Giving her time and energy to local and national nonprofits, while helping Microsoft navigate massive changes in the role technology plays in our business, public and private lives, has been important to Mary Snapp for much of her life. That’s in part what makes Snapp, a corporate vice president, a natural fit for the job as head of the newly announced Microsoft Philanthropies.
Snapp may be the first head of Microsoft Philanthropies, but this isn’t her first time leading Microsoft in a new direction. “I joined Microsoft in 1988 as Microsoft’s first female attorney,” she says.
Microsoft Philanthropies, Snapp says, will “help bring to life the company’s mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
The Microsoft Philanthropies team “will look to invest the company’s strongest assets – technology, money, employee talent, and the company’s voice – to partner with nonprofits and communities to create lasting positive impact,” she says.
Snapp will lead Microsoft’s legacy in philanthropic initiatives to a higher set of ambitions and commitment. In the most recent fiscal year, Microsoft’s total annual giving surpassed $1 billion, with cash donations of nearly $120 million and in-kind donations worth nearly $950 million.
In her new role, Snapp will report directly to Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith.
In the 27 years Snapp has worked for Microsoft, she has led the legal work for business development, strategic partnership, developer relationships and business strategy teams, she says. For many years, she says, she’s also led the Products & Services Group, which provides legal support to Microsoft’s engineering, marketing and research divisions.
Since 2002, Snapp has also served as executive sponsor of Corporate External Legal Affairs’ diversity and inclusion efforts, “overseeing the development of the department’s diversity and inclusion strategy and execution,” she says. It has been a gratifying role.
Snapp is also the executive sponsor of the Women@Microsoft employee resources group, and is a frequent public speaker on issues related to her role at Microsoft.
Over the years, Snapp has also been active on the boards of directors in human services and arts non-profit organizations nationally and in the Puget Sound region.
Ask her to name some of them, and it’s quite a list: Snapp is past chair of the board of directors of Minority Corporate Counsel Association. She currently serves on the board of directors for KCTS 9 Public Television, the YWCA of Seattle, King, and Snohomish County, and is a board member, and past chair, of ArtsFund.
Lori Forte Harnick, Microsoft general manager, will serve as chief operating officer for Microsoft Philanthropies. She, too, has a passion for helping others.
Forte Harnick has been general manager of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Microsoft, leading Microsoft’s global work in the areas of corporate citizenship and legal and public policy communications.
“At Microsoft, corporate citizenship begins at home with our commitment to policies and practices that protect human rights, support transparent reporting, foster environmental sustainability and promote responsible sourcing across all aspects of our business operations,” Forte Harnick says.
“It then extends – in three significant ways – to our engagement in the local communities where our employees live and work around the world.”
Some of the highlights include the companywide YouthSpark initiative, which empowers millions of young people with greater access to technology tools and training to capture new opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship.
Through its Technology for Good program, Microsoft donates software and services annually to nearly 100,000 nonprofit organizations of all kinds to help them do more good in their communities.
And Microsoft matches employees’ generous support of social causes through its Employee Giving Program, which has raised more than $100 million for nearly 20,000 profits each year for the last four years.
Throughout it all, partnership has been the critical success factor and that won’t change.
“As we take Microsoft Philanthropies forward, I’m eager to work with our many internal and external partners to build digital inclusion initiatives and contribute to a societal ecosystem that will extend the benefits of technology to a wider segment of the global population,” said Forte Harnick.
Forte Harnick also has been involved in giving with her work for other organizations. She serves on the Advisory Board for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center, and has been a frequent delegate to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, and the Social Innovation Summit. Forte Harnick currently serves on the board of directors for the Seattle/King County chapter of City Year.
Microsoft News Center Staff