The Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship

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A Discussion with Hawaii's Own Pierre Omidyar

January 27, 2010

Pierre Omidyar
Founder, eBay


Pierre Omidyar is the founder of eBay, which today enables more than 85 million buyers and sellers worldwide to connect and prosper. Starting from the premise that people are basically good, Pierre created a platform that gave people equal access to information, opportunity, and tools to pursue their goals.

In 2004, Pierre and his wife Pam founded Omidyar Network to invest in nonprofit and for-profit efforts that enable people around the world to improve their lives and make powerful contributions to their communities. Omidyar Network has funded organizations in areas such as microfinance, social media, and government transparency. As an extension of Omidyar Network's work in microfinance, Pierre and Pam gave $100 million to Tufts University to create the Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund, which aims to accelerate the growth of the microfinance industry.

In 2009 Pierre was one of 28 people appointed by President Obama to the Presidential Commission on White House Fellowships. As a commissioner, Pierre is part of a team that is responsible for recommending candidates to the President for selection as White House Fellows. Earlier this year Pierre was also elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Today, Pierre serves as a trustee of Tufts University, Punahou School, and Santa Fe Institute, and as chairman of eBay. Pierre and his wife are active in their local community and recently committed $50 million to their donor advised fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation to support families in need and spur social innovation.

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Sponsored by Emmett R. Quady Foundation and Kamakura Corporation