The Skoll Foundation has announced that its founder and chairman, Jeff Skoll, has given $100 million to launch an organization that will work to address urgent threats confronting humanity and the planet. The new organization will be led by Larry Brilliant, the founding executive director of Google.org.
Chaired by Jeff Skoll, the Skoll Urgent Threats Fund will focus on identifying and supporting innovative, high-impact initiatives to combat climate change, water scarcity, pandemics, nuclear proliferation, and Middle East conflict. Brilliant will work to develop the new organization's strategy and investment approach while serving as senior adviser to Skoll to ensure alignment across his business and philanthropic efforts, which include social business ventures Participant Media and Capricorn Investment Group.
Brilliant recently left Google.org to become vice president and chief philanthropy evangelist at the organization's parent company, Google. Renowned for his key role with the World Health Organization in helping to eradicate smallpox in Asia, Brilliant has served on the Skoll Foundation board since 2007.
According to the New York Times, the foundation has partnered with Google.org to give $11 million to the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative to identify viruses in Africa and other regions around the globe.
"This is an extraordinary opportunity for me to bring my life's work and experience to join with so many others who feel�the urgency of the times to work on the most critical challenges facing us as global citizens," said Brilliant. "Jeff Skoll is a tremendously innovative proponent of social change, creating a unique, powerful, and diverse set of both philanthropic and business tools to promote change. I look forward to working closely with him, the Skoll Foundation, and his business ventures to make sure we're as effective as we can be in changing course for our children's future."