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.


Paul G. Allen
Founder, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Paul G. Allen worked to save endangered species, slow climate change, improve ocean health, share art, history and film, develop new technology, tackle epidemics, research how the human brain works and build sustainable communities. In all his endeavors, Mr. Allen constantly asked “What if…?” and pushed people to challenge conventional thinking, collaborate across disciplines and reimagine what’s possible. Learn more at PaulAllen.com

Jody Allen
Co-Founder, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

Jody Allen is executor and trustee of Paul G. Allen’s estate and trust, and has responsibility for preserving and implementing her brother’s vision for generations to come. 

Jody and Paul worked side-by-side in both business and philanthropic ventures. For more than two decades, Jody served as CEO of Vulcan, which she co-founded with Paul. 

Jody is the President of the Board of MoPOP – Seattle’s critically acclaimed museum of popular culture – and the Chair of the Allen Institute’s Board of Directors.

As a philanthropist with a passion for conservation, she has dedicated herself to protecting marine life, fighting wildlife trafficking, and saving Africa’s elephants from extinction. She recently launched Wild Lives Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to wildlife conservation and other philanthropic initiatives. In addition, Jody serves as a board member of Sealife Response, Rehabilitation and Research, an organization dedicated to improving the health and welfare of marine wildlife in the Pacific Northwest.

Jody has a deep love for education and the arts. She is currently a board member of the Zietz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, and previously 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.