Philanthropic 50: Sheila Johnson

Johnson, a co-founder of Black Entertainment Television is the first African-American woman to achieve a reported net worth of $1 billion. She’s now the founder, owner and CEO of the Salamander Hotel and Spa chain. Her Sheila Johnson Fellowship has paid for more then 40 scholarships at Harvard University’s Kennedy School for students who would not otherwise have been able to afford to attend. She has made sizeable gifts to the United Negro College Fund, the Parsons School of Design and Howard University among other institutions. She serves on the boards of Parsons, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Tiger Woods Foundation and the University of Illinois Foundation. She is vice-chairman of the Monumental Sports and Entertainment group; and former President Obama appointed her to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. In Middleburg, she started an annual film festival that compares favorably with the Sundance and Tribeca festivals.

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