Michael Milken

Chairman, Milken Institute

Mike Milken’s career has mirrored his four main professional passions: medical research, education, access to capital and public health. In each, he has been uniquely successful in creating value, whether measured in lives saved (Fortune magazine called him "The Man Who Changed Medicine"), students inspired (Forbes said he is an “education visionary”) or jobs created. Between 1969 and 1989, he revolutionized capital markets by pricing and rewarding risk more efficiently and democratizing access to capital. He financed thousands of companies that collectively created millions of jobs.

Mike’s philanthropy began in the 1970s and paralleled his business career. In 1982, he co-founded the Milken Family Foundation. He also chairs the Milken Institute, an economic “action tank” whose centers include FasterCures, a Washington-based organization that works to remove barriers to progress against all life-threatening diseases. The 22nd annual Milken Institute Global Conference in April brought more than 5,000 leaders from 60 nations to Los Angeles. The Institute hosts more than 250 events each year around the world, and major annual conferences are held in New York, London, Washington, Tokyo, Singapore and the Middle East. The Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University was renamed in recognition of a gift from the Institute.

Mike is also the founder and chairman of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the largest private funder of prostate cancer research, and helped launch the Melanoma Research Alliance. In addition, the Milken Scholars program, which was established by Mike and his wife, Lori, has provided support and lifetime mentoring for more than 450 outstanding college-bound students who have excelled academically, served their communities, and triumphed over obstacles.

Mike graduated with highest distinction from Berkeley and earned his MBA at the Wharton School. He and his wife Lori are members of the Giving Pledge and Founding Donors of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. They’ve been married since 1968 and have three children and 10 grandchildren. More information is at