Addressing Climate Change: The United Nations and the World at Work


As the Executive Director of,  Dr. Larry Brilliant works with the company's co-founders to define the mission and strategic goals of Google's philanthropic efforts.  These include the Google Foundation as well as Google Grants (the AdWords giving program) and the company's major initiatives aimed at reducing global poverty, improving the health of the least advantaged in the world and working to halt or even reverse the effects of the climate crisis.  Larry is an M.D. and M.P.H., board-certified in preventive medicine and public health. He is a founder and director of The Seva Foundation, which works in dozens of countries around the world, primarily to eliminate preventable and curable blindness. Larry also serves as a member of strategic advisory committees for the University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health, Omidyar Network and Kleiner Perkins (KPCB) Venture Capital. 

Larry is the author of two books and dozens of articles on infectious diseases, blindness and international health policy.  He was recently a “first responder” for CDC's smallpox bio-terrorism response effort, volunteered in Sri Lanka for tsunami relief and established “Pandefense,” an interdisciplinary consultancy to prepare for possible pandemic influenza. Larry lived in India working as a United Nations medical officer for more than a decade where he played a key role in the successful World Health Organization (WHO) smallpox eradication program and has recently worked for the WHO polio eradication effort as well. He was also Associate Professor of epidemiology, global health planning and economic development at the University of Michigan.  In addition to his medical career, Larry co-founded The Well, a pioneering virtual community, with Stewart Brand in 1985. He also holds a telecommunications technology patent and has served as CEO of two public companies and other venture-backed start-ups.

Larry earned a Masters in Public Health in health planning and economic development from the University of Michigan and received his M.D. from Wayne Medical School. He has received several awards from the Government of India and from WHO. In 2005 he received an honorary Doctor of Sciences from Knox College and was named “International Public Health Hero” by the University of California. In February 2006 he received the Sapling Foundation's TED Prize.