The Giving Pledge Welcomes 14 New Signatories

Global community now includes 231 philanthropists from 28 countries

Press Release

DECEMBER 14, 2021 AT 6:00 A.M. PST / 9:00 A.M. EST

SEATTLE – December 14, 2021 – Today the Giving Pledge announced that 14 philanthropists have joined the Giving Pledge since December 2020, bringing the total number of signatories to 231 from 28 countries.

Now in its 11th year, the Giving Pledge is a global, multi-generational commitment by some of the world’s wealthiest individuals and couples to give the majority of their wealth to charitable causes, either during their lifetimes or in their wills. The Giving Pledge aims to catalyze a movement that will help shift the norms around wealth and giving on a global scale – including encouraging wealthy people to give more, establish their giving plans sooner, and give with greater impact.

The newest signatories are:

  • Anil Agarwal (India)
  • Jon and Helaine Ayers (United States)
  • Ric and Brenda Elias (United States)
  • Jeff T. Green (United States)
  • Jared and Monica Isaacman (United States)
  • Bongjin Kim and Bomi Sul (South Korea)
  • Miseon Hyeong and Beom-su Kim (South Korea)
  • Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht (Australia)
  • Jack and Renate Schuler (United States)
  • Steven Schuurman (The Netherlands)
  • Ben and Divya Silbermann (United States)
  • Byron and Tina Trott (United States)
  • David Vélez and Mariel Reyes (Brazil, Colombia, and Peru)
  • Patti Bao and Tony Xu (United States)

Bill Gates, who founded the Giving Pledge together with Melinda French Gates and Warren Buffett, said, “I’ve always believed that if you're in a position to help somebody, you should do it. It’s great to welcome this new group of philanthropists to the Giving Pledge community as we continue to learn from each other and find new ways to maximize the positive impact of our philanthropy.”

Melinda French Gates said, “I’m inspired to see how the Giving Pledge has grown into a movement of over 230 philanthropists from around the world who are committed to giving away the vast majority of their wealth to address some of the most pressing issues in our society.”

Many of the newest signatories to the Giving Pledge are already deeply engaged in philanthropy, providing support to a wide range of causes including poverty alleviation, climate change, education, medical research, disaster relief, gender equality, social justice, and wildlife protection.

A recurring theme in the letters from this year’s Giving Pledge signatories is a desire to not only use their wealth for good, but also to grow philanthropy and strengthen traditions of giving in new geographies and among future generations – so that more resources are directed towards improving the lives of others and addressing complex challenges.

About the Giving Pledge

The Giving Pledge is a global, multi-generational commitment by some of 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 public, moral commitment to give the majority 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 and impact of their philanthropic giving.

The 231 Pledgers range in age from 34 to 98. Globally, signatories represent 28 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Cyprus, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, the 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. Signatories of the Giving Pledge pursue their philanthropy independently but come together frequently to exchange ideas and learn.

For the full list of pledgers and their personal letters stating their commitment to give, visit

Biographies of New Pledgers

Anil Agarwal, India

Anil Agarwal is the Founding Chairman of Vedanta Resources Limited, a global diversified natural resources company. He was born in the eastern Indian city of Patna in 1954 and travelled to Mumbai at the age of 19 to begin his journey as an entrepreneur. Since then, Anil has lived and worked in three continents, acquiring expertise in turning around underperforming assets. His success in two former state-owned companies, HZL and BALCO, is the subject of study in business schools in India and abroad.

For Anil, business is an instrument for nation building and giving back to society. He firmly believes that India can be prosperous only when it empowers its women and invests in its children. Nand Ghar, his dream project, is a network of model early childhood care centers which aims to directly uplift 100 million women and children at the grassroots level by providing them holistic health, nutrition and skills. It is Anil’s view that business only flourishes when it is embedded in communities and society.

Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:

"I am keen to build a world-class ecosystem around early childhood development and nutrition which would, in the long run, ensure that all children get the opportunities and a level playing field to reach their full potential, irrespective of the background they come from."


Jon and Helaine Ayers, United States

Jon and Helaine graduated from Yale University in 1978 with degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry and economics respectively. They married in 1982.

In 2002, Jon was recruited to IDEXX Laboratories where he succeeded the founder as Chairman and CEO. From the start of his tenure in 2002 through mid-2021, IDEXX’s annual revenue grew from $380 million to $3 billion, and its annual share price has enjoyed a more than 100-fold increase.

After experiencing a serious cycling crash that left him paralyzed, in October of 2019 Ayers rolled off his role as CEO of IDEXX while remaining a board member.

In 2021, Jon was elected chairman of the board of Panthera, an NGO devoted exclusively to the conservation of 40 species of wild cats around the world.

After Yale, Helaine graduated from Chicago Business School and enjoyed a career on Wall Street focused on fixed income derivatives. Since that time she has qualified for a Certified Financial Planner and runs the family office.

Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:

"Humanity has a limited amount of time to turn the tide and make conservation of nature an unwavering societal priority. It is an altogether achievable mission..."


Ric and Brenda Elias

Ric and Brenda Elias have been married for 24 years and are the proud parents of two children.

A native of Puerto Rico, Ric graduated from Boston College and Harvard Business School. In 2000, he co-founded Red Ventures – which in 2021, The New York Times dubbed “America’s biggest media company you’ve never heard of.” He was 2011’s Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year, and RV has ranked amongst Charlotte’s “Best Places to Work” for ten years.

Brenda is active in the Charlotte community – dedicated to helping local youth, reshaping the foster care system, and improving public education.

Together, they are passionate about promoting economic mobility for underserved young adults. Ric founded several non-profits, including Road to Hire and Golden Door Scholars, as well as social enterprise Forward787 in Puerto Rico. They recently donated $5M to Johnson C. Smith University to advance more leaders of color.

Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:

"We hope to be able in our lifetimes and beyond to have some impact on those who have been less fortunate than us… Our goal is simple; lead with giving."


Jeff T. Green, United States

Jeff Green is the Founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of The Trade Desk, Inc., a technology company that empowers buyers of advertising through data-driven decisioning. Hundreds of billions of impressions are bought on The Trade Desk platform every year by leading agencies and brands. Following a successful IPO in 2016 (NASDAQ: TTD), the company’s stock has risen more than 5,000%. Today the company is ranked by Fortune as number 6 on its 100 Fastest Growing Companies, and is also included on its Fortune Future 50 list.

Green built The Trade Desk as a second-generation demand-side platform, positioning it at the center of digital advertising’s trading future by offering efficient, transparent technology. Among the first programmatic ad partners of Facebook’s ad exchange, Apple, Spotify, Comcast, and CBS, The Trade Desk has been recognized by Business Insider, Crain’s, Deloitte, Forbes, Fortune, Glassdoor, and others as both fast-growing and one of the best places to work.

The American Marketing Association named Green one of the ‘4 under 40’ emerging marketing leaders and California State University Channel Islands recognized him as 2017 Technology Leader of the Year. Green and co-founder Dave Pickles were also named 2017 Entrepreneurs of the Year by Ernst & Young. A recognized digital marketing and advertising expert, Green regularly appears in national media, including Bloomberg TV, Business Insider, CNBC, Fox Business, NPR, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. In 2017, Green appeared on 60 Minutes to share data with consumers about how to avoid fake news.

Prior to The Trade Desk, Green founded AdECN, which he built in 2004 as the world’s first online advertising exchange. As COO, he led all strategy, product, and business development. AdECN was acquired by Microsoft in 2007 and Green spent two years at Microsoft Online Services Division overseeing all reseller and channel partner business, including ad monetization for Facebook, MSNBC, MSN, Fox Sports, and others.

Green has also played a leadership role in the digital advertising industry, serving on the Networks and Exchanges Quality Assurance Guidelines Committee for the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), leading working groups that established rules and best practices for acquiring inventory, and setting data transaction standards. He currently serves on the Global Board of Directors of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA).

Green has served on the boards of several advertising and technology companies in the U.S. and Europe and served as an advisor to multiple companies. Green resides in Ventura County, California.

Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:

"My family foundation and its giving arm—Dataphilanthropy—is dedicated to the mission that passionate, yet data-driven, rational philanthropy is the most effective way to deploy capital against humanity’s toughest problems. We will invest in projects where we can apply data to understand progress, mistakes, and opportunities. We will invest in communities, business and people with both time and money, and where that essential combination of resources can help us achieve progress at scale."


Jared and Monica Isaacman, United States

Jared Isaacman is the CEO of Shift4 Payments (NYSE: FOUR), the leader in integrated payment processing solutions. He is an accomplished pilot rated to fly commercial and military aircraft and was the commander of Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission to space.

Inspiration4 took place September 15-18, 2021, and marked several important milestones in human spaceflight history. The mission was named Inspiration4 in recognition of the four-person crew’s mission to inspire support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® and send a humanitarian message of possibility. The journey lasted three days, reached an orbital altitude of approximately 585 km (364 mi) and was the highest of any crewed flight in twenty years. Inspiration4 represented a new era for human spaceflight and exploration while raising over $240,000,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®.

Isaacman founded Shift4 Payments in 1999 at the age of 16, in the basement of his parent’s home. Today, Shift4 handles more than $200 billion in payments annually for a third of the country’s restaurants, hotels, and casinos. Shift4 provides technology solutions for more than 200,000 businesses and has over a dozen offices across the U.S. and Europe. In 2020, Shift4 Payments went public on the New York Stock Exchange and currently trades under the ticker symbol FOUR.

In 2012, Isaacman co-founded Draken International, a provider of tactical aviation services for all branches of the U.S. Military, Department of Defense and global allied militaries. With a fleet of 150 tactical fighter aircraft, Draken owns and operates the world’s largest commercial fleet of ex-military aircraft to support military training objectives around the globe. Isaacman sold the company in 2019 to The Blackstone Group and remained CEO until early 2020.

Isaacman holds several world records, including a Speed-Around-The-World flight to raise money and awareness for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. He has flown in over 100 airshows as part of the Black Diamond Jet Team, dedicating every performance to a charitable cause. As part of Inspiration4’s public outreach, Isaacman made a personal $125 million commitment to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®.

Isaacman currently resides in Pennsylvania with his wife, Monica Isaacman and their two children.

Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:

"I know how lucky my family and I have been and there are so many less fortunate in the world. I can’t imagine going through life without trying to make the world a better place than we found it. It doesn’t feel like something optional to me, but an obligation and one some of us should shoulder more than others."


Bongjin Kim and Bomi Sul, South Korea

Bongjin Kim is a South Korean entrepreneur who pioneered the “food-tech” industry in Korea and beyond. In 2000, he founded Woowa Brothers Corp., which operates the country’s leading online food delivery service “Baedal Minjok(Baemin),” and led the growth of the start-up to a “unicorn” that later became a part of the global Delivery Hero group. He is now bringing his vision and insight to a broader Asian-Pacific region as the Chairman & Executive Director of Woowa DH Asia Pte. Ltd.

Kim, who started his career as a designer, has shown a unique management style for his company’s customer-oriented business approach, combined with eye-catching marketing and branding campaigns as well as endless technological innovations. Kim and his company have earned a number of prominent awards and recognition from the government, mostly for endeavors to make a better workplace with gender equality and a family-friendly environment. He is not only an ardent reader of books from various fields but an author of bestselling books.

Bomi Sul, who once founded a social networking service, was an entrepreneur herself up until the mid-2010s, but now has more interest in community work and philanthropy. She has been a strong supporter for Kim even in times of financial difficulties. Kim and Sul, who have three children, became the Giving Pledge signatories together in early 2021 with the belief that "this pledge is the greatest inheritance that we could provide for our children."

Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:

"We are certain that this pledge is the greatest inheritance that we could provide for our children."


Miseon Hyeong and Beom-su Kim, South Korea

Born in Seoul in 1966, Beom-su Kim is Korea’s leading innovator and entrepreneur. He earned his bachelor & master’s degrees in industrial engineering from Seoul National University. After working at the Samsung SDS (the ICT subsidiary of Samsung Group), he founded Hangame, a company for game services in 1998.

From 2000, he served as the co-president of NHN Corp., which resulted from the merger of Hangame and (now Naver). In 2010, he founded Iwilab (now Kakao). Kakao has grown to become one of Korea’s biggest IT companies, representing the mobile era.

Currently, he serves as Kakao’s chairman. He believes in a better world where we can solve social issues through innovation and creativity. With the mission to make a better world with people and technology, he discovers new talents, cultivates entrepreneurs, and engages in various social activities.

Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:

"With this pledge as our starting point, my wife and I will engage in efforts to address social issues in the areas that businesses cannot reach. We dream of working together with innovators to make a better world."


Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, Australia

Melanie Perkins is CEO and cofounder of Canva, an online platform created to empower the world to design. Since launching in 2013, Canva has grown to over 65 million users across 190 countries, with more than 120 designs created every second.

Melanie started her first company at the age of 19, creating an online design tool for creating school yearbooks. As the company grew and design became an increasingly universal need across almost every industry, Melanie went on to launch what would later become the first version of Canva.

Cliff Obrecht is the COO and cofounder of Canva, an online platform created to empower the world to design. Since launching in 2013, Canva has grown to over 65 million users across 190 countries, with more than 120 designs created every second.

Cliff got his start in business in 2007, after graduating from a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education at the University of Western Australia. Together with co-founder Melanie Perkins, he founded Fusion Books, an online design tool for school yearbooks. As the company grew and design became an increasingly universal need across almost every industry, he and Melanie went on to launch what would later become the first version of Canva.

Today, Canva is valued at US$40 billion and continues towards its two-step plan:
  1. To build one of the world’s most valuable companies, and
  2. To do the most good we can
Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:

"We have this wildly optimistic belief that there is enough money, goodwill, and good intentions in the world to solve most of the world’s problems. We feel like it’s not just a massive opportunity, but an important responsibility and we want to spend our lifetime working towards that."


Jack and Renate Schuler, United States

Mr. Schuler retired from Abbott Laboratories as President and Chief Operating Officer in 1989. That year he was one of the founding investors in Ventana Medical Systems and Stericycle, where he served as Chairman for many years. Ventana was sold to Roche Holding AG in 2008 for $3.4 billion.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for biotechnology companies Accelerate Diagnostics, Inc. and Biodesix. He previously served on the Board of Directors for Abbott, Medtronic, ICOS and Quidel Corporation, a leader in point-of-care rapid diagnostic tests.

Currently, Mr. Schuler is Co-Founder of the Schuler Education Foundation which seeks to positively impact individuals and communities by investing in high-achieving underrepresented students and top-tier liberal arts colleges. The Foundation does this through the Schuler Scholar Program and most recently the Schuler Access Initiative which will invest $500 million to expand enrollment for undocumented and Pell-eligble students at highly selective liberal arts colleges. With the colleges being asked to match funds, the Access Initiative will generate a $1 billion investment for this underserved population.

Mr. Schuler received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Administration.

Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:

"Joining The Giving Pledge and channeling the resources I was so fortunate to earn enables me to impact underserved communities and undocumented students. I hope it will create a ripple effect of opportunity for generations to come."


Steven Schuurman, The Netherlands

Steven is an internationally acclaimed high-tech entrepreneur and CEO. He is best known for founding two successful open-source software companies, SpringSource (acquired by VMware in 2009) and Elastic (NYSE: ESTC). In 2016, Steven co-founded the Hollywood-based media and entertainment company Atlantis Entertainment. Steven is also the founder and chairman of the FutureNL foundation and serves on the board of the Rijksmuseum. Currently, Steven is devoting all of his time and resources to protecting and preserving the planet for future generations.

Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:

"There is a limit to how much wealth one person can or should ever consume in his or her lifetime. If you have more than you need, giving back seems like the logical course of action."


Ben and Divya Silbermann, United States

Ben and Divya live in San Francisco with their two sons. Ben is co-founder and CEO of Pinterest, a visual discovery tool that helps people get inspiration for their lives. Ben attended Yale and grew up in Des Moines, Iowa.

Divya currently works on Tambourine, the family's newly formed philanthropic entity. Previously, Divya started a leadership coaching practice after a career in Human Resources at Facebook and Eventbrite. Divya graduated from Clark University and grew up in Bangalore, India.


Byron and Tina Trott, United States

Byron D. Trott is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of BDT & Company, a merchant bank that provides advice and long-term capital through its affiliated funds to help family-and founder-led businesses pursue their strategic and financial objectives. Prior to founding BDT & Company in 2009, Byron had a distinguished 27-year career at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he was Vice Chairman of the global Investment Banking Division from 2005-2009. Byron is a director of Cox Enterprises, Enterprise Holdings, Inc., Tory Burch LLC, Acrisure Holdings, Culligan International, and GoodLeap. Byron also serves on the board of trustees of the University of Chicago, the Center for Strategic & International Studies, and Conservation International. In 2011, Byron was inducted into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, and having served as President and Chairman, he now serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Association. Byron received an AB from the University of Chicago and an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

A passionate advocate for the welfare of children, Tina L. Trott serves on the Board of Directors of UNICEF Midwest and the International Council, and has helped to raise vital funds for UNICEF’s child survival and development programs. She has made field visits to Guatemala, Panama, and Jordan’s Zaatari Refugee Camp to see first-hand the impact UNICEF is having on the lives of children. Tina was raised in Ohio and worked for Eastern and United Airlines for 10 years. She is a board member of the Education Committee at the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Integrative Medicine Council at Northwestern University Hospital.

In the realm of education, Tina and Byron have established scholarship programs at the University of Chicago, the Horatio Alger Association, and rootEd Alliance. These programs offer advisory support as well as scholarships to low-income students from rural populations who have displayed integrity and perseverance in overcoming adversity. At The Ohio State University, where Tina earned a BS in English, Tina and Byron established the Schumaker Complex (named for her parents) which provides a state-of-the-art facility for the nutritional, physical, and psychological development of student-athletes on 33 teams.

Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:

"Our family is unanimous in and motivated by this commitment to put the majority of our wealth to work in philanthropic endeavors. It may be the most important work that we will do together and if done right, should certainly be the most rewarding."


David Vélez and Mariel Reyes, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru

Mariel Reyes Milk is the founder and CEO of {reprograma}, a Brazil-based social startup that trains marginalized women in computer programming and supports them on the job placement front. Before starting {reprograma}, Mariel worked for the IFC in Latin America and Asia based in Peru, the Philippines and Brazil. Mariel is Peruvian-American and has a BA in Economics from Santa Clara University and MSc in Environment and Development from the LSE.

David Vélez is the Founder and CEO of Nubank, one of the world's largest digital banking platforms. Before founding Nubank in Brazil in 2013, David was a Partner at Sequoia Capital in charge of the firm’s Latin American investments. Before Sequoia, David worked in investment banking and growth equity at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and General Atlantic. David has a BS in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:

"There is extreme urgency to invest wealth now to help improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people."


Patti Bao and Tony Xu, United States

Tony Xu is the CEO and Cofounder of DoorDash (NYSE: DASH), a technology company passionate about transforming local businesses and dedicated to enabling new ways of working, earning, and living. As a first-generation American who grew up working in his momʼs restaurant, Tony started DoorDash to help small business owners succeed. Prior to co-founding DoorDash, Tony worked in Product at Square, led special projects for the CEO and CFO at eBay, and began his career at McKinsey and Company. He holds a B.S. with high honors in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.

His wife Patti Bao, whom he met in college, holds a PhD in computer science from Northwestern University.

Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:

"Just like it was done for us, we hope to make investments that will give dreamers and doers - particularly those that are underfunded or are playing from behind - the encouragement and luck necessary to maximize their potential and positively impact the world."


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