Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

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Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Conrad N Hilton Foundation.jpg
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation logo
FounderConrad N. Hilton
TypePrivate foundation
(IRS status): 501(c)(3)
Key people
Steven M. Hilton, chairman of the board
Peter Laugharn, president and CEO
Endowment$2.9 billion

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is an American non-profit charitable foundation, established in 1944 by hotel entrepreneur Conrad N. Hilton. It remained relatively small until his death on January 3, 1979 when it was named the principal beneficiary of his estate. In 2007, Conrad's son, Barron Hilton announced that he would leave about 97% of his fortune[1] to a charitable remainder unitrust which will eventually be merged with the Foundation.[2] [1]

Financial information[edit]

The Foundation's current assets are approximately $2.9 billion. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.7 billion in grants. Currently more than 50% supports international charitable projects.[3]

Program areas[edit]

The Foundation's mission is derived from the last will and testament of Conrad N. Hilton that directs the organization to "relieve the suffering, the distressed, and the destitute."[4] The Foundation invests in seven program areas: Catholic sisters, disaster relief and recovery, foster youth, homelessness, hospitality workforce development, safe water, and young children affected by HIV and AIDS. The Foundation also supports organizations in four transitioning program areas: avoidable blindness, Catholic education, multiple sclerosis and substance use prevention. [5] [6] Typically, the foundation awards large, long-term grants to nonprofit organizations.[7] “Increasingly, we are being more strategic in our areas of interest,” said Ed Cain, former vice president of grant programs. “We’re trying to make the biggest difference possible with the resources at our disposal, and making sure that these projects deliver tangible results.”[8]

Catholic Sisters[edit]

The Hilton Foundation Catholic Sisters program is focused on recognizing catholic sisters as leaders in the human development field by supporting organizations and congregations in the United States and Africa.

Disaster Relief and Recovery[edit]

The Disaster Relief and Recovery program supports communities to prepare for disasters and provide long-lasting solution towards long-term recovery.

Foster Youth[edit]

This program works with nonprofit organizations in the Los Angeles and New York to provide assistance to transition age youth ages 16-24 as they age out of the foster care system.


The Foundation partners with organizations in Los Angeles County to build permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.

Hospitality Workforce Development[edit]

This program area works with organizations in New Orleans to provide pathways for young people towards a career in the hospitality industry.

Safe Water[edit]

Working with international nonprofits and government agencies in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Uganda to build water systems.

Young Children Affected by HIV and AIDS[edit]

The program focuses on early childhood development globally and partners with international and local NGOs working in HIV prevalent communities in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.

Transitioning Programs[edit]

The Hilton Foundation is transitioning out of the following program areas:

  • Avoidable Blindness
  • Catholic Education
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Substance Use Prevention

Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize[edit]

The Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize is awarded annually by the Foundation. It was inaugurated in 1996 and is the largest humanitarian award in the world. Its annual award of USD 1.5 million was increased in 2015 to 2 million to commemorate its 20th Hilton Humanitarian Prize laureate, Landesa. It is currently larger than any one of the six Nobel Prizes.[9]

Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize Laureates[edit]

Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize Jury[edit]


Conrad Hilton's grandson Steven M. Hilton is currently the chairman of the organization. He started working at the Foundation in 1983 and served as its CEO from 2005 to 2015.[14] Hilton retired as president and CEO, and was succeeded by Peter Laugharn.[15][16] In his retirement announcement, Hilton said, “When I joined the Hilton Foundation in 1983, I couldn’t imagine the path that lay ahead. At that time, a handful of staff guided about $6 million in grants annually. Fast forward to today, and we have grown to a staff of over 50 and have awarded over a billion dollars in grants to improve the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people around the world.”[17] Peter Laugharn began his tenure as president and CEO on January 1, 2016.[18]

Board of Directors[edit]

As of May 8, 2019[19]

  • Steven M. Hilton (chairman), 2015–
  • Donald H. Hubbs (director emeritus)
  • Kofi Appenteng, 2019–
  • James R. Galbraith, 1989–
  • Conrad N. Hilton III, 2001–
  • Linda Hilton, 2014–
  • Michael O. Hilton, 2017–
  • Hawley Hilton McAuliffe, 2006–
  • Justin McAuliffe, 2019–
  • Sister Joyce Meyer, PBVM, 2009–
  • John L. Notter. 2005–
  • Mark Rosenberg, MD, MPP, 2016–


  1. ^ a b "Barron Hilton to Donate 97% of Estate to Hilton Foundation". Planned Giving Design Center, LLC. December 26, 2007. Retrieved April 2, 2011.
  2. ^ "Hilton fortune to go to charity". BBC News.
  3. ^ "New Frontiers in Doing Good: A Family Foundation". Leaders Magazine. 2011-04-02. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  4. ^ Excerpt from the Last Will and Testament of Conrad N. Hilton Archived 2008-10-02 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Hilton Foundation's CEO on its evolving priorities". Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Steve Hilton Takes His Grandfather's Philanthropy to a New Level". Retrieved 2014-03-31.
  8. ^ "Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Announces $38.3 Million Give". Retrieved 2014-03-31.
  9. ^ Tattersall, Nick (2007-08-12). "Grass roots African group wins top world aid award". Reuters online. Reuters. Retrieved 2007-08-30.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Caroline Bermudez, Charities That Support People With Mental Illness Win Hilton Prize, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, July 18, 2014
  11. ^ "$2 Million Hilton Prize To Be Awarded To Bangladesh Health Research Group" (PDF). The Beverly Hills Courier. August 25, 2017. p. 2. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  12. ^ Ariella Phillips, Group Serving Kenya Slums Wins $2 Million Hilton Humanitarian Award, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, August 22, 2018
  13. ^ Helena Smith, [2], The Guardian, August 19, 2019
  14. ^ "Steve Hilton on the Hilton Humanitarian Prize—and Its Impact". The Bridgespan Group "Give Smart". 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2013-09-27.
  15. ^ "Head of Conrad Hilton Foundation to step down at the end of 2015". Los Angeles Times. 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2014-03-31.
  16. ^ "Peter Laugharn Named Chief Executive of Conrad N. Hilton Foundation". Chronicle of Philanthropy. 2015-05-20. Retrieved 2016-04-27.
  17. ^ "Steven M. Hilton To Step Down As President And CEO Of The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation". Archived from the original on 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2014-03-31.
  18. ^ Di Mento, Maria (May 20, 2015). "Peter Laugharn Named Chief Executive of Conrad N. Hilton Foundation". The Chroncile of Philanthropy. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  19. ^ [3], Hilton Foundation news page on the announcement of new members. Retrieved 2019-05-08.

External links[edit]