Powering the science of learning.

Since 2000, we’ve been driven by a simple but ambitious vision: A world in which all young people reach their full potential and meaningfully contribute to society.

We pursue that vision by making grants and by operating our own programs, with the aim of fueling the science of learning and enabling its application in a variety of settings. Our mission: To invest in the science of learning and the experiences that youth need from birth to high school to pursue their own path for success.

We liken our work to that of the rider in the rear seat of a tandem bicycle: lending energy and support, while leaving the steering to the researchers, teachers, and families who care for and work with children and teenagers every day, and to the young people whose voices, needs, and experiences shape programs and approaches. We believe that, by working together, we can go much further, much faster, than any of us could go alone.

Our Work Through the Years

Over nearly two decades, multiple programs, and hundreds of grant partnerships, our journey has connected us to thousands of young people and to those dedicated to helping them live lives of discovery, purpose, and fulfillment. We are inspired every day by their example, and honored to help advance their work.

2003

First grant awarded to Global Nomads Group to foster dialogue and understanding between students in Iraq and students in the U.S.

2003 Global Nomads Group

2004

Partnership with Save the Children helps ensure young children living across rural America have access to early learning opportunities.

2004 Save the Children

2005

Bezos Scholars Program launches to amplify youth voice and help young people take action to make a positive difference in their communities.

2005 Bezos Scholars Program Timeline

2008

I-LABS partnership helps spur cutting edge research and foster a deeper understanding of how young children learn.

I-LABS Research

2010

Foundation program Students Rebuild launches after a devastating earthquake in Haiti to bring students together to create change on global issues and support their peers.

Students Rebuild Haiti

2011

Grant to the Frontiers of Innovation at Harvard Center for the Developing Child helps explore ways to build the capacity of parents and caregivers in order to improve outcomes for children.

2011 Harvard center for the developing child

2013

Aspen Challenge—inspired by the Bezos Scholars Program—launches in L.A. in partnership with the Aspen Institute to provide a platform for young people to design solutions to some of the most critical problems humanity faces.

2013 Aspen Challenge timeline

2014

Foundation program Vroom launches pilot in King County, WA to provide science-based tips and tools to inspire families to turn shared moments into brain-building moments.

2014 March- Vroom

2016

Mind in the Making joins the Foundation and expands its programmatic work to transform groundbreaking early learning research into action.

2016 MITM V3

2017

Foundation supports major initiatives at NYU Langone to help mothers, children, and families in the Sunset Park borough of Brooklyn.

NYU Langone Initiatives

2019

National Academy of Sciences releases BFF-supported report, The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunities for all Youth which examines the science of adolescent development and actions that could improve developmental outcomes. It quickly becomes one of the most popular of the National Academies’ reports.

2019 National Academy of Sciences

2020

Vroom’s brain-building tips reach nearly 1.5 million families across the globe.

Vroom Family

Our Founders

The Bezos Family foundation was founded by Jackie and Mike Bezos, whose family members serve as the Foundation’s directors.

Jackie at Aspen Ideas Festival 2014
Mike and Jackie
Mike Bezos

Jackie Bezos, President and Co-Founder

Jackie loves the intersection of a big idea and passion—what she refers to as the sweet spot of philanthropy. More than two decades ago, Jackie and her husband, Mike, combined their passion for education with the big ideas coming from educational and developmental science to form the Bezos Family Foundation. At the core of the Foundation’s work is Jackie’s belief that rigorous, inspired learning—in the classroom and in children’s hundreds of daily interactions with adults—will allow students from birth to high school to put their education into action. Jackie’s vision is behind three of our four in-house programs: Vroom, Students Rebuild, and Bezos Scholars Program. Jackie also serves on the board of directors for the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, Robin Hood, the American Museum of Natural History, the Character Lab, and the emeritus board of Thrive Washington. She is an advisor to TED-Ed and on the advisory board of Global Nomads Group. Her most prized position is “Creator of Chaos” for her 11 grandchildren.

Miguel (Mike) Bezos, Vice President and Co-Founder

Mike created the Bezos Family Foundation with his wife Jackie in 2000. Prior to that, his professional career spanned more than 32 years with Exxon Mobil in various engineering and managerial positions in the US and overseas. A native of Cuba, Mike immigrated to the United States as a teen and worked his way through the University of Albuquerque, where he completed his undergraduate degree. “Your education is always yours,” Mike often says. “Once you have it, it cannot be taken away.” Mike is on the board of the Aspen Institute and National Constitution Center. Outside of his role at the Foundation, Mike enjoys spending time with his family, particularly his 11 grandchildren.