Marilyn Hawrys Simons has been the president of the Simons Foundation since its inception in 1994. During this period, the foundation has grown rapidly to become one of the country’s leading private funders of basic scientific research. Simons is an advocate for the increased involvement of philanthropy in funding basic science.
Simons also has more than 25 years of experience actively supporting nonprofit organizations in New York City and State. She chairs the board of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an outstanding U.S. research facility specializing in molecular biology and genetics, and is a board member of the Turkana Basin Institute, a research institution that supports scientific projects in the Turkana Basin of Northern Kenya. She also serves as chair of the Stony Brook Women’s Leadership Council. In addition to her work to advance basic science research, Simons has been involved in K–12 education for underserved communities. She is a member of the board of trustees of the LearningSpring School, a New York City-based school for children diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and the East Harlem Scholars Academy in New York City.
Simons received a B.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.