Digital and Radio Facts: The Schultz Family Foundation, founded by former Starbucks ceo and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz and his wife Sheri Schultz, today announced that Tyra Mariani has been appointed president by the Board of Trustees. As president, Ms. Mariani will partner with the Schultz family and Board to lead the organization as it seeks to accelerate its work addressing inequality by unlocking greater opportunities for individuals and communities facing obstacles to economic and social mobility in America.

Tyra Mariani, President, Schultz Family Foundation

“I’m thrilled to be leading the Schultz Family Foundation at such a critical time in our nation’s history. The twin pandemics of racism and COVID-19 have laid bare issues that have been at the root of the national decline in upward mobility and felt opportunity, especially for Black, Latinx and other communities of color. Working with Sheri, Howard and the foundation team, I look forward to partnering with others, many of whom have long been in the fight, to overcome systemic barriers,” said Ms. Mariani.

“Our work is focused on pioneering innovative and scalable solutions that enable life-changing opportunities for people and communities at the margins of our country’s promise. Tyra’s demonstrated leadership, problem solving, deep knowledge of cradle-to-career education and policy and hands-on experience developing people will enable the Schultz Family Foundation to expand our impact,” said Sheri Schultz, co-founder and chair of the Schultz Family Foundation Board of Trustees. “Her consistent commitment to transforming complex systems to make them work for the people they are meant to serve – nationally and in communities like Chicago and New Orleans – is what makes her the perfect person to lead our foundation into the future.”

“Tyra’s life experience, worldview, values and professional track record paint a picture of a dynamic servant leader devoted to creating pathways to opportunity for others. We are lucky to have found someone with such tenacity and humility who shares our aspiration of harnessing the power of entrepreneurial and catalytic philanthropy to unlock America’s potential for everyone regardless of their station in life,” added Howard Schultz, co-founder of the Schultz Family Foundation.

Ms. Mariani will join the Schultz Family Foundation from New America, where she serves as president and chief operating officer. At New America, Ms. Mariani has partnered with the Board and ceo Anne-Marie Slaughter to transform the organization into a new kind of think tank, one that is committed to exploring new and more effective ways of solving public problems.

“Partnering with Tyra to lead New America over the past four years has been an experience that I will always treasure. It is rare to find someone who combines first-class management skills with the kind of strategic insight necessary to guide a growing organization and increase its impact. I will miss her enormously, as will all her colleagues, but we are thrilled to see her step into such an important new role with the Schultz Family Foundation and wish her every success,” said Ms. Slaughter.

“Attacking the roots of systemic inequality in America requires disruptive approaches to philanthropy that bring together unlikely partners to deliver solutions at scale. Tyra is well-positioned to bring all of these resources to bear for the populations that need it the most in her new role,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation.

The Schultz Family Foundation develops and supports a range of innovative initiatives across the United States that seek to increase opportunity and reduce inequality, particularly among young people and post-9/11 veterans. The foundation also has been deeply involved in COVID-19 response efforts, including creating an emergency cash assistance program in the Seattle area that has helped more than 13,000 restaurant and food service workers who have lost wages due to the pandemic.

As president of the Schultz Family Foundation, Ms. Mariani will work closely with the Emes Project LLC, an overarching initiative designed to steward Howard and Sheri Schultz’s philanthropic initiatives at the foundation in concert with their efforts focused on advocacy, policy reform and new ventures.  

“As we look to new philanthropic models to address systemic inequality, there will be a need to forge partnerships between philanthropies, businesses, policy think tanks, advocacy groups and government at all levels. Given her impressive track record working in all of these arenas, Tyra is the ideal leader to help us develop and deliver entrepreneurial, impactful solutions at scale,” said Vivek Varma, vice chair of the Schultz Family Foundation and ceo of the Emes Project.

Prior to New America, Ms. Mariani served as Chief of Staff to the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education and Deputy Chief of Staff to the U.S. Secretary of Education during the Obama Administration. Previously, Ms. Mariani launched entrepreneurial efforts to develop and support leaders in education as the founder of the Greater New Orleans Region of New Leaders. She also served as Budget Director for Chicago Public Schools (CPS), overseeing the $5 billion budget of the third-largest school district in the country. Ms. Mariani began her career working on human capital projects and initiatives at McKinsey & Company and Kraft Foods. She was co-valedictorian and received a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in Business Administration from Howard University and a master’s in business from Stanford University.

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