About

About the Foundation

Launched in 1988 by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen and his sister Jody Allen, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation is dedicated to changing the trajectory of people’s lives and strengthening communities through catalytic philanthropy that helps meet our energy needs and address the threat of climate change, promote biodiversity on land and in the seas, give young people access to immersive experiences in art and strengthen education, address the needs of vulnerable populations, and advance scientific and technological breakthroughs around the world. All told, Mr. Allen’s philanthropic contributions exceed $2 billion.  As a signatory of the Giving Pledge, Mr. Allen has committed to giving the majority of his wealth to philanthropy.

CAREERS

If you are interested in opportunities with the Foundation, see Vulcan.com/Careers

About the Allen Family

After World War II, a young newlywed couple left their home in Oklahoma and wound up settling in Seattle, Washington. Kenneth Allen and Edna “Faye” Gardner shared a love for books – he was the associate director of the University of Washington library system and she was a public school teacher at Ravenna School with a voracious appetite for reading. From the beginning, the Allens instilled a deep curiosity and love for new ideas into their two children, Paul and Jody.

Decades later, Paul and Jody continue their family’s tradition for learning and giving back to the community as founders of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. With roots firmly planted in the Pacific Northwest, the Foundation follows a giving philosophy that reflects the Allen family’s respect for the pursuit of knowledge and their love for the arts and innovation.

In honor of Paul and Jody’s parents, libraries continue to be a key initiative inside the Foundation’s Pacific Northwest program. The Faye G. Allen Library Program supports projects in Washington and Oregon that encourage children to read and help connect patrons to books, information and ideas. Wherever the Foundation gives, there is a clear tie to the Allen family story and the legacy Kenneth and Faye began when they set down roots in the Pacific Northwest.

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Paul G. Allen
Founder and Chairman of the Board, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
With lifetime giving totaling over $2 billion, investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen has spent his career tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. His philanthropy has sparked important developments and innovations in the areas of science, education, conservation, the arts and community improvement.

Allen is included among the world’s leading philanthropists who have pledged to give away the majority of their fortunes to charity. His giving is channeled through The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and through direct gifts, including $26 million in 2010 to Washington State University for the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health. In 2003, he created the Allen Institute for Brain Science to accelerate understanding of the human brain in health and disease, supporting the Seattle nonprofit with $500 million to date. A decade later, he launched the Allen Institute for the Artificial Intelligence to explore critical questions in AI. 

Allen, who co-founded Microsoft in 1975, is mapping new frontiers and fueling exploration across a broad range of industries as the founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc., the Seattle-based company that oversees his business and philanthropic efforts. Allen’s vision has forwarded projects such as leading the massive redevelopment of Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, founding three museums including Seattle’s critically acclaimed MoPOP, formerly EMP, and launching Stratolaunch Systems, which is developing a revolutionary airborne launch system.

Allen’s award-winning film company, Vulcan Productions, develops and supports media projects that help audiences understand the world around them and respond to challenges. Idea Man, Allen's 2011 memoir, was a New York Times bestseller.

Jody Allen
Co-Founder, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
Jody Allen has developed and led a wide range of the Allen family’s business and charitable endeavors around the world.

She is also president of the board of Seattle's MoPOP, formerly EMP, the critically acclaimed museum of music, popular culture and science fiction. It was her influence that brought Frank Gehry in for the design of MoPOP, which has since been seen as a revolutionary architectural statement. She is vice-chair of First & Goal Inc., which oversees operations of the Seattle Seahawks, and also serves on the boards of the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Seahawks Charitable Foundation.

An active member of the arts and education communities, Ms. Allen is known for her love of the arts and for her strong leadership skills. She has served on the boards of ArtsFund, the Theatre Communications Group, the University of Washington Foundation, the Museum of Glass, the Los Angeles International Film Festival and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Ms. Allen has also supported a number of major research projects, including the study of the long-term effects of nuclear detonation testing on the marine environment, and helping marine biologist Hans Fricke unravel the mystery of the coelacanth. An avid traveler, Ms. Allen is a member of the Explorers Club and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.