Jennifer and Peter Buffett

Founders, NoVo Foundation,
A Philanthropic Journey: A Conversation with Jennifer and Peter Buffett

March 20, 2012

Jennifer and Peter Buffett The Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy concluded its 2011-2012 Distinguished Speakers Series with an in-depth discussion with Jennifer and Peter Buffett, Founders and Co-Chairs of the NoVo Foundation, on March 20th. Over 200 leaders from philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, government, and industry were in attendance for this inspiring event. The Center’s mission is to provide research and analysis that will help philanthropists and foundations address our communities’ most pressing problems with greater impact.

Jennifer and Peter Buffett are the founders and co-chairs of the NoVo Foundation, whose mission is to foster a transformation in global society from a culture of domination and exploitation to collaboration and partnership, empowering women and girls as the primary agents of change. In September 2008, Jennifer and Peter received the Clinton Global Citizen Award for their “visionary leadership and sustainable, scalable work in solving pressing global challenges.” Presenting the award to the Buffetts, Former President Bill Clinton said, “The Buffetts are leading an inspirational campaign to improve the status of women and girls across the globe. Their innovative approach to philanthropy has leveraged the capacity of existing organizations to affect real, positive change.” In December 2009, Jennifer and Peter were named in Barron’s list of top 25 most effective philanthropists.

Jennifer Buffett, as President of the NoVo Foundation, is responsible for the day-to-day creation and oversight of vision, strategy and program development, and is chief liaison in NoVo’s partnership building with other foundations and nonprofits. Through the NoVo Foundation she works passionately to empower girls and women worldwide and end the violence and exploitation against them. She serves on the boards of the Nike Foundation to promote “the girl effect” – the economic and social empowerment of adolescent girls in the developing world that results in a ripple effect of positive change, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and V-Day. She is also a leadership council member of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and BRAC USA.

Peter Buffett, an emmy-award winning musician, has an acclaimed career that spans more than 30 years as a professional composer. More recently, he has added philanthropist and author to describe his career. As Co-Chairman of the NoVo Foundation, Buffett helps guide the strategic plan that he and his wife Jennifer have implemented with a small, dedicated staff. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Peter began his career creating music for early MTV bumpers of the ’80s, and the climactic crescendo in the memorable “Fire Dance” scene in 1990’s Oscar winning film Dances with Wolves. Peter’s inspiring New York Times Best-Selling book, Life Is What You Make It, was released in paperback in May of 2011.

Read the transcript