Person

Stacy H. Shusterman

Location:

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Occupation:

Philanthropist and energy executive

Stacy H. Schusterman is a left-of-center philanthropist and energy and real estate executive who is the chair of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, which is among the largest grantmakers in the United States. Schusterman is the daughter of Charles Schusterman, an oilman who died in 2000, and philanthropist Lynn Schusterman.

Schusterman supports a variety of left-of-center causes and organizations and has focused the foundation’s giving on election legislation, abortion, and criminal justice issues. She also has supported pro-Israel causes and has sat on the board of the pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). [1] [2]

Background

Stacy Schusterman attended Yale University for her undergraduate studies and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Shusterman was the only daughter of wealthy Texas and Oklahoma-based oilman Charles Schusterman and his wife Lynn Schusterman and became chief executive officer of her father’s company, Samson Resources, when he died in 2000. Stacy Schusterman ran the company until 2011, when she sold it for $7.2 billion. [3]

Samson Energy

After completing the sale of her family company, Samson Resources, Stacy Schusterman founded Samson Energy, which focused on deep water drilling off the Gulf Coast and expanding into new oil drilling areas. Samson Energy has since sold a majority of its assets and according to its website, only focuses on its holdings in the DJ basin in Wyoming. [4]

Stacy Schusterman’s political giving has been criticized by some left-of-center activists because her personal wealth comes from conventional fuels and because Samson Energy’s drilling in Wyoming is close to residential areas. [5]

Political Donations

Stacy Schusterman is a prolific donor to left-of-center and Democratic Party causes and candidates. The company is the only top-20 political donor company in the oil and gas industry whose employees, officers, and political committees give predominately to Democratic and left-leaning causes, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Schusterman gave more than $3 million almost exclusively to left-of-center groups and candidates during the 2020 election cycle. [6]

Schusterman’s 2020 cycle giving includes $1.2 million to Democratic Majority for Israel, $500,000 each to the Care in Action PAC and the Fair Fight PAC, and $300,000 each to Americans for Tomorrow’s Future and the Senate Majority PAC. The company also donated to the presidential campaign of Joe Biden, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and dozens of state Democratic party committees and Democratic congressional candidates. [7]

Foundation

After selling Samson Resources, Stacy Schusterman became more involved in the family foundation created by her parents in the 1980s, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. Since heading the foundation, she has prioritized election legislation, abortion, gender, and criminal justice issues. In 2020, she joined the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge, a joint funding effort headed by Melinda Gates, Mackenzie Scott, and Dan Jewett that committed $40 million to fund women’s rights-related projects. [8]

Schusterman authored an op-ed on the foundation’s website calling for a variety of left-of-center policy priorities such as promoting critical race theory in public schools, Democratic-sponsored election legislation including the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and the Biden administration’s American Families Plan and American Jobs Plan. [9]

References

  1. “Stacy Schusterman.” Schusterman Family Philanthropies.” Accessed February 20, 2022. https://www.schusterman.org/users/stacy-schusterman ^
  2. Harris, Bryant. “Meet the AIPAC leaders bankrolling the Bernie Sanders attack ads.” AL-Monitor. February 19, 2020. Accessed February 20, 2022. https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2020/02/aipac-bankrolling-attack-ads-bernie-sanders-iowa-nevada.html ^
  3. “Schusterman Caps Israel-to-Tulsa Oil Career With KKR Sale.” Bloomberg. November 23, 2011. Accessed February 20, 2022. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2011-11-23/schusterman-caps-israel-to-tulsa-career-with-kkr-sale-correct- ^
  4. “History.” Samson Energy. Accessed February 20, 2022. https://www.samsonco.com/history.aspx ^
  5. Cunningham-Cook, Matthew. “Oil and Gas Heir Funding Super Pac Attacking Nina Turner.” The Intercept. July 16, 2021. Accessed February 20, 2022. https://theintercept.com/2021/07/16/nina-turner-shontel-brown-dmfi/ ^
  6. “Oil and Gas.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed February 20, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=e01&cycle=2020 ^
  7. “Samson Energy.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed February 20, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/samson-energy/recipients?candscycle=2020&id=D000072018&toprecipscycle=2020 ^
  8. Schusterman, Stacy. “Advancing Equity by 2030.” Schusterman Family Foundation. Accessed February 20, 2022. https://www.schusterman.org/blogs/stacy-schusterman/advancing-gender-equity-by-2030 ^
  9. Schusterman, Stacy. “The Tulsa Race Massacre: A Century Later, the Fight for Racial Justice Persists.” Schusterman Family Foundation. Accessed February 20, 2022.  https://www.schusterman.org/blogs/stacy-schusterman/the-tulsa-race-massacre-a-century-later-the-fight-for-racial-justice-persists ^
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