Person

Susie Tompkins Buell

Occupation:

Espirit and The North Face co-founder

Democratic Mega-donor

Spouse:

Mark Buell

Residence:

San Francisco, California

Susie Tompkins Buell (nee Russell) is a Democratic Party mega-donor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist from San Francisco. She is a close confidant of and major donor to Hillary Clinton. Buell co-founded sportswear companies The North Face and Espirit with her first husband, Douglas Tompkins. [1] She is married to Mark Buell, also a prominent Democratic donor and real estate developer in San Francisco. [2]  The Buells are well known in social and political circles in the San Francisco Bay Area and are founding members of the powerful Democracy Alliance (DA) left-leaning funders’ collaborative. [3][4]

Her Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation is a major funder of left-of-center non-profit advocacy groups.

Background

Susie Tompkins Buell is a native of San Francisco and attended Lowell High School. Her second and current husband, Mark Buell, was a high school classmate, and the two reconnected when Tompkins contributed to Mark’s campaign for San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1988. [5]

Tompkins Buell divorced her first husband Douglas Tompkins in 1989. The two had co-founded sportswear brands Espirit and The North Face together and had two daughters. Tompkins remarried and died in a kayaking accident in Chile in 2005, leaving none of his fortune to his two daughters or grandchildren. [6]

Liberal Contributions

Susie Tompkins Buell  and her husband Mark  are often mentioned as Democratic Party mega-donors and are founding members of the powerful liberal donor collective the Democracy Alliance (DA), which was founded in 2004 as an exclusive collective of major institutional and individual left-of-center donors that acts as a funding umbrella for the progressive movement. [7]

While his wife, Susie Tompkins Buell, is more often profiled and recognized as a liberal donor and close friend of the Clinton political family, Mark Buell is also well-connected to the Clintons and frequently gives money to Democratic candidates both alongside and separately from his wife. The Buells also give to left leaning organizations through the Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation. [8]

In 2018, Buell supported San Francisco mayoral candidate, city supervisor, and then-Acting Mayor London Breed (D) for San Francisco Mayor, while her husband Mark Buell supported and former State Senator Mark Leno (D). Both candidates for the technically nonpartisan office were left of center and Breed ultimately won the election with Leno being the next closest of several opponents. [9]

References

  1. Steger, Pat. “THE SOCIAL SCENE — Wedding Gala Lights Up the Bay / Tompkins, Buell party on a pier”. SFGATE. September 30, 1996. Accessed September 23, 2019.  https://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/THE-SOCIAL-SCENE-Wedding-Gala-Lights-Up-the-2965159.php ^
  2. “Advisory Board”. Go Green Foundation. Accessed September 23, 2019. http://www.gogreenfoundation.com/index.php/about/advisory_board/ ^
  3. Matier & Ross. “Daughter seeks millions from Esprit co-founder Douglas Tompkins’ will”. San Francisco Chronicle. October 29, 2017. Accessed September 23, 2019.  https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Daughter-seeks-millions-from-Esprit-co-founder-12314126.php ^
  4. Vadum, Matthew and James Dellinger. “The Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters” Foundation Watch. Accessed September 23, 2019. https://capitalresearch.org/app/uploads/2013/07/FW1208.pdf ^
  5. Nevius, C.W. “Susie Buell, Hillary Clinton: Politics makes great fellowship” San Franciso Chronicle. June 24, 2016. Accessed September 23, 2019.  https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Susie-Buell-Hillary-Clinton-Politics-makes-8324068.php ^
  6. https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Daughter-seeks-millions-from-Esprit-co-founder-12314126.php ^
  7. Vadum, Matthew and James Dellinger. “The Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters” Foundation Watch. Accessed September 23, 2019.   https://capitalresearch.org/app/uploads/2013/07/FW1208.pdf ^
  8. Nevius, C.W. “Susie Buell, Hillary Clinton: Politics makes great fellowship” San Franciso Chronicle. June 24, 2016. Accessed September 23, 2019.  https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Susie-Buell-Hillary-Clinton-Politics-makes-8324068.php ^
  9. Garchik, Lee. “Buells demonstrate marital freedom of political choice”. San Francisco Chronicle. February 22, 2018. Accessed September 23, 2019. https://www.sfchronicle.com/entertainment/garchik/article/Buells-demonstrate-marital-freedom-of-political-12628296.php ^
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