Seventeen individuals and families have joined the Giving Pledge since June 2015, bringing the current total of signatories to 154 from 16 countries.
The Giving Pledge, a multigenerational, global initiative created by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates, encourages billionaires to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.
“This new group joining the Giving Pledge is incredibly thoughtful about their desire to give back and help solve the world’s toughest challenges through philanthropy,” Bill Gates said in a statement.
“Some have been giving for decades and others are just starting out after building successful businesses, but they all see the value of giving in a bold and effective way. Melinda, Warren and I are glad to have the opportunity to learn with them and from them.”
The new signatories include entrepreneurs and business leaders from diverse backgrounds and sectors, including technology, medicine and biotech, real estate and dairy farming. They support a range of causes, including poverty alleviation, health care, education and environmental protection.
Following are brief profiles of the individuals and families who have joined the growing list of pledgers:
Margaret and Sylvan Adams, Israel
Sylvan Adams is the former the chief executive and shareholder of Iberville Developments, a Montreal-based property development and administration enterprise with more than 100 projects in Canada and the U.S.
HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz AlSaud, Saudi Arabia
Prince Alwaleed over four decades has built up his business interests from his home country into a global network and partner of many of the world’s leading companies. He founded Alwaleed Philanthropies in 1980 to help build a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable world for generations to come. The foundation’s priority areas are empowering women and youth, developing communities, creating cultural understanding and providing disaster relief. The foundation has initiated and supported thousands of projects in some 120 countries.
Lynne and Marc Benioff, U.S.
Marc Benioff is chairman and chief executive of Salesforce, the Fortune 500 software company he founded in 1999. Through Salesforce’s 1-1-1 model of philanthropy, the company and its philanthropic entities have provided more than $120 million in grants, dedicated 1.4 million hours of volunteer time throughout the world and powered more than 28,000 nonprofits with Salesforce technology.
Lynne Benioff is an independent marketing consultant and philanthropist, who was appointed to the board of directors of the Presidio Trust by President Barack Obama. She also serves on the boards of Hampton Creek, the University of California San Francisco Foundation, the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and Common Sense Media.
Nathan and Elizabeth Blecharczyk, U.S.
Dr. Elizabeth Morey Blecharczyk is a clinical instructor in pediatrics at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and a member of the Academic Pediatric Association and the Society of Hospital Medicine. She currently serves on the board of advisors at Tufts University School of Medicine and the board of trustees at Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart.
Nathan Blecharczyk is the co-founder and chief technical officer at Airbnb.
Brian Chesky, U.S.
Brian Chesky is the co-founder and chief executive of Airbnb.
Scott Cook and Signe Ostby, U.S.
While working at Bain & Co, Scott Cook initiated a software project that grew into Quicken and was used to start the business and financial management solutions company Intuit 33 years ago. He serves on the boards of Procter & Gamble, Intuit and Harvard Business School.
Signe Ostby started her career at Procter & Gamble, and in 1982 joined a West Coast startup software company at which she ran marketing and customer support. Later, she developed a high-tech marketing consulting business. She serves on the boards of the Environmental Defense Fund and the Center for Brand and Product Management at the University of Wisconsin — Madison.
Jack and Laura Dangermond, U.S.
Jack and Laura Dangermond in 1969 founded Esri, which created geographic information system (GIS) and geodesign technologies that are used by organizations representing government, nongovernmental organizations, academia and industries such as utilities, health care, transportation, telecommunications, homeland security, retail and agriculture.
Henry Engelhardt and Diane Briere de l’Isle-Engelhardt, Wales
Henry Engelhardt recently retired as chief executive of Admiral Group plc, a FTSE 100 car insurance and price comparison company in the U.K., and now with operations in Spain, Italy, France and the U.S.
Diane Briere de l’Isle-Engelhardt spends most of her time with Moondance, the family’s charitable foundation, which she started with her husband in 2010. Her primary philanthropic interests revolve around women and children’s rights and safety. In 2013, she created Resolve It, a company that offers the Urban Survival Tool Kit, which teaches awareness, avoidance, conflict resolution and self-defense skills.
Joe Gebbia, U.S.