WRITTEN BY: PARINITA GUPTA
(July 1, 2023) Born in Azamgarh, Frank immigrated to the US when he was just 15, initially struggling to make a living in a foreign land. On the other hand, Debbie grew up in Canada, where she worked as a computer engineer in NASA’s communication division at Goddard Space Flight Center until she retired. Together, the couple founded a non-profit organization, The Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman Foundation that supports civic, educational, cultural, and artistic causes in the US and around the world.
“The sale of Frank’s firm the QSS Group to Perot Systems in 2007 allowed us to establish a private foundation to support educational, artistic, cultural, and civic causes. It started a new and intensified phase of sharing and giving back for us that in many ways has been the most rewarding experience of our lives,” told Debbie.
The foundation engages in a philanthropic practice in which they strategically invest in areas that are crucial to make a significant difference for the future of not just individuals, but to the entire community. These ‘purposeful’ investments bring life-transforming changes towards many challenging conditions of the entire community in need, also providing a helping hand in their growth and development.
“The primary mission of the foundation is to promote education, art and culture, peace and conflict resolution to make the US, India, and the world a better, more beautiful, and safer place,” the IT entrepreneur stated.
The Global Indian’s foundation supports The United States Institute of Peace, Aligarh Muslim University, Montgomery College, Marymount University, and The Brookings Institution India Centre, acting as a platform for advanced, unbiased research and analysis that pertains to the opportunities and challenges encountered by India and the world while being directly relevant to policy-making.
“I give not only to pay back for what I have been given but also to pay it forward so that others can give as well,” said the recipient of the Philanthropy Leadership Award by TwoCircles.net.
The couple also, donated US$ 2 million to build the new School of Management Complex at the Aligarh Muslim University, transforming lives through their philanthropic gestures and simultaneously empowering education, art, and culture for a better world.