Covergirl Jean Shafiroff In Hampton Sheet

Story By Tripp Whetsell For Hamptons Sheet -- When it comes to giving back, philanthropist, humanitarian and author Jean Shafiroff has long stood out as a powerful leader—and she continues to distinguish herself time and time again as someone to watch closely in the future.

So far this spring, Jean has served as co-chair of the New York City Mission Society Gala and hosted two separate cocktail parties for Surgeons of Hope and the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, with even more high-profile events planned throughout the summer as the Hamptons fundraising season heads into full swing. In July, she will chair the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation’s Gala and then the Ellen Hermanson Foundation Gala.

Also, in July she will officially join the board of the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital Foundation, making this her eighth board appointment. Additionally, in August, Jean, who has chaired the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital Gala three times, will be honored along with her husband Martin at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s 61th Annual Summer Party.

When the fall begins, Jean will be hosting and chairing events for a number of other charities, including Surgeons of Hope and the French Heritage Society. While indeed, 2019 is certainly shaping up to be one of her most productive years yet, orchestrating and maintaining such a full schedule is nothing new for Jean.

Jean Shafiroff In Her Park Ave Apartment

For the elegantly turned out, two-time Columbia University graduate – who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy from Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and an MBA from Columbia Business School – giving back has long been her life’s calling and few people know the meaning of hard work better than Jean. It is this tireless devotion to the causes she believes in that has made her so successful and revered in the philanthropy world in addition to her indomitable spirit and passion.

Named “the First Lady of Philanthropy” of New York by both Hello and !Hola! magazines, she is one of the most successful and visible volunteer fundraisers and donors on behalf of countless charities throughout Manhattan, Long Island’s East End and now internationally. Dividing her time between homes on the Upper East Side and Southampton, Jean is renowned for hosting elegant and unforgettable A-list galas, lectures, brunches and luncheons for a myriad of diverse causes, just some of which include helping the underprivileged, universal healthcare, women’s rights and animal welfare.

Jean Shafiroff Stunning In Dark Pink

Over the years, she has served as the chair and host of galas for the New York Women’s Foundation, Southampton Hospital, NYC Mission Society, American Heart Association, Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, French Heritage Society, Culture Council, JBFCS, American Cancer Society, Ellen Hermanson Foundation, UNCF, Southampton Bath and Tennis Club’s Charitable Foundation and the Viennese Opera Ball.

Jean has also been honored by countless different charities for her philanthropy and dedication, just some of which include the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, NYC Mission Society, JBFCS Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, Youth Counseling League, the Hadassah, the NY Dominicans Women’s Foundation, NYC Film Festival and Surgeons of Hope.

Aiming to inspire others to become more philanthropic by showing them how to take a similar path, Jean is also the author of the book Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life by What You Give, which as been called “the ultimate guidebook on giving.” “We have an obligation to see the need in the world and address that demand,” she says.

In addition to her impeccable academic credentials and philanthropic prowess, Jean is equally well known as one of the best-dressed hosts who is also regarded among America’s top party givers. She has graced many best-dressed lists for her style and for her extensive ball gown collection. More recently, in 2018 she was listed one of the 12 best dressed women of the world by The Daily Fashion Report. In January 2019, she was listed by the as one of 2019’s top 100 American party givers.

Jean Shafiroff In Rome

Summing up her passion for fashion and style, Jean explains: “Style is an expression of oneself. When I’m well-dressed, I feel good. Fashion is a highly creative form of art. I am in awe of the incredible vision of so many of our present-day fashion designers. My involvement on the board of the Couture Council of the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology has expanded my knowledge and love of the world of fashion. To wear and own the creations of some of our great fashion designers is a great privilege. For the past several years, I have also been collecting ball gowns. Most are the creations of American designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Zac Posen, Zang Toi, Carolina Herrera, B Michael and Victor dE Souza. Many are couture pieces. One day I plan to donate my collection to a museum. I look forward to that day. In the meantime, I am enjoying the experience of wearing them.

Jean’s two daughters and her husband Martin are also very involved in philanthropy. A few years ago, her youngest daughter co-founded her own charity called Global Strays, which strives to promote and improve animal welfare in countries that don’t have the proper resources to do it on their own. Jean is an active board member of Global Strays, which currently funds animal rescue groups in Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Columbia.

Recognizing the need to promote philanthropy through multiple platforms, Jean views social media as yet another important vehicle for garnering support of various charities and encouraging others to donate their resources and volunteer their time. Towards that end, she currently has over 120,000 followers on Instagram alone. Besides supporting her favorite causes though social media, another passion of Jean’s is helping to promote up-and-coming designers in her social media posts. Her humanitarian philosophy is apparent in everything she does.

“I believe we are not just put on this earth to just to consume and just to provide for ourselves and our immediate families,” she says. “We have an obligation to help those that have less than we do. When we share our resources, we come closer to understanding the true meaning of life.”

To learn more about Jean, her favorite charities and her philanthropic activities this summer, follow her on Instagram @jeanshafiroff.

Photos Courtesy Of Shafiroff Collection / Hampton Sheet / Joan Jeddell