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August 11, 2017

Daily News Roundup: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Loses Top Tech Exec

Chief Technology Officer Exits Chan Zuckerberg Initiative: Brian Pinkerton, who left Amazon in October to join Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s philanthropic venture, cited the demands of managing CZI’s fast-growing engineering team in an email to staff announcing his move, Recode reports. The tech-news site said such early departures are not unusual for an organization that, notwithstanding the wealth behind it, “is still a startup.” Read a Chronicle feature on nonprofit veterans who signed up with CZI.

Cleveland Clinic Sticks to Mar-a-Lago for February Gala: A spokeswoman for the nonprofit hospital chain said its event at President Trump’s Florida estate raises about $1 million a year and the organization has no plans to relocate despite protests by doctors, patients, and activists critical of the president’s health-care agenda, Newsweek writes. Read a Chronicle article on the split among big charities about holding events at Mar-a-Lago.

United Arab Emirates a Key Funder of Mideast-Policy Think Tank: The Saudi-allied Persian Gulf state committed $20 million last year to the Middle East Institute to help the Washington nonprofit counter “egregious misperceptions about the region” and “inform U.S. government policy makers,” the Intercept reports, citing emails stolen from the account of the UAE’s U.S. ambassador and provided to the investigative website.

Opinion: Abuse of Donated Conservation Easements a Growing Tax Scandal: A certified public accountant and Forbes contributor writes that abuse of the large tax breaks available to landowners who pledge to eschew certain types of development on their property has reached a “fever pitch” with the emergence of syndicates that tout such deduction deals to investors.

R.I. Charity Head and Ex-NYC Councilman Jailed in Nonprofit Thefts: Dan Doyle was sentenced to serve seven years in prison for what prosecutors said was a $1.1 million embezzlement from the Institute for International Sport, a Kingston, R.I., organization he founded that put on global athletic competitions, writes the Associated Press.

The Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports that Ruben Wills, a former New York City Council member convicted last month of pilfering state grants to a nonprofit he controlled, was sentenced to two to six years in prison.