NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCES OF WEALTH: Cofounder BEA Systems
FUNDING AREAS: Global poverty, health, autism
OVERVIEW: Unconventional philanthropist Ed Scott co-founded the Center for Global Development, bankrolling its early years, and has also given millions to support other advocacy groups helping the poorest people on the planet. He also helped create the Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida Institute of Technology. Other support has gone to outfits that can change policy. Scott's philanthropy appears to be winding down.
BACKGROUND: Ed Scott holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in political science from Michigan State University, as well as a degree in philosophy, politics, and economics from the University of Oxford. Prior to his career in technology, Scott worked in government for nearly two decades. In the tech world, Scott worked at Pyramid Technology, was part of the team that started the federal division of Sun Microsystems, and co-founded BEA Systems, providing software that connects operating systems and software applications.
PHILOSOPHY: Scott tends to have focused on influencing the actions of national governments and international agencies—entities that have exponentially greater resources for aiding the poor than private philanthropists.
GLOBAL POVERTY & HEALTH: In 2001, Scott co-founded the Center for Global Development with Nancy Birdsall and Fred Bergsten, which has become a leading policy shop in Washington arguing for greater U.S. development assistance and the reform of trade policies that hurt the global poor. The center's budget grew to nearly $10 million within 10 years, with Scott remaining actively involved as board chair. It's unclear how much Scott has given to the center over the years, in part because Scott doesn't appear to have a foundation. Other work in this area includes founding and serving as chair of Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty, whose goal is to "improve the capacity and effectiveness of the faith community in its collective effort to reduce global poverty and disease." CIFA merged with Religions for Peace in 2013.
Scott is a founding board member of Whole Child International and Malaria No More. He's also chairman emeritus of Friends of the Global Fight, an organization which works to "end the worldwide burden of AIDS, tuberculosis , and malaria." Scott also cofounded DATA with Bill Gates and George Soros. DATA, which stood for "Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa," has since merged with other organizations to form ONE, an advocacy organization which fights disease and hunger, particularly in Africa. Scott also serves on the Board of U.S. Global Leadership Council (USGLC).
AUTISM: Scott lives in Florida, and in 2009, he created the Scott Center for Autism Treatment at the Florida Institute of Technology. The story here is personal, as Scott's son Reece, has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. The Scott Center isn't just focused on autism and related disabilities in Central Florida; it has global efforts, too, including a collaboration with a center for early childhood intervention in Dubai. Scott endowed the Cheryl and Reece Scott Chair of Psychiatry, the first medical chair devoted to the study of autism and Asperger's syndrome, at the University of Oxford. Scott has also endowed two research fellowships at Oxford.
OTHER: Scott has an interest in leadership and policy—unsurprising, given his background in government. Scott established and bankrolled the Scott Family Fellows Program at the Center for Global Development with a $1 million grant in 2007. The program "recruited young professionals to support the government of Liberia as it recovered from 14 years of brutal civil war." Scott has also funded Face the Facts USA, "a non-partisan civic engagement project"
CONTACT: Scott doesn't appear to have a foundation, or clear guidelines for grantseekers to get in touch, but his website has a contact page with email address.