Elsewhere online
June 25, 2008

Bill Gates Charts Future Course for Foundation

With an endowment of $38-billion that will essentially double with Warren Buffett’s 2006 commitment to distribute the bulk of his wealth to the fund, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation next year will be obligated to give away at least $3-billion annually to avoid paying penalty taxes, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Mr. Gates told the newspaper that he plans to spend more time reviewing the strategy of the foundation, which has so far pledged $16.5-billion to various projects, and said he hopes to meet more with recipient organizations that have received research grants. “I’ll be out visiting those sites, talking to the scientists, and going to more conferences,” said Mr. Gates.

An article in The Seattle Times highlights China as one of the first priorities Mr. Gates will focus on when he assumes his new role as a full-time philanthropist this summer. The foundation will support health programs in the country, such as HIV/AIDS prevention and a new effort to curb smoking, and will collaborate with experts to improve African agriculture.

“China is kind of interesting, because … it’s a recipient [of assistance], but in a lot of ways it’s a participant in the things that need to get done,” said Mr. Gates. “They have capabilities that, now that they’ve improved their economy a lot, they can be a factor to help poorer countries.”