Muneer Satter and Kristen Hertel

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Goldman Sachs; Satter Investment Management

FUNDING AREAS: Education, Youth, Policy & Global, Arts & Culture, Health & Human Services, Chicago Community

OVERVIEW: Muneer Satter and his wife Kristen Hertel move their philanthropy through the Satter Foundation, which held nearly $73 million in assets, and gave away around $6.3 million in a recent fiscal year. The couple's philanthropy through their foundation is varied, but top interests include education reform in Chicago, conservative policy, and global development. The couple has also been supportive of their mutual alma mater Northwestern, the recent recipient of a $10.5 million gift.

BACKGROUND: Muneer Satter received a B.A. from Northwestern University, and a J.D. and MBA from Harvard. Satter joined Goldman Sachs in 1988 and moved to London in 1992 to launch and co-head the firm’s merchant banking group in Europe. Satter returned to New York and was the global head of the mezzanine group. He was also a partner of the firm for sixteen years. Satter now manages Satter Investment Management (SIM), a private investment firm and family office. Satter and his wife Kristen live in Winnetka, Illinois. 


EDUCATION: Satter and his wife Kristen are proponents of education reform and back charter schools. They are primary supporters of New Schools for Chicago, which opens and supports charter and district-run schools. Between 2011 and 2016, the Satter Foundation gave between $1 and $2 million to New Schools for Chicago alone. The couple via their Satter Foundation have also recently funded Academy for Urban School Leadership (which received a $200,000 grant recently), KIPP Ascend Charter School, Noble Network of Charter Schools, Perspectives Charter Schools, Teach for America, and Winnetka Public Schools Foundation. Another important grantee here is Accelerate Institute (formerly known as Alain Locke Initiative),  which is committed to closing the achievement by creating "high-impact, transformational school leaders that accelerate student achievement." The outfit also runs a charter school. 

The couple also supports higher education. Satter has supported Harvard Law and Harvard Business School recently. The couple has also steadily supported their mutual alma mater Northwestern University. In 2015, Satter and Kristen gave a $10.5 million grant to Northwestern. Most of the gift will support the Satter Foundation Scholarship program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Other recent Satter Foundation grantees include the Greeley School, Art Institute of Chicago, Seton Academy, and St. Malachy School.

YOUTH: Kristen is a director of Beyond Sports Foundation, which "prepares student-athletes to succeed in life." She's been involved with the organization since its inception and the couple's foundation has provided support. The couple has also funded StreetSquash and JumpStart, among others.

POLICY & GLOBAL: Satter serves as a national council cochair of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a right of center think tank. The couple via their foundation recently gave a $100,000 grant to AEI. Other recent grantees include Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Doctors Without Borders, Foundation for Defense of Democracy, Heritage Foundation, Illinois Policy Institute, One Acre Fund, and Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Room to Read recently received a $455,000 grant from the Satter Foundation. The organization aims to improve literacy and gender equality in education in the developing world. The New Venture Fund (NVF) also received a $500,000 grant recently. NVF works to "achieve a healthier, more equitable world." Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) is another important grantee, and received a $515,000 grant recently. While some of these outfits are decidedly right-leaning, like AEI, Heritage Foundation, and the Illinois Policy Institute, others are not. It's also worth noting that quite a few of these organizations work in global development, too. Moreover, Satter and Kristen are pumping quite a bit of money into these interest areas.

ARTS & CULTURE: The Satter couple's arts and culture philanthropy is focused in on the Chicago area. Recent grantees include Chicago Botanical Garden, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Zoological Society, Joffrey Ballet, and Lyric Opera of Chicago.

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: The couple via their foundation have recently funded outfits like Friedman Brain Institute, Lurie Children's Hospital, Mayo Clinic, Northwestern University Health System, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. On the human services front, recent grantees include United Way, Family Service of Winnetka, Greater Chicago Food Depository, and the Robin Hood Foundation.

CHICAGO COMMUNITY: While, Satter has been a strong backer of Republican candidates, he's also supported Rahm Emanuel for years. Satter and Kristen have put more than $352,000 into Emanuel's mayoral campaigns and supportive political committees, according to Illinois State Board of Elections records. The couple's foundation recently gave the Emanuel-chaired World Business Chicago a $100,000 grant. It has also recently supported 100 Club Chicago and the Chicago Community Foundation.

OTHER: A component of this couple's varied philanthropy also involves the environment. Satter sits on the board of the Illinois chater of Nature Conservancy, the recent recipient of the $400,000 grant from the Satter Foundation. In past years, large money has also flowed to Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund.

LOOKING FORWARD: Only in his mid 50s, Satter is running an active philanthropic operation with his wife Kristen. Expect Satter to continue to be a player in the Chicago charter movement and perhaps take his efforts nationally. Satter's work in the conservative policy arena should also be watched.


The Satter Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with the couple but below is an address 

The Satter Foundation
500 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 1700
Chicago, IL 60611