Irene Pritzker

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 programs in education 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 up to reach a total of 580 schools by July 2017 and impacting 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. The corpus of the IDP Foundation is currently 88% mission aligned with an additional portion earmarked for impact investing funds and seed capital for socially responsible companies that offer direct impact investment opportunities.

As a great advocate of sustainable and market-driven solutions, Irene Pritzker is 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 increasing 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.


Global Philanthropy Award 2010



  • Cavendish Global Impact Investing SummitChicago, IL February 2017
  • World Bank Smackdown DebateNew York, NY February 2017
  • Yale School of Manangement Speakers SeriesNew Haven, CT November 2016
  • International Grantmaking SymposiumNew York, NY June 2016
  • Synergos GPC Member Meeting New York, NY May 2016
  • Morgan Stanley Thought Leadership SummitPebble Beach, CA November 2015
  • Council on Foundations Annual MeetingSan Francisco, CA April 2015
  • Impact Capitalism SummitChicago, IL February 2015
  • TBLI ConferenceChicago, IL January 2015

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