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Podcast | Get Inspired and Make a Difference: A Conversation with Philanthropist Gena Reed


Gena Reed’s philanthropic journey began in high school, where she led a team supporting a young African girl, Emma, needing financial aid for school and food. Many car washes and brownie and cupcake sales were involved. Thus, Emma was the genesis of Gena supporting others less fortunate. After university, her career at a major pharmaceutical company was very successful, having been put on a “fast track.” In 1990, she and her husband launched a contract research company and grew the business into an global enterprise, having offices in the U.S., U.K., Poland, and India. She continued to support philanthropic groups, including the environment, women’s rights, and the childhood education. Working with Girls Inc. and Samueli Academy made her realize how uneven the playing field still was for girls and women. She became committed to supporting them offering college scholarships. While attending a Spanish immersion program in Guatemala, she saw the same struggles for the girls there, which resulted in her building a training center in one of the poorest communities of Panajachel, Guatemala.


“I have been very fortunate and am compelled to help others so they can have an opportunity to be successful. I believe women belong in all places where decisions are being made and therefore focus on the education of girls, women, political action, and civil rights.” – Gena Reed







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