Principles for Community Building
Jennifer & David Risher | #HalfMyDAF
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Jennifer Risher is on a mission to move money out of the taboo category and help us have much-needed conversations about the emotional side of wealth. She is the author of “We Need to Talk: A Memoir About Wealth” which tells her story and explores the impact of wealth on identity, relationships, and sense of place in the world. She was born in Seattle, Washington, grew up in Oregon, and graduated from Connecticut College. In 1992, she joined Microsoft where she worked as a recruiter and then as a product manager. She and her husband, David, have two daughters and live in San Francisco. In response to COVID, Jennifer and David launched the #HalfMyDAF challenge, which inspired over $8.6 million in charitable giving.
David Risher is a renowned American business leader and philanthropist with specific interest in creating Education and Reading opportunities for every child on the planet.
He is the President and co-founder of Worldreader, a non-profit organization that aims to bring digital books to the developing world through mobile phones and e-readers. Worldreader has benefitted over17 Million readers around the world so far. Before Worldreader, Risher served as an executive at Microsoft Corporation, and was Senior Vice President of US Retail at Amazon.com from 1997 to 2002.
At Microsoft, Risher was General Manager in charge of launching the company’s first database product, Access. He went on to found and manage Microsoft Investor. In 1997, he left Microsoft to join Amazon.com as Vice President of Product and Store development. He later served as the company’s Senior Vice President, US Retail, overseeing the marketing and general management of Amazon’s retail operations and growing the company to over $4 Billion in annual sales. After leaving Amazon in 2002, Risher taught at the University of Washington’s Foster Business School, where he created the University’s course on “Competing on the Internet.” He was elected Professor of the Year in 2004. Risher founded Worldreader after a year-long trip around the world with his family, home-schooling his daughters and volunteering at a school in China. After visiting an orphanage in Ecuador, Risher saw how e-reader technology could give kids in remote and under-served parts of the world access to books and that lead to him and Colin McElwee founding Worldreader in November 2009. In 2020, along with his wife Jennifer, he co-founded the #HalfMyDAF movement, inspiring philanthropists to give more during COVID-19 and moving over $8.5 million in donations to nonprofits.
Risher is an invited member of the Clinton Global Initiative, a Draper Richards Kaplan Social Entrepreneur. He serves on the International Advisory Board of ESADE, and sits on various Advisory Boards. He graduated from Princeton University majoring in comparative literature and received his MBA from Harvard Business School. He has been awarded an honorary Doctorate from Wilson College. David is a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur and as such was invited to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2017.