John and Amy Phelan

NET WORTH: Unknown


FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Arts & Culture, Military

OVERVIEW: John Phelan and his wife Amy conduct their philanthropy through the John and Amy Phelan Foundation, which gave away around $2.2 million in a recent year. The foundation’s grantmaking touches a handful of outfits, with the arts and education receiving attention. The Phelans are well-known art collectors.

BACKGROUND: John Phelan received a B.A. from Southern Methodist University in 1986 and an MBA from Harvard in 1990. He began his career at Goldman Goldman Sachs as an analyst, and also worked at ESL Investments, before going on to cofound MSD Capital.


EDUCATION & YOUTH: John supports his school, Harvard, and the Phelans have supported their mutual alma mater Southern Methodist University, home to the John and Amy Phelan Meadows Scholar. Other grantees have included London School of Economics, Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, and Child Mind Institute, an “an independent nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children struggling with mental health and learning disorders.”

ARTS & CULTURE: The Phelans, who collect contemporary art, have been among the ArtNews top 200 art collectors. They have a home in Aspen, where they are involved with the Aspen Museum of Art. They have also supported the Whitney Museum of Art, where Phelan sits on the board.

OTHER: The Phelans are interested in organizations that aid soldiers and have given grants to Navy Seal Foundation and Spirit of America, whose mission is to “support the safety and success of Americans serving abroad and the local people and partners they seek to help.” They have also supported Carter Burden Network, which works with the elderly.

LOOKING FORWARD: The John and Amy Phelan Foundation appears to be recently minted, with only a few tax years available to examine. In the coming years, perhaps the couple’s philanthropy will deepen. They have homes in several cities, including New York, Aspen, and London.


The John and Amy Phelan Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:

John and Amy Phelan Foundation
645 5th Ave., 21st Fl.
New York City, NY 10022