CEO, Skoll Foundation | Fmr. U.S. Ambassador to South Africa
Don Gips, recently announced as the CEO of the Skoll Foundation, leads the organization’s work investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs to create lasting social change around the world. His experiences span public service, politics, business, finance, and technology.
Most recently, he led Albright Stonebridge Group’s Africa Practice, consulting with companies, entrepreneurs, and foundations investing across the continent. Previously, he served as Director of Presidential Personnel in the Obama White House, ushering in the most diverse administration in U.S. history. He served as U.S. Ambassador to South Africa where he managed more than 1,000 staff and a budget of over $600 million across multiple government agencies.
Early in his career, he helped design and create a $650 million start‐up government corporation to promote community service which became the AmeriCorps program, still operational today. He served as Chief Domestic Policy Advisor to Vice President Al Gore and Chief of the International Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission. Still earlier in Don’s career, he developed a clean water project with Sarvodaya, a leading social enterprise, and managed a refugee camp in Sri Lanka.
He sits on the boards of Zayo Group, a fiber and internet infrastructure service provider; Liquid Telecommunication, a Pan‐African provider of fiber and telecommunications services led by Strive Masiyiwa, one of Africa’s preeminent entrepreneurs and philanthropists; and the President’s Council on International Affairs at Yale University.
Don received an MBA from the Yale School of Management and his undergrad degree from Harvard University. He is married to Elizabeth (Liz) Berry Gips, who leads education programs for Village Health Works, bringing health care and development to rural Burundi. Don and Liz have three grown sons: Sam, Peter, and Ben.