SEATTLE – May 30, 2018 – Today the Giving Pledge announced that 14 philanthropists joined the group throughout the previous year, bringing the total to 183 from 22 countries since the pledge began in 2010 with 40 American philanthropists.
Now in its eighth year, the philanthropy effort continues to expand internationally with the addition of philanthropists from Canada, India, the United Arab Emirates, as well as the United States. The multi-generational initiative, created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, invites the world’s wealthiest philanthropists to commit more than half of their wealth to charitable causes during their lifetimes or in their wills.The 14 new signatories announced today are:
- Aneel and Allison Bhusri – United States
- David G. Booth – United States
- Charles Butt – United States
- Garrett Camp – Canada
- Candy and Charlie Ergen – United States
- Mario and Regina Gabelli – United States
- Orion and Jackie Hindawi – United States
- Reid Hoffman and Michelle Yee – United States
- Badr Jafar and Razan Al Mubarak – United Arab Emirates
- Richard and Melanie Lundquist – United States
- Rohini and Nandan Nilekani – India
- Ernest and Evelyn Rady – United States
- Dr. B.R. Shetty and Dr. C.R. Shetty – United Arab Emirates
- Shamsheer and Shabeena Vayalil – United Arab Emirates and India
“Over the past eight years, we’ve been inspired by the dedicated philanthropists who have chosen to join the Giving Pledge, and this year’s group is no exception. They are passionate about using their wealth to help reduce inequities and improve the lives of everyone in the world,” said Warren Buffett. “We welcome their energy, enthusiasm, and creativity, and look forward to learning from them as we all work to ensure our giving makes a positive difference.”
Many of the new additions to the Giving Pledge are already actively engaged in philanthropy, providing support to a range of causes including education, poverty alleviation, medical and healthcare research, economic development, entrepreneurship, and advocacy and governance. They bring to philanthropy their expertise from fields such as finance, food retail, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, property development, technology and venture capital.
This week, the Giving Pledge group convened for its annual two-day learning conference to discuss their own experiences in giving and learn from outside experts about how to be most effective with their philanthropy. People who have joined the Giving Pledge are united by a shared commitment to learning and giving, and they participate in learning events throughout the year in addition to the annual conference. Topics discussed at this year’s annual gathering include how to help build effective grantee partnerships, data-driven giving, pros and cons of different philanthropic structures, and giving with family, as well as how philanthropy can make a difference on issues like education, clean water and sanitation, the opioid crisis, and supporting women leaders to improve health and economic outcomes globally.
About the Giving Pledge
The Giving Pledge is a global effort to help address society’s most pressing problems by encouraging the wealthiest individuals and families to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.
The 183 pledgers range in age from 32 to 94. Globally, signatories represent 22 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland and Taiwan), Cyprus, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Monaco, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States. In the United States, they are from 28 states and the District of Columbia, with the largest contingents from California and New York. Over the long-term, the Giving Pledge hopes to help shift the social norms of philanthropy toward giving more, giving sooner and giving smarter.
Pledge signatories come together throughout the year to discuss challenges, successes and failures, as well as how to be smarter about giving. The Giving Pledge does not involve direct appeals, pooling money, or requirements to support a particular cause or organization.
For the full list of pledgers and personal letters by many of these pledgers outlining their commitment to give, visit www.givingpledge.org.
Biographies of New PledgersAneel and Allison Bhusri, United States
Aneel Bhusri is co-founder and chief executive officer at Workday. He is also a member of the company's board of directors and served as chairman of the board from 2012 until May 2014. Aneel has been a leader, product visionary, and innovator in the enterprise software industry for more than 20 years.
In addition to his role at Workday, Aneel serves on the board of Intel and is an advisory partner at Greylock, a leading venture capital firm that he has been associated with since 1999. Before co-founding Workday in 2005, Aneel held a number of leadership positions at PeopleSoft, including senior vice president responsible for product strategy, business development and marketing, and vice chairman of the board.
Aneel holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and economics from Brown University. He is a Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.
As the founding partner of Lemonade Capital, Allison Thoreson Bhusri invests primarily in technology companies and entrepreneurs with fresh, bold ideas that solve real-world problems in ingenious new ways. She is also a member of Broadway Angels, an investment group made up of world-class investors and business executives. With over 20 years of business experience spanning both investing and operations, Allison recently led product teams in launching new ventures for eBay’s Business Incubation Group. Prior to eBay, Allison ran a very successful business unit at the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. Previously, she was an investor at J.P. Morgan Partners, where she focused on venture investments in enterprise technology companies. She began her career in 1995 as a corporate finance analyst at Morgan Stanley & Co., based in New York.
Allison earned a B.A. in Government from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She serves as a Trustee for Gateway Public Schools and The Hamlin School, and an Advisor to Reach Capital and the Dartmouth Entrepreneurs Network. She is originally from the Pacific Northwest, but today lives in San Francisco with her family.
David G. Booth, United States
David Booth founded Dimensional Fund Advisors, a global investment management firm, in 1981 and is the firm’s Executive Chairman.
David has won numerous awards for his accomplishments in applying financial theory and research to the practical world of asset management, particularly for his pioneering work in indexing and small capitalization investing. He is a member of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees, the University of Kansas Endowment Association Board of Trustees, and The Museum of Modern Art Board of Trustees.
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business was named in honor of David, where he also serves as a lifetime member of the school’s business advisory council. David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium at the University of Kansas was also named in his honor.
He received his MBA from the University of Chicago in 1971. He also holds an MS and a BA from the University of Kansas.
Charles Butt, United States
Charles Butt became responsible for his family’s business, H-E-B (a supermarket firm in Texas), in 1971.
His grandmother had started a tiny store in 1905 to support her family.
Her youngest child, Howard Edward Butt (H-E-B), delivered groceries from his mother’s store and became the entrepreneur.
Howard’s youngest son, Charles, was born in 1938 and worked in a small store from age eight. Becoming head of the company after Wharton, at 33, he has grown revenues from $400 million to $25 billion.
H-E-B’s 12.6 million weekly customers give it top share in its markets.
H-E-B, with 100,000 Partners and 400 stores — plus 14 food processing plants and 16 distribution facilities, is respected for their Partner and customer-oriented culture. Since 1933, the company has contributed 5% of pre-tax earnings to charity and, since 2015, 3% of Partner pay to their equity stake.
Charles’ personal philanthropy deals with public education, Pre-K-12.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“Over the past 30 years, my personal philanthropy has been increasingly focused on strengthening public education. I believe that a quality education for every child should be a preeminent national goal.”
Garrett Camp, Canada
Garrett Camp is the founder and CEO of Expa, a global network of entrepreneurs helping each other build companies. Since its creation, Expa has raised $150M to build new startups and has launched more than a dozen companies from its Startup Studio and Labs program. Garrett is also the co-founder and chairman of Uber, originally conceiving and designing its first version, and the founding CEO of StumbleUpon.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“Philanthropy isn’t just about donating money, but also sharing your advice or spending time solving important problems.”
Mario and Regina Gabelli, United States
Mario Gabelli is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GAMCO Investors, Inc. an investment management firm, and LICT Corp. He is Executive Chairman of Associated Capital Group, Inc.
Regina’s role at GAMCO is Director, Institutional Marketing. For over 30 years the Gabelli Family Foundation has focused primarily on giving to educational causes.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“‘The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have’ – Vince Lombardi. For me personally, Lombardi's words sum up my desire to give back to the ecosystem that helped me at every stepping stone of my life.”
Orion and Jackie Hindawi, United States
Orion Hindawi co-founded Tanium alongside his father in 2007 and held the company’s first CTO role. Today, Orion is CEO of Tanium, which provides critical security and IT management platforms to the top 10 banks in the US, the entire US Department of Defense, and over 50 of the Fortune 100.
Orion is married to Jackie Hindawi, who is a Duke University graduate and whose career accomplishments span education, nonprofit, and consulting. Orion and Jackie live in Piedmont, California, with their 3-year-old son, Isaac, and their one-year-old daughter, Daniella. Orion and Jackie are honored to commit themselves to the Giving Pledge.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“We've spent our lives enriched by the communities around us, and it’s a privilege to be able to give back to causes that can help the world around us be a safer and kinder place.”
Reid Hoffman and Michelle Yee, United States
Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn and Partner at Greylock Partners.
In 2003 Reid co-founded LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking service. LinkedIn is thriving with more than 500 million members around the world. Previously, Reid was a founding board member of PayPal.
In 2009 Reid joined Greylock Partners. He focuses on building products that can reach hundreds of millions of participants and businesses that have network effects. Investments include Airbnb, Aurora, Convoy, Entrepreneur First, and others.
In philanthropy, he serves on a number of not-for-profit boards, including CZI Biohub, DoSomething, Endeavor, and Kiva. As part of social impact investing, Reid has lead investments in Change.org, Segovia, and other technology b-corps with social missions.
Hoffman is the host of Masters of Scale, an original podcast series. He is also the co-author of two books: The Start-Up of You and The Alliance. His forthcoming book is Blitzscaling, on how Silicon Valley builds global companies.
Michelle Yee, Ed.D., Educator.
Michelle Yee is a geek-goth, late-bloomer, and contented introvert. After graduating with Honors in Linguistics at Stanford University in the previous millennium, Michelle completed her doctorate in education in 2014 at the University of San Francisco with an emphasis on international human rights education.
As a former pediatric speech-language pathologist, Michelle worked in early intervention and pre-school programs — in both clinic and home settings — to serve children (ages birth to five years) with speech and language disorders. She served on the Board of the Exploratorium in San Francisco from 2012-2015, co-chairing their Education Committee, and currently serves as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Disability Rights Division of Human Rights Watch.
In her spare time, she enjoys uninterrupted solitude, sky-gazing, making upcycled items, writing and savoring poetry, contemplative painting, and long walks outside that meander towards ineffable wonder.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“Philanthropy. The love of humanity: the love of the potential for compassion, love, and life. Critical both at scale, and at each moment with each individual. For us, philanthropy aims to enable people to realize their best selves. It is important for us to note, however, that philanthropy also seeks more than simply outcomes. It is also a form of community engagement. This engagement is a partnership between multiple stakeholders, the most important being the members of the community directly affected by the engagement.”
Badr Jafar and Razan Al Mubarak, United Arab Emirates
Badr Jafar is CEO of Crescent Enterprises and President of Crescent Petroleum, headquartered in the UAE.
In 2010, Badr founded the Pearl Initiative, a non-profit organization in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Partnerships to promote a corporate culture of transparency and accountability across the Gulf Region of the Middle East. He is an appointed member of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing to develop solutions to the growing humanitarian crisis.
Badr sits on the Global Board of Education for Employment (EFE), is a member of the Synergos Arab World Social Innovators Program Board of Governors, serves on the Boards of Advisors of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre and Gaza Sky Geeks, and is Chairman of Endeavor UAE.
Badr is active with higher education institutions, serving as a member of the Advisory Boards of Cambridge University Judge Business School, American University of Beirut and American University of Sharjah. He is a member of the Research and Innovation Advisory Council for The Centre of Excellence for Applied Research & Training (CERT) at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi.
Badr was honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“Recognizing the rapid generational shifts occurring in ‘developing’ markets, including the Middle East, my philanthropic activities are built around this urgency to promote a culture of strategic high-impact philanthropy as an imperative for private resources to serve public good.”
Richard and Melanie Lundquist – United States
Richard and Melanie Lundquist are native Angelenos and are graduates of the University of Southern California. They are the owners of Continental Development Corporation, a commercial development company based in Southern California. Along with numerous philanthropic investments in healthcare and other charitable endeavors, Richard and Melanie co-founded the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a non-profit devoted to the transformation of K-12 public schools (non-charter). The Partnership’s purpose is to reform a systemically-failing educational system. The three guiding principles in creating a solution of this magnitude are capacity, scalability, and sustainability. Over the past eleven years, with the proven feasibility and efficacy of the Partnership’s innovative educational paradigm, it is positioned to become a national model of transformation.
Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“For us, philanthropy is the meaning of life and also what gives our lives true meaning. Our philanthropic journey has been our richest experience. The Partnership for Los Angeles Schools is an example of a public/private partnership. Public dollars alone can no longer sustain our society. We are grateful to be participating in the solutions that will not let poverty equal destiny.”
Rohini and Nandan Nilekani, India
Nandan Nilekani is Co-Founder and Chairman of Infosys. He and Rohini are the Co-Founders of EkStep, a not-for-profit effort to create a learner-centric Societal Platform by increasing access to learning opportunities for over 200 million children in the primary years. He was most recently the Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in the rank of a Cabinet Minister. He received the 22nd Nikkei Asia Prize for Economic & Business Innovation in 2017.
Rohini Nilekani is Founder-Chairperson, Arghyam, a foundation she set up for sustainable water and sanitation, which funds initiatives all across India. From 2004 to 2014, she was Founder-Chairperson and chief funder of Pratham Books, a non-profit children’s publisher that reached millions of children during her tenure. In 2017, she was inducted as Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“We thank Bill and Melinda for creating this unique opportunity to realise a moral aspiration inspired by the Bhagwad Gita — ‘Karmanye Va dhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana, Ma karma phalaheturbhurma Te Sangostvakarmani’. We have a right to do our duty but no automatic right to the fruits from the doing. It is critical that we do not slip into inaction fearing that we may not be able to reap direct reward. It is to this ideal that we pledge.”
Ernest and Evelyn Rady, United States
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Ernest and Evelyn Rady moved to San Diego, CA in 1966. Mrs. Rady was a social worker for many years before retiring. Mr. Rady is the founder, President and CEO of American Assets Trust (NYSE: AAT) and founder and Chairman of Insurance Company of the West. The Radys’ charitable gifts have helped establish the Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine, the Rady School of Management at UCSD, and the Rady Residence at The Salvation Army Door of Hope Rady Campus, and benefitted many other important causes.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“Personally, there are four things for which I am most grateful…Because of these and other blessings, Evelyn and I believe it is important to share our good fortune with others, and we are pleased to join the Giving Pledge.”
Dr. B.R. Shetty and Dr. C.R. Shetty, United Arab Emirates
Dr. B.R. Shetty is a serial entrepreneur, pillar of the community and social servant. As a businessman, he founded NMC Health plc, one of the largest healthcare organizations in the world across 13 countries. NMC is part of the FTSE100 index. He started Finablr and led it to become the world’s leading money remittance company through UAExchange and the leading global forex retailer with Travelex. He founded Neopharma, a fast-growing global pharmaceutical company and in the food space acquired Royal Catering and ADVOC.
Dr. Shetty strongly believes that healthcare and education will transform emerging markets. He started BR Life, his healthcare company focused on people below the poverty line in India, Egypt and Nepal. He runs and supports educational institutions across the UAE and India, including for children with special needs. He has supported victims of natural and human calamities across the world.
His business accomplishments and exceptional social work have earned him the ‘Order of Abu Dhabi’, the ‘Padma Shri award’ and the ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Samman’ awards.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“It is a crime when you are able to help others and choose not to...”
Shamsheer and Shabeena Vayalil, United Arab Emirates and India
Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil is a doctor, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the Founder and Managing Director of UAE-based VPS Healthcare, one of the leading healthcare groups in the region, with 22 hospitals and over 125 medical centers in four countries, as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical plants in the UAE. Shamsheer is also the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of UAE-based Amanat Holdings — the region’s largest healthcare and education investment company. He is actively engaged in numerous economic, social, and philanthropic initiatives. Shamsheer is a member of the UAE Medical Council; member of the Advisory Committee of University of Sharjah’s College of Medicine; and member of the Kerala NRI Commission — a commission with quasi-judicial powers set up in the Indian state of Kerala to protect the rights of Non-Resident Indians. He has also led the charge for Indian expatriates to be given the right to vote from overseas in India’s elections. Shamsheer and his wife, Shabeena, live in Abu Dhabi with their three sons and daughter.Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
“For us, success means having created something that can make a positive and sustainable difference in the lives of people.”