Michael Milken

Medical Research Innovator and Public Health Advocate

Michael Milken has led a wide range of initiatives since the 1970s that have influenced public policy, supported public health, re-envisioned education, accelerated medical research and expanded access to capital for growing companies. He formalized his earlier giving in 1982 by co-founding the Milken Family Foundation. In 1995, he hosted the first Cancer Summit, an event that led to a 1998 March on Washington in support of increased biomedical research funding. Over the five years following the March, Congress nearly doubled NIH resources. When funding increases slowed in 2003, Milken founded FasterCures to remove barriers to progress against all life-threatening diseases. A Fortune cover story called him “The Man Who Changed Medicine.”

Milken is chairman of the non-partisan Milken Institute, whose annual Global Conference convenes 3,500 leaders from 50 nations. The Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University was renamed in recognition of a gift from the Institute.

As a financier, Milken is often said to have revolutionized modern capital markets, making them more democratic and dynamic. Starting in 1969, he financed thousands of companies that created millions of jobs. He graduated with highest distinction from UC Berkeley and earned his MBA at the Wharton School.