Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., has announced a $5.4 million gift from alumnus and former board member Lynn Fritz ('64) and his wife, Anisya, to advance ethical technological innovation and women's leadership in international development and peacekeeping efforts.
The gift includes $5 million to establish the Fritz Family Fellows Program within the Georgetown Initiative on Technology & Society — a joint effort of the university's Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation, Ethics Lab, Institute for Technology Law & Policy, Center for Security and Emerging Technology, Center on Privacy & Technology, Communication, Culture & Technology program, Department of Computer Science, and Massive Data Institute. With the goals of cultivating the next generation of leaders with expertise in the social impact of technology and building a peer learning and support network of public interest technologists, the gift will seed collaborative projects led by interdisciplinary fellows from across the centers.
"I've never seen an initiative or an action ever be successful that is taken from a siloed approach," said Lynn Fritz, who with Anisya co-founded LynnCo Supply Chain Solutions, which provides logistical solutions for humanitarian aid projects, and the nonprofit Fritz Institute, which works with governments, nonprofits, and corporations to improve disaster response and recovery efforts. Success in complex undertakings, he added, requires “using many lenses to create knowledge and come up with answers."
The remaining $400,000 of the gift will be used to establish Georgetown Ambassadors for Women, Peace, and Security, a community of influential leaders who support and amplify the work of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security. The Fritzes hope that the council, which will be chaired by Anisya, will strengthen women's leadership within the Georgetown community and abroad.
"We had three goals," said Fritz, a respected scholar of global humanitarian relief, competitive strategy, and international entrepreneurship. "One is to support the global force of amazingly talented and influential women that lead from a values-based point of view. Another is to amplify the important work of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security. The third is to create a community that can learn together and inspire and mentor students entering the field. It's a mutually reinforcing and contributing group."