NET WORTH: $2.6 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Carlyle Group, Co-Founder & Co-CEO
FUNDING AREAS: Health education, human services, D.C. community
OVERVIEW: William Conway hasn't yet signed the giving pledge, but the billionaire made waves a few years ago when he announced that he wanted to give away at least $1 billion to the Washington D.C. community. At least $55 million has gone towards scholarships and tuition-assistance for nursing programs at several D.C.-based universities. He and his wife Joanne also helm the Bedford Falls Foundation.
BACKGROUND: William Conway, Jr. is part of the triumvirate running the private equity firm Carlyle Group. He serves as co-CEO along with David Rubenstein. Daniel D'Aniello, meanwhile, who's a major contributor to the think tank American Enterprise Institute, is chairman. Politically connected, the trio leveraged relationships with George H.W. Bush and former British Prime Minister John Major to secure ownership of struggling defense businesses. Carlyle's recent investments include Japanese pharmaceuticals giant Sunsho Pharmaceutical and hedge fund manager Diversified Global Asset Management Corporation.
Conway got his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth and then got an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He held a position as CFO of MCI Communications before he cofounded Carlyle with Rubenstein and D'Aniello.
HEALTH EDUCATION: In 2012, Conway made waves by announcing that he planned to give away $1 billion of his fortune in the Washington D.C. area. He fielded suggestions from the public and has since made a series of gifts totaling at least $55 million towards scholarships and tuition assistance for nursing students attending LAYC Career Academy or one of five universities in the region: Trinity Washington, Marymount, Catholic, Johns Hopkins, and Georgetown.
That flurry of grantmaking also involved $70,000 towards a pilot program at Community of Hope to train people to be medical receptionists and medical assistants. The following year, Community of Hope received a $1.75 million pledge from the Bedford Falls Foundation. $5 million also recently went to University of Virginia School of Nursing to provide need-based scholarships for students in the Clinical Nurse Leader program as well as faculty support. The foundation has recently gifted $1 million to Johns Hopkins, Catholic University, the University of Virginia, as well as $400,000 to Trinity Washington University, all in the name of Nursing Education.
Conway credits Joanne for bringing nursing onto his radar. As well, he was impressed with the nurses who cared for his parents before they passed.
HUMAN SERVICES: When Conway made his announcement, another philanthropic priority of those initial grants was helping low-income people through education and human services. At least $10 million has gone to Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Washington, and at least $10 million has gone to Catholic charities. As well, at least $5 million has gone to the Center for Employment Training at SOME (So Others Might Eat). Conway has also been a steady funder of Capital Area Food Bank.
LOOKING AHEAD: With Conway's $1 billion announcement, there's plenty more money left to be given away. Given his willingness in the past to field suggestions for the public, as well, it's possible that his interests grow or change as time goes on. It's also worth noting that unlike his business partner D'Aniello, Conway doesn't seem deep into policy.