Larry Brilliant, the founding President of the Skoll Global Threats Fund, serves as Senior Advisor to Jeff Skoll, helping Jeff build out the Jeff Skoll Group, as well as to the Skoll Global Threats Fund. He previously was Vice President of Google and Executive Director of Google.org.
Larry is an MD and MPH, board-certified in preventive medicine. He lived and worked in India for ten years and was on the UN team that led the successful World Health Organization smallpox eradication program. He did his undergraduate in Philosophy at the U of M, his MD at Wayne Medical School and came back to do his MPH at the U of M. Later he joined the faculty from 1977 to 1986, first as assistant professor of health planning and international health and later, as associate professor of epidemiology at the U of M School of Public Health. He has authored two books and dozens of scientific articles on infectious diseases, blindness and international health policy.
In 1985, while in Ann Arbor, Larry founded the Seva Foundation, an international NGO, whose projects have given back sight to nearly 3 million people worldwide through their work to eliminate preventable and curable blindness. Also in Ann Arbor, he co-founded The Well, a pioneering digital community that holds a special place in the history of online communities and he holds a telecom patent related to online transactions.
He also worked for WHO and UNICEF in polio eradication and blindness and volunteered as a physician during several disasters, including the Asian Tsunami in Sri Lanka and Indonesia and the Bihar Floods. After the anthrax attacks in the U.S. in 2001, he volunteered as a first responder for CDC’s bio-terrorism effort.
Larry was founding chair of the National Bio-Surveillance Advisory Subcommittee, created by Presidential directive, and is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Advisory Council on Catastrophic Risks. He was elected to the Council on Foreign Relations in 2008. He is on the boards of the Skoll Foundation, Salesforce.com Foundation and is a frequent speaker and consultant on topics ranging from social action to large scale social change.
Recent awards include the TED Prize in 2006, Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People and Top 20 Scientists and Thinkers (2008), UN Global Leadership Award (2008), Peacemaker Award (2005), UC Berkeley International Public Health Hero Award (2004), UCLA School of Public Health Champion Award (2012), University of Michigan Detroiter Hall of Fame (2013), UCLA Medal Award (2014), and two Honorary Doctorates. In 2009, the documentary about polio eradication, which Larry conceived and was funded by Google.org, The Final Inch, won an Oscar nomination and was bought and shown by HBO.