Michael Fairbanks co-founded the SEVEN Fund in 2005. SEVEN is a philanthropic foundation based in Cambridge, Massachusetts run by entrepreneurs, whose strategy is to produce films, books and original research to markedly increase the rate of diffusion of enterprise solutions to global poverty.
Fairbanks is the founder and Chairman Emeritus of the OTF Group, a strategy-consulting firm based in Boston, and the first venture-backed U.S. firm to focus on developing nations. He was a U.S. Peace Corps teacher in Kenya. A long-time angel investor in the life sciences, he is a founding shareholder in Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which has drugs currently undergoing FDA trials to fight cancer. Fairbanks is also a founding board member of Silver Creek Pharmaceuticals, based in San Francisco, which is focused on solutions to heart disease. He helped Akagera Pharmaceuticals, to focus on solutions to infectious disease.
Fairbanks has been a Senior Advisor since 2001 to President Paul Kagame of Rwanda on private sector development and export competitiveness. Other recent projects include advising the President of the Inter-American Development Bank on creating its USD 250 million Opportunities for the Majority private sector initiative; and advising the Minister of Finance of Afghanistan on private-sector reforms.
Fairbanks testified to U.S. Congress twice on enterprise solutions to poverty in Haiti. He conceived and oversees the Global Pioneers of Prosperity Program, in cooperation with OTF, Legatum, the Multilateral Investment Fund, and the Templeton Foundation, which finds and recognizes role model businesses in the world’s poorest nations.
Fairbanks is a citizen of the United States, the European Union (Ireland), and Rwanda.