Muneer Satter, the Quiet Philanthropist You’ve Never Heard Of

Most people don’t know who philanthropist Muneer Satter is. He gives away millions, yet avoids self-promotion and shies away from the spotlight.

Muneer Satter runs the Satter Investment Management company, which is a private family company that invests in life science (biotechnology) and medical technology companies. He also runs the Satter Foundation, his family’s private foundation.

Satter is a leader in the biotechnology industry. He holds a number of positions at different companies. At Vital Therapies, which a publicly traded company that created an artificial liver, he is co-chairman and lead director. He is chairman of Akebia Therapeutics. Akebia is a biotechnology company that creates different therapeutic products for vascular diseases, focusing on eye disorders. He is the director of Annexon Biosciences, an autoimmune and neurological diseases company. Additionally, he is the chairman and cofounder of a company called Restorsea that manufactures an anti-aging enzyme.

As a philanthropist, Satter focuses on organizations that he feels make the biggest difference to the people that need it the most. As a former Goldman Sachs executive, Satter is the vice chairman of the board of the Goldman Sachs foundation and GS Gives, which is a part of Goldman Sachs that runs the company’s charitable giving efforts. Satter is the chairman of the investment committee which oversees over $1 billion in assets.

Satter attended Northwestern University where he earned his bachelors degree. As an alumnus, he wanted to give back to the university. He currently sits on the board and is the chairman of the finance committee.

Satter is a big supporter of the United States military. As a supporter, he sits on the board and supports the Navy SEAL foundation.

Satter believes in smart investments when it comes to nature conservation. He sits on the advisory board of NatureVest, a unit of The Nature Conservancy. NatureVest is a unique organization in that it invests funds to help conservation efforts while also delivering a return to its investors. It is described as the “impact investment unit” of The Nature Conservancy. He is a former board member and former chairman of the TNC’s finance committee, where he oversaw a $1.8 billion endowment.

Satter has always had an interest in public policy. He is on the board of advisors of two prominent American think tanks: the American Enterprise Institute (a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C.) and the Council on Foreign Relations (a think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs). He’s also on the board of World Business Chicago, a regional economic growth organization that is chaired by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Satter cares deeply about education. Formerly, he was the chairman of Room to Read, which constructs over 2000 libraries and schools in poor countries each year.

Satter has a keen interest in the American political system. He was a co-chairman of the National Finance Committee for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012 as well as chairman of the Romney’s Illinois Finance Committee. In a 2015 issue, Crain’s Chicago Business named Mr. Satter one of “The 20 Most Powerful Political Insiders in Illinois."

After attending Northwestern University, he received a law degree and MBA from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. Muneer Satter lives in Chicago with his wife Kristen and their five daughters.