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Some of Google’s Shakers are Moving

April 20, 2009

I guess I’m on the Google beat for SAPP.  Just so you’re up-to-date . . .

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.   More here.   I must say I’m a bit surprised by this choice.  Google.org has floundered without direction for quite some time.  I hope Mr. Brilliant executes more successfully with the Skoll Foundation’s effort.

Now that President has been elected and the the controversy surrounding Sonal Shah has died down,  she has finally landed in the Obama administration as the head of the White House Office of Social Innovation

The office will be involved in the Social Innovation Funds pilot program that was just created by the Serve America Act, a national-service bill that will be signed by the president next week. The funds, which will be administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, will provide money for groups that are “developing innovative and effective solutions to national and local challenges.”  

Ms. Shah was a member of the Obama transition project’s advisory board and co-chair of a transition group that made recommendations about technology and innovation, including “innovation and civil society.” She is co-founder of Indicorps, a nonprofit group that offers fellowships to Indian-Americans working on development projects in India.

Ms. Shah has also held positions at Goldman, Sachs & Company, the Treasury Department, the Center for Global Development, and the Center for American Progress.  Jane Wales, director of the Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation at the Aspen Institute, praised the new White House office today in a Chronicle online discussion.

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