Catherine B. Reynolds

Chairman and CEO, The Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation

Catherine B. Reynolds brings to the world of philanthropy the same energy and entrepreneurial spirit that ensured her success in the realm of commerce. As the leader of two businesses, Mrs. Reynolds created a new and affordable way for Americans to finance a college education. A bold, innovative thinker, she developed a privately-funded supplement to government student loan programs. Through her vision and perseverance, hundreds of thousands of Americans have been able to attend the college of their choice. In only one decade, this creative approach to private educational financing revolutionized student lending and spawned a multibillion-dollar industry.

Mrs. Reynolds devotes her time and abilities primarily to philanthropic pursuits. She was selected by Businessweek as one of the most philanthropic living Americans and the first self-made woman ever to make their list. Mrs. Reynolds’ efforts on behalf of higher education have been recognized by honorary degrees from Georgetown University, Morehouse College and Willamette University, as well as the NYU Gold Medal presented to her upon induction into The Sir Harold Acton Society. She is also the recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship, bestowed annually by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Mrs. Reynolds has served as a member of the U.S. Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education. Mrs. Reynolds was selected as 2011 Washingtonian of the Year, honoring “local heroes whose good works and generous spirits make Washington a great place to live and work.”