- About Len
Len Blavatnik is a global investor and philanthropist. He holds dual U.S. and UK citizenship, having become a U.S. citizen in 1984 and a UK citizen in 2010.
Born in Odesa, Ukraine, to academic parents, Blavatnik emigrated to the United States in 1978 after attending university in Moscow. He earned a master’s degree in computer science from Columbia University in 1981 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1989.
Blavatnik formed Access Industries in 1986. Access invests across a range of industry sectors including media and telecommunications, natural resources and chemicals, venture capital/technology, real estate, entertainment, biotechnology, and select external funds. The value of the privately-held group’s investments exceeds USD $35 billion. To learn more about Access’s various business activities, visit its website at www.accessindustries.com.
Blavatnik’s business success enabled him to create and exclusively self-fund the Blavatnik Family Foundation. To date, the Foundation has contributed over USD $1 billion to more than 250 institutions to advance science, higher education, good government and the arts, and in support of Jewish and other charitable causes around the world. To learn more about the Foundation’s many philanthropic activities and initiatives, visit its website at www.blavatnikfamilyfoundation.org.
One of his most profound charitable initiatives is the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists established in 2007 together with the New York Academy of Sciences. The award recognizes promising scientists aged 42 and younger in the early stages of their careers when seed funding can most significantly accelerate breakthrough research. Winners are selected by a distinguished judging panel consisting of Nobel laureates and other esteemed scientists. The awards, funded through the Foundation, have supported over 375 scientists in the U.S., UK, and Israel.
Foundation donations have also been made to the University of Oxford to establish the Blavatnik School of Government, Harvard Medical School to spur next-generation precision therapies, and Harvard Business School to create the Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship program, to provide MBA students with experience in life science entrepreneurship.
Blavatnik serves on the boards of Tel Aviv University and Carnegie Hall and is a member of the Harvard University Global Advisory Council. He is also a founding patron of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, a program created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute in 2013.