SEATTLE – May 28, 2019 – Today the Giving Pledge announced that 19 philanthropists have joined the Giving Pledge since the previous year, bringing the total number of Giving Pledge signatories to 204 from 23 countries.
Now in its ninth year, the Giving Pledge continues to expand internationally with the addition of philanthropists from China, Norway, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, as well as the United States. Founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010, the Giving Pledge is a global, multi-generational commitment by some of the world’s wealthiest individuals and couples to give more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes, either during their lifetimes or in their wills.The new signatories announced today are:
- Tegan and Brian Acton
- Brian Armstrong
- Stewart and Sandy Bainum
- MacKenzie Bezos
- Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Bin Musallam Bin Ham Al-Ameri
- Ben Delo
- Jeremy and Hanne Grantham
- David and Claudia Harding
- Sonia and Paul Tudor Jones
- Ryan D. “Jume” Jumonville
- Erica and Jeff Lawson
- Francine A. LeFrak and Rick Friedberg
- Daoming Liu
- John and Marcy McCall MacBain
- Emily and Mitchell Rales
- Chris and Crystal Sacca
- Paul and Jennifer Sciarra
- Paul and Jennifer Sciarra
- Nicolai and Katja Tangen
- Robert and Jane Toll
“We are thrilled to welcome this year’s group of Giving Pledge signatories to the community, which has grown to more than 200 people in just nine years,” said Warren Buffett. “The generosity of this group is a reflection of the inspiration we take from the many millions of people who work quietly and effectively to create a better world for others, often at great personal sacrifice.”
Many of the new signatories to the Giving Pledge are already engaged in philanthropy, providing support to a range of causes including climate change, education, poverty alleviation, medical research, healthcare services, economic development, and social justice. These individuals and couples have come together from a wide range of fields — including finance, technology, healthcare and real estate development — to commit the majority of their wealth to tackling some of society's most pressing problems.
This week, the Giving Pledge signatories convene for an annual two-day learning conference to discuss their experiences in giving and to learn from each other and outside experts about how to be most effective with their philanthropy. Topics to be discussed at this year’s annual gathering include how philanthropy can make a difference in areas such as education, climate and clean energy, equity and access to health care, community development, and disaster relief. People who have joined the Giving Pledge are united by a shared commitment to learning and giving, and they participate in ongoing learning events throughout the year in addition to the annual conference.
About the Giving Pledge
The Giving Pledge is a global, multi-generational commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and couples that aims to create a greater culture of giving in order to help tackle society’s most pressing problems. Signatories of the Giving Pledge make a moral commitment to give more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes. They also come together to learn and share knowledge in order to continue to improve the effectiveness of philanthropic giving.
The 204 pledgers range in age from 33 to 95. Globally, signatories represent 23 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Monaco, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. In the United States, pledgers hail from 30 states and the District of Columbia, with the largest contingents from California and New York.
The Giving Pledge does not involve either pooling or granting funds or requirements to support any particular cause or organization.
For the full list of pledgers and their personal letters stating their commitment to give, visit www.givingpledge.org.
Biographies of New Pledgers
Tegan and Brian Acton, United States
Tegan and Brian Acton live in Palo Alto, CA with their young family. Brian is the Executive Chairman of the Signal Technology Foundation, which strives to make private communication accessible and ubiquitous. Tegan leads the family’s philanthropic work through three entities, collectively referred to as Wildcard Giving, which were created following the sale of WhatsApp to Facebook in 2014.
Tegan previously served as the Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives for the office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. She additionally held positions at Yahoo! and the Sundance Institute, and graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a BA in English and Political Science. Tegan heads Good Gravy Films, which provides grants and equity funding to independent films, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Brian has been an engineering leader throughout Silicon Valley, holding various positions at Adobe, Apple, and Yahoo! before co-founding WhatsApp with Jan Koum in 2009. After eight years at WhatsApp/Facebook, Brian left to start the Signal Technology Foundation in 2018. Brian graduated from Stanford University with a BS in Computer Science. Brian enjoys Ultimate Frisbee and building LEGO with his family.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“It is with gratitude that we find ourselves with this capacity to give. We are committed to our philanthropic endeavors and devote our time and energy to this work. We spend our days at organizations pursing different missions, but with a shared belief in an individual’s right to dignity, agency, justice, and self-determination.”
Brian Armstrong, United States
Brian Armstrong is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Coinbase, the world’s leading compliant cryptocurrency company. As CEO, Mr. Armstrong is responsible for Coinbase’s consumer and institutional arms, which offer an entire suite of products that make accessing cryptocurrencies easy and secure, in addition to new products that operate at the frontiers of crypto and blockchain.
Coinbase was founded in June 2012, and with the success of its flagship product, Coinbase Consumer, and the company’s vocal advocacy for blockchain technology, Coinbase has played a major part in mainstream awareness and adoption of cryptocurrency. Mr. Armstrong has led the company through over $525 million in funding from leading investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global Management, IVP, USV, DFJ and NYSE. Since its founding, Coinbase has grown to over 700 employees and has traded more than $220 billion in assets by over 30 million customers across more than 100 countries.
Mr. Armstrong holds three degrees from Rice University: Bachelor’s of Computer Science, Bachelor’s of Economics, and a Master’s of Computer Science.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“Whether it's through improving education, creating a more level playing field, or increasing economic freedom, I'm interested in helping more people see their ideas come to fruition in the world.”
Stewart and Sandy Bainum, United States
Stewart Bainum, Jr. is chairman of Choice Hotels International and Artis Senior Living. He joined his father’s Manor Care business in 1972, serving as chairman and CEO from 1987 to 1998. He has been Chairman of the Board of Choice Hotels (NYSE: CHH) since 1997. Stewart served eight years in the Maryland General Assembly as Delegate (1979-1983) and State Senator (1983-1987). Stewart and his wife Sandy live in Maryland, where they raised their two sons.
Sandy Bainum is a producer, actor, and singer. She began her career in David Merrick’s 42nd Street and has performed in regional theaters in Washington, DC and Los Angeles. She supports organizations focused on under-served children in the Washington area. Her favorite production ever: being a mom to her two sons.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“Historically we’ve preferred to quietly allocate our philanthropic capital. But we believe that joining 'The Giving Pledge' might motivate others to as well. We are especially proud that this pledge also expresses the wishes of our two sons, who share the belief that one’s highest calling is to make a difference in the lives of others.”
MacKenzie Bezos, United States
MacKenzie Bezos is the author of two novels, and the recipient of an American Book Award. She lives in Seattle with her four children.
MacKenzie has supported marriage equality through Washington United for Marriage, transitional housing for homeless families through the Day 1 Families Fund, college scholarships for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as minors through TheDream.US, and efforts to reduce political polarization through With Honor, a nonpartisan organization working to increase the number of veterans in political office.
She has funded cancer research through donations to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Alzheimer’s research through the Diagnostics Accelerator at the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation.
In 2013, she founded Bystander Revolution, an anti-bullying organization, where she serves as executive director.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“There are lots of resources each of us can pull from our safes to share with others — time, attention, knowledge, patience, creativity, talent, effort, humor, compassion. In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share. My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won’t wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty.”
Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Bin Musallam Bin Ham Al-Ameri, United Arab Emirates
Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Bin Musallam Bin Ham Al-Ameri, born in the city of Al Ain, UAE in 1972, is a businessman, philanthropist, author and former UAE Federal National Council member. He is the Deputy Secretary-General of the Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina against Malnutrition (IIMSAM), Deputy Chairman of the Bin Ham Group, President of the Foundation of Studies and Research, Former Member of the Federal National Council, Member of Al Ain Municipal Council, and the founder of (Aounak Ya Watan) volunteer team.
Dr. Mohammed carries on the work of his father, Sheikh Musallem Bin Salim bin Ham Al Ameri, and his grandfather Sheikh Salim bin Ham (may God have mercy on him), who stood by the late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, during the formation of the UAE. Dr. Mohammad published two books, one titled, “United Arab Emirates — Wise Governance” (2012) and the other “The Shura in the UAE,” published 2015, which is an analytical representation of the Emirati experience of commitment to Shura, as an approach to governance and also a way of life since ancient times. Dr. Sheikh Mohammed holds a master’s degree from the Grand Canyon University (USA) and a PhD degree from the University of Kent (United Kingdom). He is the recipient of several awards including the Mohammad Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence 2008 and 2011, Mahatma Gandhi Medallion Humanity Award and the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Ali Al Khalifa Award for Charity.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“Based on the principles of our Islamic religion and our inherent human values, I seek to harness our resources, capabilities and specialized competencies to continue to make many outstanding achievements in humanitarian, charitable and relief work around the world without discrimination between race and religion.”
Ben Delo, Hong Kong, China
Ben Delo is a computer scientist and co-founder of BitMEX, a derivatives trading platform for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. He graduated from the University of Oxford (Worcester College) in 2005 with a double first in Mathematics and Computer Science.
Delo began his career as a software engineer at IBM, where he was granted patents for several inventions. He then developed high-frequency trading systems at hedge funds and banks such as GSA Capital and J.P. Morgan. In 2018, when BitMEX became the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Delo became Britain’s youngest self-made billionaire.
Delo, an advocate of effective altruism, has focused his philanthropy on reducing global catastrophic risks and safeguarding future generations. He lives in Hong Kong with his wife Pan Pan Wong.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“My ambition now is to do the most good possible with my wealth. To me, this means funding work to safeguard future generations and protect the long-term prospects of humanity.”
Jeremy and Hanne Grantham, United States
Jeremy is co-founder and Chairman of the Board at GMO, an investment management company headquartered in Boston, MA. He is a Commander of the British Empire and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, both related to services to climate change.
Hanne received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Literature from Brandeis University. In 1998, Jeremy and Hanne established the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment which has an emphasis on international initiatives.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“This is a winnable war (against environmental damage) if we live up to our capabilities, but at the moment we are still losing. With your help we might perhaps just tip the balance.”
David and Claudia Harding, United Kingdom
David Harding has been at the forefront of systematic investment management for 30 years. He has founded two successful investment management companies: the first, AHL, was sold to Man Group in 1994; he launched the second, Winton, in 1997.
Born and bred in Bavaria, Claudia Harding has worked for 15 years in the investment management industry. She has worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers, HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Winton Group, in the fields of corporate governance, audit and internal controls.
David and Claudia’s philanthropic interests focus on funding scientific research and the communication of scientific ideas. In February 2019, they gave $130 million to Cambridge University, part of which will fund the Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme. Other notable gifts include donations to the Cavendish Laboratory, the Max Planck Institute in Berlin and the Science Museum in London.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“I have been fortunate enough to pursue a fascinating career in financial markets, which has led to our accumulating an unexpected level of wealth. Neither of us feels that we wish to pass on that level of wealth to our children, and our admiration for the ideals and aims of the pledgers has thus made it easy for us to sign up.”
Sonia and Paul Tudor Jones, United States
Paul and Sonia Jones have been married for 30 years and are the parents of four children. For decades, they have both actively been engaged in philanthropy across a range of issues including combating poverty, conserving the environment, and empowering underprivileged children through a focus on health and wellness. Paul is originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Sonia is originally from Sydney, Australia, and they currently reside in Palm Beach, Florida.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“We have found that all giving is joyous; true happiness, in fact, is impossible without generosity of money, time and/or talents. We emphasize time and talent because intellectual capital trumps financial capital every time. But it’s the spirit of generosity underlying all giving that can have the greatest impact.”
Ryan D. “Jume” Jumonville, United States
Ryan D. “Jume” Jumonville owns The Derbyshire Group, a privately held company with business interests in all 50 U.S. states and in 84 countries around the world.
Jumonville is also the Chairman and owner of United Networks of America (UNA). UNA is one of the largest healthcare companies in the United States with more than 240,000 participating providers serving over 120 million people in the U.S. and select U.S. territories.
Jumonville’s philanthropy is primarily focused on children’s healthcare. However, he has also provided homes for single mothers, scholarships for children of fallen U.S. military servicemen, and funded water wells in Africa. He is responsible for saving U.S. residents more than a billion dollars through various prescription assistance programs that he created. He has funded start-up costs for small businesses, research projects on major illnesses, donated more than a million meals to food banks, and much more.
The Jumonville family is also very supportive of animal rescue and conservation efforts. Ryan and his wife Raven have four children and eight rescue dogs.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“We are the “Human Race”, no man, woman, or child should ever be left behind! In that spirit, it is my duty and honor to join the Giving Pledge. I plan to continue working hard for the benefit of those in need. In the end, I hope that I can play a small part in leaving this world a better place for future generations.”
Erica and Jeff Lawson, United States
A serial entrepreneur and a software developer, Jeff Lawson is the CEO of Twilio, a company he co-founded in 2008 to bring communications into the world of software. Prior to Twilio, Jeff was co-founder & CTO of NineStar, founding CTO of Stubhub.com, co-founder, CEO & CTO of Versity, and one of the first product managers for Amazon Web Services. Jeff started his first company at age 12 doing event video production, DJ’d his way through college, and graduated from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Erica Lawson is a pediatric rheumatologist and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, where she provides care to children with autoimmune diseases, trains future pediatric rheumatologists, and conducts health outcomes research. Erica completed her BA at the University of Michigan, followed by an MD from Washington University in St. Louis, pediatric residency at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and pediatric rheumatology fellowship at UCSF.
Jeff and Erica were both born and raised in metro Detroit. They live in San Francisco with their two sons.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“We believe that every individual is entitled to health, opportunity and respect — regardless of the color of their skin, the location of their community, how they choose to worship, or whom they choose to love. We intend to leverage our good fortune to work towards the achievement of this vision.”
Francine A. LeFrak and Rick Friedberg, United States
Francine A. LeFrak is the President of the Francine A. LeFrak Foundation and the Same Sky Foundation Fund. A successful social entrepreneur, women’s rights advocate and philanthropist, Francine founded a trade initiative, Same Sky, to help women who were invisible become visible through the dignity of work. Her work with Same Sky began with survivors of the Rwandan genocide and continued in the U.S. with women who were recently released from prison and needed a second chance. As a social entrepreneur she has helped hundreds of women and girls to use their talents to find opportunities for success. Through job training programs and providing access to education, her foundations have paved pathways for people to rise out of poverty.
Before her work as a social entrepreneur, Francine had a successful career on Broadway and as a social issues film producer where she garnered multiple Tony, Emmy and Peabody awards.
In recognition of her humanitarian efforts, she received the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor from the French Government, the Women Together Award from the United Nations, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor (2009), and the Human Spirit Award from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Francine is a long-time member and Chair Emerita of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women’s Leadership Board.
Rick Friedberg is the President of Liberty Connections, Ltd., a consulting firm which provides strategic advice for business and non-profit organizations. Mr. Friedberg is also a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman specializing in high end residential properties in New York City. He was appointed by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani as Director of Advance and as Deputy Commissioner to the NYC Commission for the United Nations, Consular Corps and Protocol. Rick also served as Confidential Assistant to Governor Hugh L. Carey of New York.
Rick Friedberg serves on many prestigious boards including, The American Friends of Versailles, American Hospital in Paris Foundation, and NYC & Company. His previous board roles include serving as the Chairman of the NYC Police Museum and as a board member of the New York Pops and the Lighthouse Guild for the Blind. In 2010 he received the distinguished Ellis Island Medal of Honor.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“We have lived our lives championing those who may be overlooked or need a second chance. Through our Foundation, we focus on issues that directly impact women including criminal justice reform and re-entry, HIV/AIDS, gender equity, abuse and trafficking, homelessness, female entrepreneurship, as well as access to education and job skills training. Our goal is to give them the tools to transform their lives with dignity.
We are passionate about achieving these goals. It is an honor to be part of the Giving Pledge."
Daoming Liu, China
Mr. Daoming Liu was born in 1957, Honghu, Hubei, Han nationality, graduated from Wuhan Civil Construction College, master of engineering. He has won the honor of “2016 China Construction Industry Modernization Driving Force,” “2016 China Real Estate Brand Contributing Person,” “Boao Forum·2017-2018 Annual Social Responsibility Entrepreneur,” among others.
In 2016, he established Myhome foundation to build volunteer service stations in the community, organize training volunteers, and help the lonely, old and weak, poor people in the community.
Since 1990, he has donated more than 200 million yuan to social charity, and was elected as "Love China — the most influential 100 Charity characters in China" In 2004. He has long served as the honorary president of the Hubei Charity Federation and is committed to promoting the development of China's public welfare undertakings.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“A person, because of love, will be full of strength in the heart; an entrepreneur, because of social responsibility, will make life more meaningful.”
John and Marcy McCall MacBain, Switzerland
John and Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain are Canadian citizens living in Geneva, Switzerland. They founded the McCall MacBain Foundation in 2007 with proceeds from the sale of the controlling interest in Trader Classified Media, which Mr. McCall MacBain and his team grew over almost two decades from three small publications in Montreal into the world’s leading classified advertising company. The foundation focuses on initiatives in education, primarily scholarships, as well as climate change and health. In 2019, they founded the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill with the single-largest philanthropic gift in Canadian history and in 2013, they provided the largest gift to the Rhodes Scholarships.
Dr. McCall MacBain is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Evidence-based Medicine and the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford. Dr. McCall MacBain is Vice-Chair of the McCall MacBain Foundation. Dr. McCall MacBain is also a member of the Geneva Committee of Human Rights Watch and on the board of B2ten, an organization focused on promoting sport excellence in Canadian Olympic athletes and improved physical literacy in youth. Dr. McCall MacBain received her doctorate from the University of Oxford following studies at the London School of Economics and McMaster University in Canada.
Mr. McCall MacBain is Chair of the McCall MacBain Foundation, Founding Chair of the European Climate Foundation, Second Century Founder and Trustee Emeritus of the Rhodes Trust in Oxford, a director of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation in Cape Town, Chair of the McGill University Principal’s International Advisory Board, a member of the Advisory Board for the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and a Foundation Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford. Mr. McCall MacBain is an economics graduate of McGill University, a Rhodes Scholar with an MA in law from the University of Oxford and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Mr. McCall MacBain is an Officer of the Order of Canada.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“We believe that strong, dedicated and creative leadership is needed to address the world’s most pressing problems. We believe talent is found in every corner of the world, but that opportunities are not — and we want to reduce this gap. We pledge to give the majority of our wealth to philanthropic causes to provide greater benefit to our communities and our world by giving more, and by giving sooner.”
Emily and Mitchell Rales, United States
Emily Wei Rales is Director of Glenstone, a museum and foundation that seamlessly integrates art, architecture, and landscape on a 300-acre property in Potomac, Maryland. She oversees exhibition programming and acquisitions for Glenstone’s collection of postwar and contemporary art and has been integral to developing the unique visitor experience that focuses on slow and contemplative engagement with art. She also launched a school program that has welcomed more than 6,500 students since 2013. With her husband, co-founder Mitchell Rales, she conceived the vision for The Pavilions, a 204,000-square foot building designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners that opened to critical acclaim in October 2018. Admission to Glenstone will always be free. Emily serves on the board of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, an artist-founded and artist-led organization that promotes innovative work in the arts by funding grants and awards programs that directly support individual artists.
Mitchell P. Rales is Chairman of the Executive Committee of Danaher Corporation, co-founded in 1984 by Mitch and his brother Steven Rales. Danaher, which employs 62,000 associates and generates $20 billion in revenue, manufactures innovative products in the life sciences and diagnostics industries. Mitch is a Director of Fortive Corporation, a $7 billion in revenue industrial growth company focusing on instrumentation, infection control, and industrial software; and Chairman of Colfax Corporation, a $4 billion in revenue manufacturing and engineering company. In 2006, Mitch and his wife Emily founded Glenstone, a museum that seamlessly integrates art, architecture, and landscape on 300 acres in Potomac, Maryland. In 2018, The Pavilions, a 204,000-square foot building designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners, opened to critical acclaim. Mitch is a trustee of the National Gallery of Art and the Ruth and Norman Rales Foundation, which supports education and health initiatives for at-risk youth in urban areas.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to reallocate our wealth in order to make the world a better place. To date we have given more than two billion dollars to support our two main philanthropic causes: the arts and education. The arts not only enrich our lives but are essential to promoting understanding in our society. And the value of education continues to be one of the most important priorities that we feel compelled to champion.”
Chris and Crystal Sacca, United States
Chris and Crystal are partners in Lowercase Capital where they manage a portfolio of over seventy technology and consumer startups. Lowercase is primarily known for its early investments in companies like Twitter, Uber, Instagram, Twilio, Stripe, Kickstarter, and Blue Bottle, and is often acclaimed as one of the highest performing venture funds in history.
Yet in early 2017, Chris and Crystal announced they were stepping back from day-to-day investing, and Chris was leaving his role on Shark Tank, to focus exclusively on their ongoing efforts to rescue democracy, reform the criminal justice system, advance the plight of women and girls, and heal the planet in the midst of this climate emergency. The crises that confront humanity made it just too hard to continue with business as usual and they've since committed their full time, attention, and the majority of their wealth to pursue ambitious solutions to daunting issues.
Before Lowercase, Chris was an executive at Google Inc. and Crystal was a globally-renowned advertising creative who helped outfits like Audi, Intel, Barclays, HBO, Sprint, and even Napster speak to a worldwide audience with thought-provoking wit and insight.
Crystal is also a designer, artist, and author. Her wine book, The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert, was a New York Times Bestseller and Amazon #1. The follow-up book, The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Whiskey Know-It-All achieved resounding acclaim and is a surefire way to take the mystery out of whiskey.
Chris and Crystal live in the Rocky Mountains where they are raising three gutsy girls with a strong sense of service to others and the responsibility that comes with our shared humanity.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“We couldn't feel luckier to be able to dedicate the majority of our time and money to bold and ambitious efforts to ensure health, justice, and opportunity for all of humanity and the planet we share.”
Paul and Jennifer Sciarra, United States
Paul is a co-founder of Pinterest, and Executive Chairman at Joby Aviation. He was born in New Jersey and graduated from Yale University.
Nicolai and Katja Tangen, United Kingdom and Norway
Nicolai is the founder and CEO of AKO Capital, a leading European alternative investment firm. He earned a BA in Economics from Wharton and he currently serves as a member of the school’s Board of Overseers. Nicolai also has an MA in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and in 2017 he received a MSc. in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics. In 2013 Nicolai set up the AKO Foundation which supports various charitable initiatives, with a focus on the arts and education. Nicolai also serves as a Governor of London’s University of the Arts and has recently donated his collection of Nordic art to the Kunstsilo Art Museum in his hometown of Kristiansand, Norway.
Katja earned her BA in French Literature and Political Science from the University of Oslo and a MSc. in European Studies from the London School of Economics. She serves as a Trustee for the Hampstead Theatre and AKO Foundation. Katja and Nicolai live in London with their family.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“At the end of the day, this is not about Katja and myself or even about the AKO Foundation, it is about the sort of world we should be living in: a world which is fair, which gives and creates opportunities, and in which we all share.”
Robert and Jane Toll, United States Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“We are pleased to write this letter as signatories to the Giving Pledge. We have long subscribed to its principles and now wish to join the others of you who have made a public commitment to share their assets with others."