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Staff Profile

Debra Schwartz

Director of Impact Investments

Debra oversees a $300-million portfolio of innovative loans, equity investments and guarantees designed to advance the Foundation's philanthropic work in the US and abroad. Before joining MacArthur in 1995, she was chief financial officer for a Chicago-based child welfare agency and an investment banker at John Nuveen & Co. specializing in municipal and health care finance.

An expert on affordable housing, community and economic development, social enterprise and philanthropy, Debra originated and taught a University of Chicago undergraduate course, "The Business of Nonprofits and the Evolving Social Sector," from 2009-2012.She also has guest taught classes at graduate schools of business, law and policy at Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, University of Chicago, and Oxford.

She is a past presidential appointee to the United States Treasury Department Community Development Advisory Board and a founder of the Mission Investors Exchange. She holds a Master's in finance and nonprofit management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and received her Bachelor's in History, summa cum laude, from Yale.

Debra Schwartz works on the following MacArthur programs and projects:

Program-Related Investments

Housing

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Thumbnail for Report Examines Impact Investing’s Role in Addressing Income Inequality

Report Examines Impact Investing’s Role in Addressing Income Inequality

The Bottom Line: Investing for Impact on Economic Mobility in the U.S. draws on lessons from market-based approaches to identify tools and strategies that can help move the needle on family economic security. Read More
Thumbnail for Investing for Social Impact

Investing for Social Impact

Program-Related Investments Director Debra Schwartz talks about the MacArthur Foundation’s history of impact investing and the role foundations can play in investing for social impact at a recent BMW Foundation event. Read More