National Geographic Leadership

Jean Case

Chairman of the Board of Trustees


Jean Case, the National Geographic Society’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees, is an actively engaged philanthropist, investor, and a pioneer in the world of interactive technologies. She and her husband, Steve Case, created the Case Foundation in 1997. The Case Foundation is recognized for its innovative efforts to address significant social challenges, harnessing the best impulses of entrepreneurship, innovation, technology, and collaboration to drive exponential impact.

Before co-founding the Case Foundation, Case spent her career as a technology executive in the private sector. As a senior executive at America Online, Inc. (AOL), she directed the marketing and branding effort that launched the AOL service, directed the communications strategy for taking the company public, and helped establish AOL as a household utility. Before joining AOL, she held strategic marketing positions at GE’s Information Services Division and at The Source, the nation’s first online service.

In addition to her role as CEO of the Case Foundation, Case also serves on the boards of Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2), the White House Historical Association and BrainScope Company, Inc. She sits on the advisory boards of the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative, the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation, the Brain Trust Accelerator Fund, and the George W. Bush Presidential Library Center’s Women’s Initiative Policy Advisory Council.

Case and her husband joined The Giving Pledge, started by Melinda and Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010. In recognition of their innovative work in philanthropy, they have received a number of accolades, including the National Conference on Citizenship Citizens of the Year and Washingtonians of the Year. Case was named Corporate Philanthropist of the Year by the Washington Business Journal, which also named her as a finalist for its “Most Admired Nonprofit CEO” award. In addition, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Harvard Business School Alumni Association of Washington, D.C.

Case was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016. She has also received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Indiana University and from George Mason University.