Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) today announced the appointment of Dr. Larry Brilliant as Executive Director of Google.org, which administers Google's philanthropic activities. In this role he will work with the company's co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to define the mission and strategic goals of Google's philanthropy. Dr. Brilliant is a founder and director of The Seva Foundation, a Policy Advisory Council Member at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, and a member of the Strategic Advisory Group of Kleiner-Perkins' Pandemic and Bio-Defense Fund.
"As Larry Page and I have said, we hope that the contributions of Google.org may someday exceed those of Google itself in terms of overall world impact by ambitiously applying innovation and significant resources to the largest of the world's problems," said Google co-founder Sergey Brin. "Today we are excited to announce that we have found a leader that embodies that goal in spirit and in accomplishments -- Larry Brilliant."
"I'm deeply honored to have been selected to direct Google.org," said Dr. Brilliant. "I have great admiration for Google's technical contributions to society and believe that it can have an equally great impression through philanthropy."
Dr. Brilliant has a wide range of previous experience in the fields of international health and development, business and technology. He is a physician and epidemiologist, board certified in public health and preventive medicine and a specialist in international health. He lived in India for more than a decade, starting his career as a medical officer with the World Health Organization. Dr. Brilliant played a key role in the successful WHO campaign to eradicate smallpox and has also worked for the UN in the fields of blindness and polio eradication. He was associate professor of International Health and Epidemiology at the University of Michigan for many years. Dr. Brilliant has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a 2006 TED Prize; the "Community Peacemaker Award" from Wayne State University; the "International Health Hero Award" from the University of California, Berkeley; WHO's Order of the Bifurcated Needle, and the Government of India's Health Minister's Award. He was the CEO of Cometa Networks, SoftNet Systems and a co-founder of the noted on-line community The Well. Dr. Brilliant is a patent holder, and the author of two books and dozens of articles on international health. He serves on several non-profit and corporate boards and is a member of various professional societies.
Dr. Brilliant holds a MPH in Economic Development and Health Planning from the University of Michigan. He also has a MD from Wayne State University and received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Knox College.
Google.org is the umbrella term for Google's philanthropic efforts, which includes the work of the Google Foundation, some of Google's own projects using Google talent, technology and other resources, as well as partnerships and contributions to for-profit and non-profit entities. Google.org focuses on several areas including global poverty, health, energy and the environment and has made over $7 million in investments and grants to date.