2019 UPAYA GALA KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Retired Tech Executive and Global Philanthropist
For 40 years Mike Murray has worked on many innovative projects that have influenced society, hopefully for the better.
Early in his career he was a member of the original team that designed and launched the Macintosh computer for Apple Computer. He worked directly for Steve Jobs. A decade later he was a senior executive at Microsoft and was a member of Bill Gates’ Executive Strategy Committee. Both of these companies were committed to improving life on the planet through personal computers.
In 2000 he began the next chapter of his life – one without a paycheck.
That year he envisioned and co-founded Unitus, the world’s first microfinance accelerator. Almost 20 years later, this successful endeavor has spawned a federation of spin-offs. Upaya is one such amazing entity. To date it is estimated that 50 million people have benefited from the collective Unitus efforts. The goal is simple – to empower and help make self-reliant the poorest of the poor.
During the same timeframe Mike co-founded the Seattle chapter of Friends of the Children, a very effective mentoring program for at-risk inner-city youth.
Through the Murray’s family foundation he and his wife Joyce provided some of the initial seed funding for Patrick Awuah’s Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana. This award-winning educational institution is now a gem for Western Africa.
The Murrays utilize a custom mix of grants and Program Related Investments (PRIs) to provide the greatest catalytic advantage to the groups they support. The Murray’s also provide sustained funding for humanitarian relief organizations including ShelterBox, The Other Side Academy and St. Mary’s Hospital (Nairobi).
From 2012-2017 Mike was co-creator and managing director of the Self-Reliance Initiative for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This worldwide program now operates in over 75 countries with hundreds of thousands of participants achieving a greater measure of economic, emotional and spiritual self-reliance in their lives.
Currently Mike also serves as a senior leader for his church, with responsibilities throughout the west coast, including British Columbia and Alaska.
The only thing Mike has done longer than the work stated above is that of being married to Joyce. They have four married children and thirteen grandchildren. The Murrays live on a farm outside of Redmond, WA with their farm poodles (foodles) Moses and Benny.
Mike’s hobbies include beekeeping, jam making, fly fishing, genealogy and golfing.