Marilyn Hawrys Simons is the co-founder and co-chair of the Simons Foundation, one of the country’s leading private funders of basic scientific research. While president of the Simons Foundation (1994-2021), she also oversaw the Foundation’s outreach portfolio and focused on strengthening science communication with the public. Through lectures, journalism, interactive encounters, and film projects she funded a broad range of efforts to inspire a deeper interest in important scientific questions and ongoing research efforts.
In her not-for-profit board volunteer work, Simons continues to be active in supporting STEM research and outreach by serving on the board of trustees of the National Museum of Mathematics, chairing the board of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an outstanding U.S. research facility specializing in molecular biology and genetics, and serving on the board of the Turkana Basin Institute, a research center in Northern Kenya focused on the study of human origins and prehistory. Simons is passionate about science and its power to benefit society and improve our quality of life. She was awarded the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in 2013.