David Bohnett is a philanthropist and technology entrepreneur committed to effecting positive change through community building and social activism. In addition to serving as Chair of the David Bohnett Foundation, he is the Chairman of the Executive Committee on the Board of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Vice Chairman of the Board of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and Trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the University of Southern California (USC), and the Lake Agawam Conservancy in Southampton.
Since 1999, the David Bohnett Foundation has provided funding, state-of-the-art technology and technical support to hundreds of innovative organizations and institutions in several primary funding areas: The Fund for Los Angeles, supporting a broad spectrum of arts, educational and civic programs including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LACMA and CicLAvia; LGBTQ-related causes; graduate school leadership programs at the University of Michigan, UCLA, NYU and Harvard; voting rights and registration initiatives; supporting research and public policies to reduce the toll of firearm violence; and animal research and rights.
Grants totaling over $120 million to date have supported the work of a wide range of organizations including the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, The Wildlife Alliance, the ACLU Foundation, Equality California, and the David Bohnett Gay & Lesbian Leadership Fellows program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. The David Bohnett CyberCenters are another major undertaking — currently at over 60 LGBTQ centers nationwide, they offer business, educational, research, and recreational opportunities to the local gay and lesbian community via access to the Internet.
In his professional career, Mr. Bohnett has long been a leader in the technology and information services industry, and he is founder and managing member of the early stage technology fund, Baroda Ventures. He also serves on the Board of Directors of several notable technology companies.
In keeping with his approach to philanthropy, Mr. Bohnett has always been involved with businesses that empower individuals, improve lives and build viable communities by connecting like-minded people. In 1994, he founded GeoCities.com, a media and e-commerce company that was once ranked one of the four most trafficked sites on the Web. GeoCities became publicly traded on NASDAQ and was acquired by Yahoo! Inc. in 1999. In a 2007 article, the Wall Street Journal described it as a Facebook prototype and noted, “Back then, entries were known as home pages, not profiles. But the basic, expressive elements of today’s Facebook and competitor MySpace … were all right there.”
Previously, David Bohnett has been an active partner in Xdrive.com, Wireimage.com, Stamps.com and LowerMyBills.com, and held various positions in the software industry for Legent and Goal Systems. He started his career as a staff consultant with Accenture (then Anderson Consulting) in Los Angeles. His academic credentials include a Doctorate of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa from the University of Southern California and Whittier College, an M.B.A in Finance from the University of Michigan, and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.
David Bohnett’s many awards and distinctions include Los Angeles Business Journal’s Technology Leader of the Year, Time Digital’s Top 50 Cyber Elite, and Entrepreneur of the Year for Southern California. Mr. Bohnett maintains residences in Los Angeles and New York City.
David Bohnett’s recent speeches