Liesel Pritzker Simmons is the Vice President and Director of Program Development for the IDP Foundation, Inc., a private foundation with a mission to mobilize resources and strategic support to increase educational opportunities. Established in 2008, the IDP Foundation has supported and developed a wide range of programs in the education sectors most notably the innovative IDP Rising Schools Program in Ghana, which leverages microfinance networks to empower low cost private schools with trainings and financial services.
Liesel is also co-founder of Opportunity International’s Young Ambassadors for Opportunity (YAO), a global network of young professionals who are passionate about microfinance. Liesel attended Columbia University, where she studied African History. She has volunteered at schools and microfinance institutions in India and Tanzania, but unfortunately has forgotten most of her Swahili. She lives in New York City with her husband, Ian Simmons.