Obama Foundation

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The Obama Foundation is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization founded in 2014. It oversees the creation of the Barack Obama Presidential Center, runs the My Brother's Keeper Alliance, a program Barack Obama began while he was President, and operates a scholarship program through the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy.


The Foundation held its inaugural summit on October 31, 2017, in Chicago. According to Barack Obama, he intends for his foundation to be central to many of his post-presidential activities, which he sees as having the potential to be more consequential than his time in the White House.[1] On September 25, 2018, an IRS report revealed that the Foundation no longer identified any possible mega-donors.[2] In 2018, contributions and in-kind gifts totaled $164.8 million, according to its filed annual report in June 2019— a drop of $67.8 million from the record $232.6 million in 2017.[3][4] The President of the Obama Foundation is Adewale Adeyemo, a Nigerian Economist and former Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economic Affairs.[5]

Barack Obama Presidential Center[edit]

The Foundation's major project as of February 3 is to oversee the creation of the planned presidential library of former President Obama. In May 2015, the Foundation, along with Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, announced the development of the Center and its location in the Jackson Park neighborhood of Chicago's South Side.[6] On February 26, 2019, Chicago residents voted to require a community benefits agreement in order to make the Center official, something which the Obama Foundation has objected to.[7][8]

My Brother's Keeper Alliance[edit]

The My Brother's Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance) is a program inspired by President Obama's My Brother's Keeper Challenge that he started through the White House in 2014. Its purpose is to address challenges and opportunity gaps that boys and young men of color face, providing support through mentoring, education, job training, and other activities.[9][10] In 2017, MBK Alliance was moved into the Obama Foundation.[11]


In February 2018 the Foundation announced it had begun a scholarship program at the University of Chicago. The scholarships are awarded to 25 American and international master's students in the Harris School of Public Policy in an effort to cultivate leadership through the Presidential Center. It covers the students' tuition and living expenses while they work with the foundation and take classes.[12][13]


  1. ^ "Obama, opening his foundation's first summit, calls for fixing civic culture". Politico. October 31, 2017.
  2. ^ https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/obama-foundation-irs-filing-top-exec-salary-862k-donors-fundraising/
  3. ^ https://chicago.suntimes.com/columnists/2019/6/28/19154213/barack-obama-foundation-fundraising-down-2018-higher-pay-top-staffers
  4. ^ https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/obama-center/ct-obama-presidential-center-donations-chicago-foundation-20190628-hb7767q47nal5i5ytivbnsmmwm-story.html
  5. ^ https://nairametrics.com/2019/08/07/adewale-adeyemo-appointed-president-of-obama-foundation/ Nairametrics.com
  6. ^ Bosman, Julie; Smith, Mitch (May 12, 2015). "Chicago Wins Bid to Host Obama Library". New York Times. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  7. ^ Rachel Hinton (March 1, 2019). "A rare election-night loss for Obama: Voters back benefits pact for presidential center". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  8. ^ https://blockclubchicago.org/2019/02/27/south-side-voters-tell-city-officials-the-obama-center-needs-a-community-benefits-agreement/
  9. ^ Capehart, Jonathan (October 3, 2017). "My Brother's Keeper forges ahead with Obama and despite Trump". Washington Post.
  10. ^ Horsley, Scott (December 26, 2016). "Obama's Post-White House Plans Include My Brother's Keeper Effort". All Things Considered. NPR.
  11. ^ Holly, Danielle (September 7, 2017). "My Brother's Keeper Merges with Obama Foundation". Nonprofit Quarterly.
  12. ^ Bowan, Lolly (February 28, 2018). "Obama Foundation announces new scholarships to groom leaders". Chicago Tribune.
  13. ^ Sweet, Lynn (February 28, 2018). "Obama Foundation: U. of Chicago scholars program; $4 million to cut youth crime". Chicago Sun-Times.

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