Seattle: Nineteen philanthropists, including one from the UAE, have joined the Giving Pledge initiative since last year, bringing the total number of signatories to 204 from 23 countries.
Now in its ninth year, the Giving Pledge initiative continues to expand internationally with the addition of philanthropists from the UAE, China, Norway, Switzerland, UK and US.
Founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010, the Giving Pledge initiative is a global, multi-generational commitment by some of the world’s wealthiest individuals and couples to give more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes, either during their lifetimes or in their wills.
From the UAE, Shaikh Dr Mohammad Bin Musallam Bin Ham Al Ameri committed to the Giving Pledge.
Born in Al Ain in 1972, Dr Al Ameri is a businessman, philanthropist, author and former Federal National Council (FNC) member. He is the deputy secretary-general of the Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina against Malnutrition (IIMSAM), deputy chairman of the Bin Ham Group, president of the Foundation of Studies and Research, member of Al Ain Municipal Council, and the founder of Aounak Ya Watan volunteer team.
Dr Al Ameri carries on the work of his father, Shaikh Musallam Bin Salim Bin Ham Al Ameri, and his grandfather Shaikh Salim Bin Ham, who stood by the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan during the formation of the UAE.
Dr Al Ameri has published two books: ‘United Arab Emirates — Wise Governance’ (2012) and ‘The Shura in the UAE’ (2015), which is an analytical representation of the Emirati experience of commitment to Shura as an approach to governance and also a way of life since ancient times.
He holds a Master’s Degree from the Grand Canyon University (USA) and a PhD degree from the University of Kent (UK). He is the recipient of several awards, including the Mohammad Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence (2008 and 2011), Mahatma Gandhi Medallion Humanity Award, and the Shaikh Khalifa Bin Ali Al Khalifa Award for Charity.
Dr Al Ameri said: “Based on the principles of our Islamic religion and our inherent human values, I seek to harness our resources, capabilities and specialised competencies to continue to make many outstanding achievements in humanitarian, charitable and relief work around the world without discrimination between race and religion.”
Speaking about the new signatories, Warren Buffett said: “We are thrilled to welcome this year’s group of Giving Pledge signatories to the community, which has grown to more than 200 people in just nine years. The generosity of this group is a reflection of the inspiration we take from the many millions of people who work quietly and effectively to create a better world for others, often at great personal sacrifice.”
Many of the new signatories to the Giving Pledge initiative are already engaged in philanthropy, providing support to a range of causes including climate change, education, poverty alleviation, medical research, health care services, economic development, and social justice.
These individuals and couples have come together from a wide range of fields — including finance, technology, health care and real estate development — to commit the majority of their wealth to tackling some of society’s most pressing problems.
This week, the Giving Pledge signatories convene for an annual two-day learning conference to discuss their experiences in giving and to learn from each other and outside experts about how to be most effective with their philanthropy.
Topics to be discussed at this year’s annual gathering include how philanthropy can make a difference in areas such as education, climate and clean energy, equity and access to health care, community development, and disaster relief. People who have joined the Giving Pledge initiative are united by a shared commitment to learning and giving, and they participate in ongoing learning events throughout the year in addition to the annual conference.
For the full list of pledgers and their personal letters stating their commitment to give, visit www.givingpledge.org.