Google dot org blog - News from Googles Philanthropic Arm ramps up

In the past few months,'s family has grown exponentially, and we're pleased to welcome a group of "Nooglers" along with a few "Not-so-New-glers": Joining our Global Development team are Aleem Walji, John Lyman, Salimah Samji, and Swati Mylavarapu. An anthropologist and urban planner by training, Aleem comes to having served most recently as CEO of the Aga Khan Foundation in Syria. His specific interests lie in rural economic development, employment creation through financial services and entrepreneurship, and forming partnerships with private sector and civil society institutions. John is a graduate of UC Berkeley's Masters in Public Policy program. He previously worked on economic and development issues as the Center for American Progress and the Clinton Global Initiative. Born in Kenya, Salimah joins our team from the World Bank, where she served as specialist in social/rural development and monitoring and evaluation in India. She holds a Masters in Public Administration in International Development (MPAID) from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Swati is one of two Rhodes scholars to join our team. While at Oxford, Swati studied ethnic conflict and political competition in East Africa. She completed her undergraduate work at Harvard in International Development. Lant Pritchett continues to serve as an advisor to the Global Development team from his post teaching economic development at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Michael Terrell and Adam Borelli are the newest members of our Energy and Climate Change team. Michael has served in a variety of positions within the Federal government and was a member of the White House environmental team during the Clinton Administration. Most recently, he served as the deputy chair of the Clinton Global Initiative's energy and climate change working group. Michael holds a J.D. from the University if Michigan, a Masters in Environmental Management from Yale's Environment School, and a B.S. in Natural Resources from the University of the South. Adam is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley, where he studied political economy, conducted research on working conditions in Mexico, and worked for the Alliance to Save Energy's Green Campus Program. In his free time, Adam runs a local nonprofit called the
New Leaders Council.

The Global Public Health team welcomes our other Rhodes scholar, Joanne Stevens, who completed her medical degree at the University of Cape Town and did her clinical rotations at Victoria Hospital in Cape Town. Her research includes two projects focused on South Africa: evaluating the health implications of pesticide use by emerging farmers, and understanding the political response to the country's physician brain drain.

Working across our content teams are Frank Rijsberman, Shannon Oliver, and Julie Chin. Frank comes to after 7 years of living in Sri Lanka as the Director General/CEO of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). He led the transformation of IWMI from a small irrigation research organization to a world-class knowledge center on water, food and environment, with offices throughout Africa and Asia. His professional pride is in having set up some major global programs that will help poor people to grow more food with less water. Shannon obtained his B.S. in Political Science from Tuskegee University and his M.A. in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University. Prior to joining Google, Shannon has traveled the world serving in various positions such as a Field Coordinator for the Carter Center in Lokichokio, Kenya, a Logistician for Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone, and as part of Catholic Relief Services served as an International Development Fellow in Serbia and Montenegro and a Program Manager in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Julie has a double bachelors in Computer Graphics and Art History from Stanford. During her time there, she studied abroad in Florence at the Accademia delle belle Arti. Julie joined Google in February 2002, the day before AdWords Select (now known as "AdWords Online") launched. Over time, she has transitioned to many groups mainly in on the product side of the business where she held positions as a Business Project Manager and Product Manager. Julie will focus her time on's early detection/early warning work.

Rounding out the roster are Mayumi Matsuno, Christiaan Adams and Katy Bacon. Mayumi transitions from her role as a long-time Google Product Marketing Manager to, where she is figuring out how best to engage Google Inc. employees in our quest to address some of the world's biggest problems. KML expert Christiaan will be working with and Google Earth. Christiaan comes to us from MIT Sea Grant, where he worked on databases and online mapping for coastal resource management, as well as ocean engineering and education programs. He has a background in Environmental Engineering, Policy and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He also brings with him Peace Corps experience from Cote d'Ivoire and a passion for environmental causes. Katy will be helping to manage our communication outreach efforts. A recent graduate of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, she has conducted research on women's health issues and the interaction between migration and trade policy. In college, she worked for politicians at several levels of government and served as a campus campaign manager for Teach for America.

We look forward to the contributions of these new team members to our major initiatives.

Update: Finally, and last but not least, Alix Zwane joined us as a member of the Global Public Health team and to help all content teams with monitoring and evaluation metrics. She first got to know as part of a group that received one of the first Google Foundation grants for a joint Harvard/UC Berkeley study on cost-effective water investments in developing countries. Most recently, she was a member of the Berkeley faculty in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Alix holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University, and M.A. and B.A. degrees in Economics from Boston University.

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