While Wall Street is still very much white and male, we’ve been tracking a growing number of women and people of color who have also made millions, if not billions, in high finance. A while back, I wrote about several women who were members of the Goldman Sachs pre-IPO partnership who went on to engage in high-level giving. Anne McNulty is a strong supporter of leadership education, for example, including giving $5 million to establish the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership at her alma mater, Villanova. Connie Duckworth founded ARZU, which empowers Afghan women through rug weaving.
Then there’s Anne Dinning, a managing director of D.E. Shaw & Co., and a member of the executive committee of D.E. Shaw & Co., L.P. and D. E. Shaw & Co., LLC. The New York-based investment firm was launched in 1988 by David E. Shaw, and became known for developing mathematical models and sophisticated computer programs to find anomalies in the market.
Born in Seattle, Dinning graduated from the University of Washington in 1984 and received her Ph.D. in computer science from New York University. She turned down a number of faculty positions to become an early employee of D.E. Shaw. Dinning quickly rose through the ranks of the company, overseeing much of the firm's hedge fund activities by the mid-1990s.
On the philanthropic front, Dinning moves philanthropy through the Corabelle Lumps Foundation, which is a major backer of New York City antipoverty giant Robin Hood Foundation, where Dinning sits on the board, as she does for a number of other select organizations. Here’s a quick overview of Anne Dinning’s philanthropy.
A focus on human services
Dinning is a member of the board of directors of the Robin Hood Foundation, an organization I recently did a deep dive on. Robin Hood was founded by financier Paul Tudor Jones, and Anne Dinning is among a number of Wall Streeters who have been involved in leadership and support of the organization for years. Corabelle Lumps Foundation gave Robin Hood more than $20 million over the past five years for which tax records are available. Dinning’s foundation supports few grantees each year, but Robin Hood has been among its most consistent recipients. It’s unclear what programming at Robin Hood is being supported with these funds, specifically, but Robin Hood specializes in areas like education (its largest bucket), early childhood, policy and research, workforce development, and housing and homelessness. Robin Hood Foundation’s work has also included healthcare and disaster relief for at-risk communities, including distributing more than $83 million through its COVID-19 relief fund.
Along those lines, Dinning also sits on the board of Partners in Health, which helps provide medical care to patients in poor communities around the world. Like Robin Hood, Corabelle Lumps Foundation has given seven-figure annual gifts to Partners in Health, the long-running NGO cofounded by health and human rights pioneer Paul Farmer. Combined, these two core grantees make it clear that health and human services should be considered a top priority in Dinning’s philanthropy.
Other interests to watch
Dinning started off building computer algorithms to forecast Japanese stocks; STEM education is another focus of her philanthropy, perhaps influenced by her quant background. She supports her alma mater University of Washington, including its School of Computer Science and Engineering, home to the Anne Dinning-Michael Wolf Endowed Regental Fellowship. Her father, Robert E. Dinning, also graduated from University of Washington.
Anne Dinning also supported College Success Foundation and serves on the board of directors of Math for America, a nonprofit focused on improving mathematics education in U.S. public secondary schools. Dinning is on the board of Code.org, a nonprofit organization and website led by Hadi and Ali Partovi that aims to encourage people to learn computer science.
Only in her early 60s, Dinning’s net worth was listed at $900 million in 2022 by Forbes, making her one of the richest women in the United States. She and her foundation, of which she is its sole trustee, keep a low profile. The foundation held more than $200 million in assets in a recent fiscal year. But Dinning is on our radar for greater giving in coming years.