Irene Pritzker
IDP Foundation, Inc

Irene Pritzker became a founding member and President of the IDP Foundation, Inc. in 2008. It is her belief that education is the way to conquer the world’s greatest challenges, and that everyone should have equal access to education to provide hope, opportunity and economic impact on their homeland. The IDP Foundation is dedicated to developing and supporting programs that are sustainable and move away from aid dependent models. She believes a combination of smart philanthropy and investment solutions can be galvanized to make that future a reality.

Exemplifying this goal is the IDP Rising Schools Program, a carefully crafted microfinance initiative targeting existing but very poor private schools in Ghana. After a successful pilot with 105 schools with an initial enrollment of 27,000 children, the program is scaling and has currently reached almost 600 schools and impacted 150,000 children.

In addition to program development, Irene has worked consistently with her wealth advisors and managers to ensure that the IDP Foundation is mission-aligned in its investment strategy. Today, we are proud to have achieved an over 94% mission-aligned investment portfolio and in addition have made a number of direct investments into young social enterprises.

As a great advocate of sustainable and market-driven solutions, Irene and the IDP Foundation Team are frequently invited to share the work of the IDP Rising Schools Program at the United Nations and other international fora focused on education. In addition, she is asked increasingly to share her investment strategy with the rapidly growing impact investing space.

In 2010, the Foreign Policy Association awarded Mrs. Pritzker the Global Philanthropy Award and in 2012 the IDP Foundation, Inc. was granted special consultative status to the United Nations. In 2019, Mrs. Pritzker received the Australia US Midwest for Outstanding Achievement from the Australian New Zealand American Chamber of Commerce (ANZACC Midwest).

Articles by Irene Pritzker

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