Alisa Swidler plays cards with Bill Clinton and has Charlize Theron on speed dial. She parties with the Prime Minister and hobnobs with Boris Johnson. But it’s all for a good cause, she tells Alex Preston.
Two years ago, when her son Ash was 12, Alisa Swidler took him to visit Bill Clinton at the headquarters of the former president’s charitable foundation in Little Rock, Arkansas.
While they were there, they ran into Dr Raj Panjabi, co-founder of Last Mile Health, a charitable organisation providing medical aid to remote communities in the developing world. Ash asked Panjabi what his charity needed most; the answer was first-aid kits.
‘So when people came to dinner, or to a party here, we’d ask them to bring first-aid kits instead of wine or flowers,’ his mother tells me, with a small, self-deprecating grin. ‘I mean, I don’t need another bottle of Dom. We ended up with more than 5,000 kits.’