Google "Chief Philanthropic Evangelist" Larry Brilliant is leaving Google to become president of the Skoll Urgent Threats Fund, designed by former eBay President Jeff Skoll to combat climate change, Middle East conflict and other issues. Brilliant worked as executive director of Google.org for almost three years.
Chief Philanthropic Officer Dr. Larry Brilliant is resigning his position to
become president of the Skoll Urgent Threats Fund, a $100 million endeavor
founded by former eBay President Jeff Skoll to tackle major issues such as
climate change, nuclear proliferation, Middle East
conflict and water scarcity.
The Urgent Threats Fund, as conceived by Skoll, will fund initiatives
tackling these and other major issues. Skoll already bankrolls social
entrepreneurs dealing with major issues through his Skoll Foundation, in
addition to producing films such as "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Fast Food
Before becoming "Chief Philanthropic Evangelist" for Google,
Brilliant had spent nearly three years as the executive director of Google.org,
the search-engine giant's philanthropic arm.
Brilliant took pains not to burn any bridges before his May 5 departure,
citing the previous collaboration between Google.org and the Skoll Foundation
in supporting "virus hunter" Nathan Wolfe's Global Viral Forecasting
"I'll continue to work with Megan and the Google.org team as an
advisor," Brilliant wrote in an April 14 posting on the official
"These two organizations are neither competitors nor strangers, but
rather friends and colleagues," he added. "I am not 'leaving Google'
so much as I'm going down the road to work with a friend and colleague and I
hope that in the coming months and years we can expand that relationship even
In addition to heading the Skoll Urgent Threats Fund, Brilliant will sit on
the board of the Skoll Foundation and assume the role of senior adviser to Skoll
"on his media and financial investments companies."
So far in 2009, Google has announced a number of initiatives designed to
"give back" while positioning the company at the nexus of hot-button
In March 2009, Google
CEO Eric Schmidt pushed a national energy plan designed to cut greenhouse
gas emissions nearly in half by 2030. Google claims that it invested over $45
million in renewable-energy startup companies in 2008.
Besides investments through Google.org, Google
recently started Google Ventures, a venture capital fund that will focus on
funding startups in bio-tech, health care and other areas.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.