Julia Stasch, president at the MacArthur Foundation. Photo from: MacArthur Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation began its grant-making operations in 1978, following the death of John D. MacArthur, an insurance and real estate magnate who at that time one of the three wealthiest men in America. MacArthur had entrusted his assets — an estimated $1 billion — to the foundation’s first board of directors to make sure his fortune would be put to good use even beyond his lifetime. Over three decades later, the foundation has expanded its work to roughly 50 countries, with assets reaching $6.5 billion. It is headquartered in Chicago, United States, and has offices in India, Mexico and Nigeria.