Sean and Alexandra Parker

NET WORTH: $2.6 billion


FUNDING AREAS: Science, Global Health, Civic Engagement

OVERVIEW: In June 2015, Parker announced a $600 million contribution to launch the Parker Foundation with his wife Alexandra, which focuses on science, global health and civic engagement. Major gifts include a $250 million grant to establish the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and a $24 million to create the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research at Stanford. 

BACKGROUND: Sean Parker definitely loves the internet, and he definitely loves to shake things up. After making a splash with Napster, with which he became a mortal enemy of the music industry, he made his big money by helping give birth to Facebook, the shares of which have now climbed well above the original IPO price. 


LIFE SCIENCES: The Parkers pledged $24 million to create the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research at Stanford. Parker himself suffers from severe nut allergies. The couple also made a $10 million grant to create the Sean N. Parker Autoimmune Research Laboratory at UCSF. In April 2016, meanwhile, the Parker Foundation announced a $250 million grant to form the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. Parker also helped establish the Stand Up 2 Cancer and Cancer Research Institute's (CRI) Immunology Dream Team. As well, the Sean Parker Institute for the Voice at Weill Cornell "researches the entire spectrum of voice disorders to inform world-class clinical care for patients. " 

GLOBAL HEALTH: The couple made a $4.5 million grant to support the Malaria Elimination Initiative at the University of California San Francisco’s Global Health Group. He's been a strong supporter of Charity: Water, which brings water resources to communities in developing countries, and Malaria No More, a group that focuses on malaria treatment and prevention in Africa. 

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT: The foundation also believes that "investments in education and technical skills, while certainly not sufficient, will help repair this rift and transform society for a 21st century democracy." Strategic partners and grantees have included Brigade Media, "an online network that helps people connect around the political issues they care about and enables civic action and political participation,," Code for America, and the Economic Innovation Group.

LOOKING FORWARD: It's worth noting that Alexandra has a passion for helping those struggling with opiate addiction and her efforts are also focused on a public education initiative aimed at removing the stigma associated with with addiction. The couple's philanthropy is just kicking off, so they may increase giving in the coming years.

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