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Staff Profile

Debra Schwartz

Managing Director

Debra leads a team responsible for a $500-million portfolio of innovative loans, equity investments and guarantees dedicated to advancing MacArthur’s philanthropic work in the US and abroad. She is also a member of the Senior Management Group a the Foundation.

Before joining the Foundation 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 and frequent speaker on affordable housing, community and economic development, social enterprise, impact investing and philanthropy, Debra served as an adjunct professor for three years at the University of Chicago and has guest lectured 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, a founder of the Mission Investors Exchange, a member of the Policymap Advisory Board, and a trustee of the Yale Club of Chicago Scholarship Foundation.

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 from Yale College, summa cum laude.

Debra Schwartz works on the following MacArthur programs and projects:

Impact Investments


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