Who We Are

Founded in 2007, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is committed to inspiring entrepreneurship globally. By leveraging the resources and intellectual capital of Blackstone, the Foundation empowers entrepreneurs, generates job growth, and supports the communities in which we live and work.


Entrepreneurship Initiative

In 2010, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation announced its Entrepreneurship Initiative, a global commitment to advance entrepreneurial thought and activity in the United States and abroad. Through Blackstone LaunchPad, Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge, and Blackstone Innovation Grants, the Foundation encourages and empowers the entrepreneurs who create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

Supporting Communities

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is committed to supporting the communities in which we work and live. Through the Blackstone Connects program and our general Grants & Giving, the Foundation supports organizations dedicated to improving the economic and social conditions of communities in need.

From its founding, Blackstone has dedicated itself to being a responsible corporate citizen. Our commitment to corporate responsibility is embedded into every investment decision we make and I take personal pride knowing that the founding principles and values the firm was built on 30 years ago still govern us today.


Funding Opportunities

At this time, the Foundation will not consider or accept unsolicited grant proposals, and will not be holding an open Request for Proposals (RFP) this year. To learn more about future opportunities, please follow us on Twitter @BlackstoneEI. For additional questions, not related to funding opportunities, please contact foundation@blackstone.com.

Our Initiatives
To date, Blackstone Charitable Foundation has made over $40 million in grants through our Entrepreneurship Initiative to dozens of regions in the US and globally.
  • Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network

    CO, NC
  • Blackstone LaunchPad

    CA, FL, Ireland, MI, MT, NY, PA, TX
  • Blackstone Inclusive Entreprenerurship Challenge

  • Blackstone Innovation Grants

    AZ, CA, CO, DC, GA, HI, IA, IL, Johannesburg, LA, London, MA, MO, Mumbai, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SD, TN, TX, WA
New York
South Dakota
Rhode Island
Washington, D.C.
New Jersey
South Africa
New York
North Carolina
BEIC Illinois
In 2016, our employees donated over 6,600 volunteer hours to their communities around the world
"The Foundation makes many grants and the firm’s employees give generously of their time in an effort to have an impact on civic and charitable organizations that support our communities."

America Needs You

America Needs You

America Needs You fights for economic mobility for ambitious, first-generation college students. We do this by providing transformative mentorship and intensive career development.

Learn More about America Needs You (ANY)

City Harvest

City Harvest

For over 30 years, City Harvest has served NYC as the world’s first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city’s hungry men, women and children.

Learn more about City Harvest

Inner-City Scholarship Fund

Inner-City Scholarship Fund

Inner-City Scholarship Fund (ICSF) changes lives for better by providing families with demonstrable financial need the opportunity to give their children a quality, values-based K-12 Catholic education within the Archdiocese of New York.

Learn more about Inner-City Scholarship Fund

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.

Learn More about The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

New York Cares

New York Cares

In the summer of 2011, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, partnered with New York Cares, the city’s leading volunteer organization, to launch our pilot community service program, “Blackstone Connects.”

Learn more about New York Cares

Project Sunshine

Project Sunshine

Project Sunshine provides free educational, recreational, and social programs to children facing medical challenges and their families.

Learn more about Project Sunshine

Reading Partners

Reading Partners

Reading Partners mobilizes communities to provide students with the proven, individualized reading support they need to read at grade level by fourth grade.

Their program model works and is backed by evidence-based research which proves that our students make significant gains in reading. On average, Reading Partners’ students more than double their rate of learning while in the program.

Learn more about Reading Partners

Year Up

Year Up

Year Up’s mission is to close the opportunity divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.

Learn more about Year Up

Young Women’s Leadership Network

Young Women’s Leadership Network

Young Women’s Leadership Network (YWLN) supports two life-changing programs that empower students to break the cycle of poverty through education.

Learn more about Young Women’s Leadership Network

Harlem Village Academies

Harlem Village Academies

We are a community of educators in Harlem, working to revolutionize public education in our nation by building a K-12 public school district and an educators’ institute, based on the ideals of progressive pedagogy.

Learn more about Harlem Village Academies

Private Equity Foundation, UK

Private Equity Foundation, UK

The Private Equity Foundation (PEF) is committed to unlocking the potential of disadvantaged young people. By helping 4 to 24 year olds at home, through school and into the workplace, the charity aims to transform their life chances and drive down the nearly one million young people currently not in education, employment or training.

Learn More about The Private Equity Foundation

East Harlem Tutorial Program

East Harlem Tutorial Program

East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP) gives kids the opportunities they would have if they were born 20 blocks south. And we’ve been doing it for more than 55 years. We teach reading, math and science, provide one-to-one tutoring, prepare kids for college, help them get accepted, and build the social skills they’ll need to succeed.

Learn more about the East Harlem Tutorial Program



KIPP NYC is a network of free, open-enrollment public charter schools preparing students for success in college and in life.

Learn more about KIPP NYC

Robert A. Toigo Foundation

Toigo Foundation

For over 20 years, the Toigo Foundation’s mission has been to foster leadership development and accelerated career opportunities for diverse financial professionals. That also means cultivating an industry and work environment where all talent contributes and thrives.

Learn more about the Toigo Foundation
We are looking for innovative projects and catalytic ideas that can contribute to the economic rebuilding of the nation through entrepreneurship – specifically in regions where talent is strong, ideas are abundant, and our capital can make a real difference spurring job growth.

Amy Stursberg

Executive Director

Amy Stursberg is a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone. She serves as Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, where she leads Blackstone’s $45 million Entrepreneurship Initiative, bringing four innovative programs to twenty states across the country.

Prior to joining Blackstone in 2008, Ms. Stursberg served on the transition team for Governor Eliot Spitzer. From 2006-08, Ms. Stursberg managed the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s $90 million program in cultural and in community grants in Lower Manhattan. Previously, Ms. Stursberg served as the final Director of the September 11th Fund. There, she helped to manage the $500 million fund to support communities, individuals and organizations impacted by the events of 9/11. Prior to that role, she held various positions at the Office of the Mayor in the City of New York, as well as at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Stursberg received her BA with honors from the University of Michigan and her Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Currently, she serves on the Partnership for New York’s Innovation Council and on the Board of Directors for the Tectonic Theater Company; formerly, she served on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE).

Tony Tolentino

Vice President

Tony Tolentino is a Vice President with the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. Since joining Blackstone in 2010, he has been involved in the implementation of the Foundation's Entrepreneurship Initiative, a philanthropic commitment to create and support targeted regional programs to support entrepreneurs. He also developed the firm’s inaugural community service and volunteer program.

Prior to joining Blackstone, he worked at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the agency created to help plan and coordinate the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan after September 11, where he managed a portfolio of grants to various community and cultural non-profits and city agencies.

Mr. Tolentino received his BA in Urban Studies and Geography from San Francisco State University and his MS in Urban Planning from Columbia University. He is co-head of Out Blackstone, and currently serves on the board of Tumml, an accelerator for early-stage, urban-focused startups.

Alisha Slye

Blackstone LaunchPad Global Director

Alisha Slye serves as Global Director of Blackstone LaunchPad, an innovative campus program that introduces entrepreneurship as a viable career option for students by offering a network of mentors and support resources. Over the past three years, she has lead the strategic global expansion of the program and development of the Blackstone LaunchPad Global Network now accessible on over 19 campuses by 500,000 students. She also supports other Foundation projects and initiatives.

Prior to this role, Ms. Slye served as Regional Director of Blackstone LaunchPad in Pennsylvania. She previously held marketing and business development roles at Deloitte, leading key national programs and initiatives targeting entrepreneurs and emerging and high-growth companies. In addition, she also held roles at Georgetown University and Intelsat.

Ms. Slye received her BA in Psychology and Women Studies from Boston College. She resides outside of Philadelphia, PA.

Tracy MacKenzie


Tracy MacKenzie is a Director with the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.

Since joining Blackstone in 2015, Ms. MacKenzie has overseen the Blackstone Connects program, where she runs nonprofit volunteer and board service programs for employees, as well as the Blackstone Innovation Grants program, a signature program within the Foundation's Entrepreneurship Initiative. Prior to her work at Blackstone, she worked in external relations and development at New Classrooms, an education startup, and at ReWork. She began her career as a middle school teacher through Teach for America in Washington D.C.

Ms. MacKenzie holds a BS from Northwestern University and a Master’s in Education from George Mason University. She currently serves on the Young Partners Board at the Public Theater.

Kate Wood


Harlee Caplan


Joan Solotar

Foundation Chair & Member of the Board of Directors

Joan Solotar is a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, Head of Multi-Asset Investing and External Relations, and serves on the Management Committee. Ms. Solotar oversees the firm’s Multi-Asset Investing business, which develops and distributes products and services to meet the needs of institutional and high net worth clients. Additionally, she manages global shareholder relations, public affairs, and corporate services.

Before joining Blackstone in 2007, Ms. Solotar was with Bank of America Securities where she was a Managing Director and Head of Equity Research. Prior to joining Bank of America, she was a consistently highly ranked Institutional Investor “All-America Research Team” financial services analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Credit Suisse as a Managing Director.

Ms. Solotar chairs the Board of Directors of Blackstone’s Charitable Foundation. She is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the East Harlem Tutorial Program and the East Harlem Scholars Academies. She is the recent author of a Harvard Business Review article entitled “Truths for our Daughters.”

Ms. Solotar received a BS in Management Information Systems from the State University of New York at Albany and an MBA in Finance from New York University.

John Studzinski

Member of the Board of Directors

John Studzinski is Vice Chairman, Investor Relations and Business Development and a Senior Managing Director of Blackstone where he holds special responsibility for a number of sovereign and international institutional relationships, as well as ultra high-net-worth families outside the United States.

Mr. Studzinski joined Blackstone in 2006 as Global Head of Blackstone Advisory Partners, which he ran for nearly a decade.  

A graduate of Bowdoin College, Mr. Studzinski also has an MBA from the University of Chicago. He joined Morgan Stanley in New York in 1980 and since then has spent much of his career in London, where he served as Head of European Investment Banking and Deputy Chairman of Morgan Stanley International before moving to HSBC in 2003 as a member of the Group Management Board and Co-Head of the Investment Banking Division. In 2007 he was voted Banker of the Year by The Bank of England.  

In November 2014, at St. James’s Palace in London, Mr. Studzinski received the Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy, which complements the Prince of Wales Ambassador Award that in 2000 recognized his philanthropic work with the homeless. Since 2001 he has been Chairman of the Genesis Foundation, a UK-based charitable foundation he established; through partner programs it enables organizations in the fields of theatre, music and visual arts to nurture the careers of outstanding young artists, developing their talents and giving them access to influential mentors and valuable networks.  

In the field of the arts he is also Chairman of Create London, which connects artists with communities through an ambitious project program, and is a driving force of the Tate Foundation, which raises and invests money for the Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery.  

Also Vice Chair of Human Rights Watch and President of the American Friends of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry – which focuses on challenges facing young people, members of the armed forces, and conservation – he serves on the boards of directors of a number of organizations, including: in the US, Bowdoin College and the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies; in the UK, The Passage Day Centre, American Patrons of Tate, The Royal Parks Foundation and The Royal College of Art. In addition, he is Chairman of The Benjamin Franklin House Museum in London and a member of The Atlantic Council, The Council on Foreign Relations and The Peterson Institute.  

John Studzinski holds the Papal honors of Knight of the Order of St. Gregory and Knight Commander of Saint Sylvester and in 2004 was awarded the Beacon Prize for Philanthropy. In 2008, the Queen's New Year’s Honours List named him Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the Arts and Charity.

Sean Klimczak

Foundation President & Member of the Board of Directors

Sean T. Klimczak is a Senior Managing Director in the Private Equity Group and is based in New York. Since joining Blackstone in 2005, Mr. Klimczak has been involved in the execution of several Blackstone investments, including various Sithe Global investments (including Goreway, Bujagali, GNP Mariveles and SKS), Cheniere Energy Partners, Fisterra, PQ Energy, Utility One Source, Meerwind, Transmission Developers, American Petroleum Tankers and The Weather Channel.

Before joining Blackstone, Mr. Klimczak was an Associate at Madison Dearborn Partners. Prior to that, Mr. Klimczak worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions department of Morgan Stanley & Company’s Investment Banking Division.  

Mr. Klimczak received a B.B.A. in Finance and Business Economics from the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated summa cum laude and was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma, and an M.B.A. with High Distinction from Harvard Business School, where he graduated with the highest academic standing in his class and was selected as a Baker Scholar, a John L. Loeb Fellow, a Henry Ford II Scholar and a William J. Carey Scholar. Mr.Klimczak serves as a director of Sithe Global, Cheniere Energy Partners, Fisterra, PQ Energy, Utility One Source, Meerwind, Transmission Developers and The Blackstone Charitable Foundation.

Brian Gavin

Foundation Treasurer & Member of the Board of Directors

Brian F. Gavin is a Senior Managing Director of The Blackstone Group and is Chief Operating Officer of the Hedge Fund Solutions Group. 

Before joining Blackstone in 2002, Mr. Gavin was a Partner in Arthur Andersen's Hedge Fund Advisory and Capital Markets group.

Mr. Gavin received a BS in Accounting from New York University. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

John McCormick

Foundation Secretary & Member of the Board of Directors

John McCormick is a Senior Managing Director of The Blackstone Group and Head of Global Business Strategy for the Hedge Fund Solutions Group.

Mr. McCormick has overall responsibility for BAAM’s global marketing and client services functions. He also works closely with other members of senior management to establish strategic priorities for the Hedge Fund Solutions Group’s business globally and to ensure that those priorities are addressed on an ongoing basis.

Before joining Blackstone in 2005, Mr. McCormick was an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company, where he worked with clients in the financial services industry on a wide variety of strategic and operational issues.  Before joining McKinsey, Mr. McCormick practiced law in Davis Polk & Wardwell’s investment management group, as Corporate Counsel at Reuters America, and as General Counsel and VP of Business Development for Norbert Technologies.  Mr. McCormick also served at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Mr. McCormick received a BA from Vassar College and a JD from Yale Law School.

Christine Anderson

Member of the Board of Directors

Christine Anderson is a Senior Managing Director in the Global Public Affairs Group. She is involved in Blackstone's dealings with the press, serving as a firm spokesperson, and advises on government affairs. 

Prior to joining Blackstone in 2009, Ms. Anderson served as Communications Director to the former Governor of New York. Before becoming Communications Director she served as the Governor's Press Secretary and Director of Marketing and as Communications Director on the 2006 gubernatorial campaign. Prior to joining the campaign, Ms. Anderson was an Associate Director of Corporate Communications at UBS AG, supporting US media relations and specifically serving as a spokesperson for the US Wealth Management division of the company. During the 2004 Presidential election cycle, she served as a Deputy Press Secretary on the Kerry-Edwards Campaign. Prior to that Ms. Anderson worked as an Account Director at the Brunswick Group, a UK-based financial public relations firm and as a Segment Producer for ABC News' "Good Morning America." From 1999-2001, Ms. Anderson worked in the Press Office of the Clinton White House. 

She received a BA from The College of the Holy Cross. She was a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Blackstone Women’s Network, as well as on the board of The Blackstone Charitable Foundation.

Kathleen McCarthy

Member of the Board of Directors

Kathleen McCarthy is a Senior Managing Director and Global Co-Head of Blackstone Real Estate. Blackstone has the largest real estate platform in the world with $120 billion in investor capital under management. Blackstone Real Estate is the industry leader in opportunistic, core plus and debt investing across the US, Europe and Asia.

Ms. McCarthy most recently served as Global Chief Operating Officer of Blackstone Real Estate where she was responsible for its day-to-day operations with a particular focus on its investors, capital raising and business development efforts across new investment products. Before joining Blackstone in 2010, Ms. McCarthy worked at Goldman Sachs, where she was a Vice President focused on investments for the Real Estate Principal Investment Area. Ms. McCarthy began her career at Goldman Sachs in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group. Ms. McCarthy received a BA with Distinction from Yale University.

Ms. McCarthy serves on the Board of City Harvest, which exists to end hunger in New York City through food rescue and distribution, education and other practical, innovative solutions. In 2017, Ms. McCarthy was honored for her work to support Reading Partners New York, a not-for-profit that provides one-on-one volunteer tutoring to help students master foundational reading skills by grade four.

Bill Murphy

Member of the Board of Directors

William Murphy is a Senior Managing Director and the Chief Technology Officer at Blackstone, leading the Blackstone Innovations team. Mr. Murphy is responsible for the firm's use of technology along with a strategic technology investment portfolio. Mr. Murphy also serves on several boards of directors of our investments along with the board of the Blackstone Charitable foundation.

Prior to joining Blackstone in 2011, Mr. Murphy was founding Chief Technology Officer for Capital IQ where he was responsible for overseeing all product design, development, infrastructure and technology support and was involved with all operations of the business. Before Capital IQ, Mr. Murphy led teams at Sapient, delivering solutions for large clients primarily in financial services.

Mr. Murphy received a BSE in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Verdun S. Perry

Member of the Board of Directors

Verdun S. Perry is a Senior Managing Director and Co-Head of Strategic Partners, Blackstone’s secondary fund of funds business, which it acquired from Credit Suisse in August 2013. 

Mr. Perry joined Credit Suisse in November 2000 when it acquired Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (“DLJ”), where he was an Associate in the Investment Banking Division before joining Strategic Partners the year it was founded.  Mr. Perry sits on Strategic Partners’ Investment Committees and his current responsibilities include fundraising, deal-sourcing, negotiating and executing secondary transactions and co-investments, as well as various post-purchase fund monitoring activities.  Previously, Mr. Perry worked in the strategic investments group at Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon and Eckhardt, Inc. and in the Investment Banking Division at Morgan Stanley & Co.  

Mr. Perry received a B.A. from Morehouse College, where he graduated magna cum laude and was elected Phi Beta Kappa, as well as an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he was a Robert Toigo Foundation Fellow. Mr. Perry serves on the boards of The Blackstone Charitable Foundation and Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO).

Vik Sawhney

Member of the Board of Directors

Vik Sawhney is a Senior Managing Director of The Blackstone Group and Chief Operating Officer of the Private Equity group.

Before joining Blackstone in 2007, Mr. Sawhney worked as a Managing Director in the Financial Sponsors Group at Deutsche Bank, where he was responsible for managing the firm’s relationships with Blackstone and several other large private equity firms.

Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Mr. Sawhney was an Associate at the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Vik represented Blackstone as a Rockefeller Fellow during 2010-2011. He currently serves on the Board of Harlem RBI, an east Harlem social services and educational organization, and is also a Trustee of the Rye Country Day School.

Mr. Sawhney received a BA, magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He also received a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

Matthew Skurbe

Member of the Board of Directors

Matthew Skurbe is the Treasurer and Managing Director in Finance for Blackstone. Mr. Skurbe leads all Blackstone Treasury related initiatives, including cash and liquidity management, working capital management, bank and rating agency relationship management, and balance sheet risk management.

Before joining Blackstone in 2009, Mr. Skurbe was the CFO for Merrill Lynch Bank & Trust, a $35 billion bank housing several of Merrill Lynch's consumer lending and banking businesses. Prior to that role, Mr. Skurbe spent seven years supporting Merrill Lynch’s Treasury function and had previous roles with Amerada Hess and Arthur Andersen LLP. Mr. Skurbe is also a board member of the Association for Financial Professionals.

Mr. Skurbe received a BS in Accounting from Rutgers University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Paige Ross

Member of the Board of Directors

Paige Ross is a Senior Managing Director and the Global Head of Human Resources at Blackstone.

In this role she oversees human resource management globally for the firm. Ms. Ross brings more than 25 years of experience in talent development and strategic planning across a multitude of industries and geographies.

Prior to joining Blackstone, Ms. Ross served as the Managing Director of Talent Management at Centerbridge Partners, with a focus on leading Talent Management across the portfolio companies. She has also held senior human resources leadership positions at Pfizer, Avon and PepsiCo.

Ms. Ross earned her BA at Stony Brook University and PhD in Applied Organizational Psychology at Hofstra University.

Tiffany Fariole

Principal, Real Estate

Natacha Jamar

Principal, Private Equity

Kristin Johnston

Vice President, Finance

Peter Moeller

Senior Vice President, Strategic Incentives Group

Jameson Mones

Director, Strategic Partners

Jack Pitts

Vice President, BAAM

Will Pollock

Vice President, Marketing and External Relations

Kate Rubenstein

Principal, GSO

Anushka Sunder

Principal, Private Equity

John Tierney

Principal, Private Wealth Solutions

Justin Wai

Principal, Real Estate

Frank Yu

Principal, Tactical Opportunities