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Peter Thum

Entrepreneur, CEO of Liberty United, Founder of Ethos Water, and Humanitarian
    Topics & Types
    EntrepreneurshipCorporate Social Responsibility Inspiration & MotivationCEOs

    Peter Thum is a recognized entrepreneur, business executive and humanitarian.  He has founded and led three social enterprise companies: Ethos Water, Liberty United and Fonderie 47; as well as three not for profit organizations to address some of the world’s toughest problems by building for-profit businesses and brands.

    He is CEO and founder of Liberty United, which recycles illegal guns from American cities into jewelry that funds programs to stop gun violence and save the lives of children growing up in neighborhoods under the constant threat of gun violence.  To date these programs have funded programs helping 3,000 at-risk children across the United States. He is CEO and co-founder of Fonderie 47, a venture that transforms AK47s from Africa into rare jewelry, watches, accessories and art.  Sales fund disarmament in Africa. Fonderie 47 has removed more than 70,000 assault rifles from circulation in African conflict zones.

    Thum previously founded and was president of Ethos Water, which was acquired by Starbucks. Thum served as Vice President of Starbucks where he ran several businesses for the company.   Ethos has donated over $13.8 million to fund water access for over half a million people around the world. 

    Thum is the founder and president of the non-profit Giving Water, which has helped over 6,000 schoolchildren in Kenya to get safe water access.

    Thum received the For the Love of Children Award from Children’s Home and Aid of Illinois in 2017.  He was recognized in 2013 by Town & Country, as one of the top 50 Philanthropists in the US.  He received the Writing Wrongs Award at Basel World in 2013. He received The Disruptive Innovation Award from the Tribeca Film Festival and the Disruptor Foundation in 2012.  Levi Strauss, UBS and AT Cross have featured Thum’s work and personal story in their advertising and marketing campaigns. He speaks regularly about entrepreneurship, corporate responsibility, and how to change the world.

    Thum and his ventures have been covered by numerous media outlets, including: The New York Times, The Today Show, USA Today, Fortune, Fast Company, Forbes, NBC, CBS, ABC, CBC, Fox News, Fox Business,, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, PRI, Robb Report, GQ, Vogue, Departures, Worth, and Elle.

    Prior to starting his first venture, Peter was a consultant at McKinsey & Company and a marketer at Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery. He holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA from Claremont McKenna College. Thum is an adviser to FEED Projects and formerly served as a Board Director for several organizations: The Fund For Global Human Rights; USA for UNHCR, The Starbucks Foundation, and; The Center for Human Rights at Claremont McKenna College.

    After the fall of the Berlin wall, Peter moved to Berlin and lived in Europe for most of his twenties and early thirties. Peter was captain of his college football team. He is an Eagle Scout. He was raised in Southern California, where most of his family still lives. 

    Thum currently lives in New York City with his wife, actress Cara Buono, and their daughter.

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