Meet the Omidyars
Image accompanying quote by Pierre Omidyar
“You get a lot of great insight from unexpected sources in the world. If you only listen to the inner circle, you get stuck with group think.”
Pierre Omidyar

Pierre Omidyar

Pierre Omidyar is driven by the idea that change is possible given the right combination of insight, innovation, talent, and timing. From his early beginnings as an entrepreneur and technologist to his recent work as a philanthropist and publisher, Pierre’s vision for change, coupled with a strong belief and trust in humanity, has generated groundbreaking innovations and inspired people around the world to “think big” about what’s possible.

After creating eBay in 1995 — a pioneering company that today provides more than 150 million people around the world with a platform to connect — Pierre turned much of his focus to philanthropy and, along with his wife Pam, began building the foundation for a life dedicated to empowering people, fostering change, and tackling important issues on a global scale. While their portfolio of philanthropic work spans multiple geographies and areas of focus, it is bound by a single belief that people are inherently good and capable, but don’t always have access to opportunity. Pierre and Pam are deeply committed to increasing this access wherever possible and addressing inequities through innovative, long-term solutions.

In both his commercial and philanthropic work, Pierre is drawn to problem solving – deeply exploring the complexities of challenges to identify the factors that will most impact change and find strategies to generate results. He applies his analytic yet compassionate approach to a variety of areas of interest and concern, many of which are reflected through the work of The Omidyar Group. This evolving portfolio of organizations and programs represent the Omidyars’ shared and respective ideas, passions, and interests, and Pierre continues to explore new frontiers for creating positive impact.

"We start with the values, not with the impact, and I think that is actually quite tremendous and requires patience and remaining in integrity despite challenges that will arise."
Pam Omidyar
Image accompanying quote by Pam Omidyar

Pam Omidyar

Pam is a philanthropist, mom, and ocean lover. She and her husband Pierre share the belief that all people can improve their lives and that of their community, if given the right access and opportunities. To fulfill their mission, they created organizations and supported initiatives in a wide range of philanthropic areas across The Omidyar Group.

One of Pierre and Pam’s first organization was Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm, funding both for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations to create opportunity for individuals around the world to improve their own lives. As a member of the board, Pam plays an ongoing role in steering the organization’s work.

Soon after the creation of Omidyar Network, there was a clear realization that there are some people who are unable to take advantage of the economic opportunities Omidyar Network creates. As a result, Pam had a vision for the creation of Humanity United – a foundation dedicated to bringing new approaches to global problems that have long been considered intractable. Humanity United builds, leads, and supports efforts to change the systems that contribute to problems like human trafficking, mass atrocities, and violent conflict.

Pam also founded Hopelab, a non-for-profit created with the idea that young people who have chronic illnesses can make positive behavior changes to improve their treatment. HopeLab is now embarking upon a deeper exploration of how science, technology, and the power of play can be harnessed to support resilience in young people as a way to improve health. Pam remains a guiding visionary at HopeLab, serving as chair of the Board of Directors.

Pam has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Tufts University and studied plant molecular genetics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, but is in constant learning mode. She serves on other advisory boards and loves to surf with friends when she can.