John H. Burbank III

NET WORTH: Unknown  

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Passport Capital

FUNDING AREAS: Environment, Health, Education & Youth, Policy, Arts

OVERVIEW: John Burbank serves as president of the Passport Foundation, which is associated with Passport Capital. The foundation’s grantmaking particularly involves the environment, as well as health. 

BACKGROUND: John Howard Burbank III earned a BA from Duke University, and an MBA from Stanford. He held various investment research positions with Bay Area hedge funds and as an equity analyst and consultant at JMG Triton Offshore. In 2000, he founded Passport Capital.


ENVIRONMENT: The Passport Foundation’s grantmaking is particularly keyed on environmental issues. In 2009, the foundation launched its Science Innovation Fund to “expand knowledge of the impacts of environmental contaminants on human health to inform and advance, first and foremost, chemicals regulation and risk assessment reform; and secondarily, public health and clinical care policies and practices.” The fund has since shuttered. 

Grantees have included Bluegreen Alliance Foundation, Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, NRDC, West Harlem Environmental Action, New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, and Sustainable Purchasing Council, which aims to harness “market demand to advance human and environmental health.”

HEALTH: Grantees have included Breast Cancer Fund, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society-Greater SF, and National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

EDUCATION & YOUTH: The foundation earmarks funds for UCSF and education and youth organizations like Code for America Labs, Burlingame Community for Education Foundation, and Edgewood Center for Children and Families. The foundation has directed funds to Hedge Fund Cares in support of Bay Area agencies working to reduce child abuse.

OTHER: Passport’s grantmaking has supported policy organizations like Public Citizen which “advocates for a healthier and more equitable world by making government work for the people and by defending democracy from corporate greed” and arts outfits like Cutting Ball Theater.

LOOKING FORWARD:  Burbank hasn’t said much publicly about his philanthropy, as far as we can tell. Expect environmental issues to remain a top priority. Down the line perhaps Burbank will direct his giving through other avenues.


The Passport Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contat but below is an address:

Passport Foundation
1 Market St., Ste. 2200, Steuart Tower
San Francisco, CA 94105