Jobs' Wife Likely to Remain Active Supporter of Education Reform, Women's Issues

Jobs' Wife Likely to Remain Active Supporter of Education Reform, Women's Issues

Although Apple co-founder Steve Jobs did not speak publicly about his personal philanthropy, his wife, Laurene Powell Jobs, has been deeply involved in supporting education reform, women's issues, and Democratic Party candidates and issues, causes that may benefit from the fortune she is likely to inherit, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Powell Jobs, who met her husband while attending graduate school at Stanford University and became his wife in 1991, worked at Merrill Lynch Asset Management and Goldman Sachs before creating Terravera, a California-based natural foods company. In 1997, she co-founded College Track, an afterschool college-prep program for low-income students, and later joined the boards of Teach for America, the NewSchools Venture Fund, Stand for Children, the New America Foundation, and Conservation International.

More recently, Powell Jobs launched the Emerson Collective, which, according to her official biography, "works with a range of entrepreneurs to advance domestic and international social reform efforts." She also has participated in high-profile philanthropy-related events in recent years, including the Clinton Global Initiative and this year's Global Philanthropy Forum, where she chatted with actor Ben Affleck about his efforts to bring attention to and improve conditions in war-ravaged eastern Congo.

Although it is unclear how much, if any, of Jobs' estate will be set aside for philanthropic causes, experts and colleagues of his wife suspect that she will remain committed to the causes she has supported over the last two decades. "She is very much of the school of 'to whom much is given, much is expected,'" said Carlos Watson, who co-founded College Track with Powell Jobs in 1997. "She is focused on ways to expand opportunity."

Jessica E. Vascellaro. "Jobs's Wife Backs Education Causes." Wall Street Journal 10/10/2011.