By Sandi Doughton
When it comes to philanthropy, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is best known for supporting scientific research and civic and arts organizations in the Pacific Northwest.
But over the past several years, Allen also has been quietly bankrolling a range of wildlife-conservation projects in Africa. Now, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation plans to step up funding for similar work, starting with a $1 million grant to the Jane Goodall Institute to help protect gorillas and chimpanzees.
“This is going to be a major initiative going forward for the foundation,” said science officer Kathy Richmond.
The foundation is also beginning to “dip its toe” into ocean science, which will be another priority area in the future, Richmond added.
Allen’s philanthropic giving has always been guided largely by his eclectic interests, and the new focus is no different. The software guru became enchanted with Africa through his travels there, and has said one of his main regrets is not having visited the continent earlier in his life.
“It’s one of the most special places in the world for him,” Richmond said.
Allen owns three tourist lodges in Africa, including one in Botswana’s Okavongo Delta, that collectively host about 6,000 visitors a year. More....