The Foundation

The Parker Foundation aggressively pursues solutions to an array of entrenched problems impacting millions of people, building on the momentum that Sean Parker achieved in a decade of independent philanthropy. We believe philanthropy with a capacity for experimentation is the most effective. We target our resources toward the best people doing the most promising work and then we provide unrestrained support. We believe that’s how problems get solved.

With these approaches in mind, the Parker Foundation was launched in June 2015 through a $600 million gift by Sean and Alexandra Parker. The foundation builds upon the Parkers’ historical philanthropic support and capitalizes on their pioneering work in the fields of technology, media, company building, and public policy. Based in San Francisco, the foundation aggressively pursues large-scale systemic change in three focus areas: Life Sciences, Global Public Health, and Civic Engagement.

About Sean Parker

Sean Parker is a philanthropist and entrepreneur with a record of launching genre-defining companies and organizations. He is the founder and President of the Parker Foundation, which focuses on three areas: Life Sciences, Global Public Health and Civic Engagement. In April 2016, the Parker Foundation announced a $250 million grant to form the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, which builds on Mr. Parker’s leadership in funding and promoting research into the relationship between the immune system and cancer. He helped to establish the Stand Up 2 Cancer and Cancer Research Institute's (CRI) Immunology Dream Team in 2012, and was honored by CRI with the Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research in 2013. Mr. Parker was ranked number 5 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 2014 Philanthropy 50 list. In 2016 he received the Pontifical Key Philanthropy Award from the Vatican, the Jefferson Foundation Award for Outstanding Public Service by a Private Citizen, and the Friends of Cancer Research Cancer Leadership Award. In 2017, he received UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital’s highest honor, the Kaleidoscope Philanthropic Leadership Award, as well as the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Public Service Award for his efforts in championing cancer immunotherapy. In 2018, he received the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage from Trinity College, Dublin, received the Kemp Leadership Award, and was named one of Time Magazine's 50 Most Influential People in Health Care.

Mr. Parker was the co-founder of Napster at age 19 and of Plaxo at 21. In 2004 he joined with Mark Zuckerberg to develop the online social network Facebook and served as Facebook's founding president, and in 2007 he co-founded Causes on Facebook, which registered 180 million people to donate money and take action around social issues. Mr. Parker is also chairman and founder of the Economic Innovation Group, based in Washington D.C. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Alexandra and their two children.

About Alexandra Parker

As a founding board member of The Parker Foundation, Alexandra Parker is an active philanthropist in the field of life sciences and public health and was instrumental to the formation of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. Alexandra has a deep passion for helping those struggling with opiate addiction and is working to support the recovery process. Her efforts are also focused on a public education initiative aimed at removing the stigma that those struggling with addiction may face. 

Based in San Francisco, the Parker Foundation was launched through a $600 million gift by Alexandra and Sean Parker. With a mission to positively impact social, economic and health challenges, the foundation is dedicated to funding and implementing programs across three areas of focus: Life Sciences, Global Public Health, and Civic Engagement. In 2017,  Alexandra was recognized alongside Sean Parker with the Kaleidoscope Philanthropic Leadership Award from UCLA’s Mattel Children’s Hospital for the Parker Foundation’s work to support groundbreaking collaborative scientific research into cancer and the immune system. Beyond Alexandra’s philanthropic work, she is an artist, musician and dedicated mother to two children.

Our Grantmaking Areas

Life Sciences

Global Public Health

Civic Engagement