area serves as an important site of grantmaking.   

BACKGROUND: John T. Chambers holds a JD and a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts degree in Business from West Virginia. He received an MBA in finance and management from Indiana University in 1975. Chambers worked at Wang Laboratories and IBM, and joined Cisco Systems in 1991. He served as chairman and CEO from 2006 to 2015.


EDUCATION & YOUTH: The couple’s daughter Lindsay attended Stanford, which the family supports via their foundation. Other grantees include Duke University, Child Advocates (CASA of Silicon Valley), Inner-City Scholarship Fund, Harlem RBI, Silicon Valley Education Foundation, and The Trevor Project, which focuses on suicide prevention in the LGBT youth community.

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: Elaine Chambers is chair of the board of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. The couple supports the foundation as well as American Heart Association, Second Harvest Food Bank, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, ALS Association, and Services for Brain Injury.

OTHER: Chambers and Elaine, via their foundation, support Ducks Unlimited. They have given funds to the Clinton Foundation and NetHope, “a collaboration of leading international NGOs serving tens of millions each year in 180+ countries.” It is worth noting that Chambers was vice chairman of President George W. Bush's National Infrastructure Advisory Council, President George W. Bush's Transition Team, and Education Committee and on President Bill Clinton's Trade Policy Committee.

LOOKING FORWARD: Chambers earned some $38 million in one year earlier this decade. Perhaps more money will move out of the Chambers Family Foundation in the coming years.


Chambers Family Foundation
P.O. Box 10195, Dept. 12
Palo Alto, CA  94303