Gates Foundation CEO Jeff Raikes in conversation with Gara LaMarche of the Atlantic Philanthropies.
Gara LaMarche is President and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies. He joined Atlantic in April 2007 to lead the organization through its final chapter as the foundation disburses its remaining $4 billion endowment and completes active grantmaking by 2016.
Before joining Atlantic, LaMarche served as Vice President and Director of U.S. Programs for the Open Society Institute (OSI), a foundation established by philanthropist George Soros. LaMarche joined OSI in 1996 to launch its U.S. Programs, which focuses on challenges to social justice and democracy.
LaMarche previously served as Associate Director of Human Rights Watch and Director of its Free Expression Project from 1990 to 1996. He was Director of the Freedom-to-Write Program of the PENAmericanCenter from 1988 to 1990, when PEN played a leading role in campaigns to lift Iran's fatwa against Salman Rushdie and challenged restrictions on arts funding in the United States.
He served in a variety of positions with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), with which he first became associated at age 18 as a member of its national Academic Freedom Committee. He was the Associate Director of the ACLU's New York branch from 1979 to 1984 and the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas from 1984 to 1988. At the Texas ACLU, he led campaigns to provide adequate representation for death row inmates and oppose discriminatory treatment of persons with AIDS in the early days of the epidemic.
LaMarche is the author of numerous articles on human rights and social justice issues. He teaches a course in philanthropy and public policy at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service, and was an adjunct professor at New School University and The John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
LaMarche serves on the boards of PEN AmericanCenter and The White House Project, as a member of the selection committee for the Sundance Documentary Fund, and on the Leadership Council of Hispanics in Philanthropy.
A Westerly, R.I. native, LaMarche graduated from Columbia College in New York.
Jeff Raikes is the chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Until early 2008 Raikes was the President of the Microsoft Business Division and oversaw the Information Worker, Server & Tools Business and Microsoft Business Solutions Groups. He joined Microsoft in 1981 as a product manager. He retired from Microsoft in September 2008, after a transitional period, to join the Gates Foundation. Raikes is credited with driving much of Microsoft's early work in business applications. He also held roles managing the company's sales force and services groups.
Voluntary, organized efforts intended for socially useful purposes. Philanthropic groups existed in the ancient civilizations of the Middle East, Greece, and Rome: an endowment supported Plato's Academy (c. 387 BC) for some 900 years; the Islamic waqf (religious endowment) dates to the 7th century AD; and the medieval Christian church administered trusts for benevolent purposes. Merchants in 17th- and 18th-century western Europe founded organizations for worthy causes. Starting in the late 19th century, large personal fortunes led to the creation of private foundations that bequeathed gifts totaling millions and then billions in support of the arts, education, medical research, public policy, social services, environmental causes, and other special interests. SeeAndrew Carnegie; B'nai B'rith; Bill Gates; George Peabody; Rockefeller Foundation; Straus family.