Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have hired a chief financial officer for The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic fund they created in 2015 to give away the vast majority of their fortune.
The role has been filled by Peggy Abkemeier Alford, a PayPal veteran who was most recently the company’s senior VP of human resources. Zuckerberg announced the news on his Facebook page Friday.
Alford will be responsible for managing the books of the fund that Zuckerberg is backing by selling up $1 billion of his Facebook shares per year. He and Priscilla Chan have already made investments in education reform, affordable housing, and a science program dedicated to curing the world’s diseases.
“One of the biggest challenges running a large philanthropic initiative is measuring results and deciding how to invest capital across different disciplines,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page. “For example, how do we know whether we’ll have a greater impact investing more into personalized learning to help students today, or long term science research that could cure diseases in the future, or advocacy for important issues like immigration reform?”
“At a company like Facebook, the market provides a helpful feedback loop. We have a clear sense of how many people we can hire and how much infrastructure we can build to bring people closer together while creating a sustainable organization. But without that market dynamic in philanthropy, building a disciplined, large-scale effort to take on challenges in education, science, and advocacy is a novel challenge.”