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Long Live CGI

It is being reported that a deal has been done that will allow Hillary Clinton to become America’s Secretary of State and her husband to continue his philanthropic work. This is good news, as this philanthropic work is important, as we explain in the book, and it had seemed that Mr Clinton might have had to give it up in order to let his wife take up her new post.

As it is, the former President is reportedly agreeing to make his philanthropic activities fully transparent, something Matthew advocated in a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle. He will no longer be able to accept donations from foreign governments, which seems prudent. And he will also have to give up his day to day management of the Clinton Global Initiative – no bad thing if the result is more orderly management (and it could hardly be more chaotic than now) – and to abandon his attempt to turn his so-called “Philanthropy Oscars” into a global franchise. That will be disappointing for Mr Clinton, who has so far only organised one CGI meeting outside America, this week in Hong Kong. Yet it should not stop the annual meeting of the CGI in New York each September playing its role as a high-level marketplace bringing together smart ideas and philanthrocapitalistic money.

It will, however, leave a gap in the market for others to create similar philanthropic gatherings in other parts of the world – including, perhaps, other former political leaders looking for a useful new role after leaving office. Tony Blair, for one, has talked of trying to promote a philanthropic culture in Europe – so watch out for the Blair Global Initiative…

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