Relationship Disclosures | GiveWell

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Relationship Disclosures

Published: December 2013
Most Recent Update: December 2016

This page discloses personal relationships involving GiveWell's staff that GiveWell's audience may wish to consider in evaluating GiveWell's recommendations or GiveWell as an organization. In general, we will disclose relationships we judge to be highly important in many places (e.g., on our top charities page); relationships that appear only on this page are judged by us to be relatively unimportant, but still worth publishing for consideration. Note that no relationships to date have fit in the former category.

On this page, we disclose the following sorts of relationships:

  1. Social, romantic, family or financial relationships between (a) GiveWell staff and (b) people at our top charities.
  2. Romantic, family or financial relationships between (a) GiveWell Board members and (b) GiveWell staff.
  3. Social relationships between (a) GiveWell Board members and (b) GiveWell Co-Executive Directors that pre-dated GiveWell-based relationships between same. (For example, people who were friends with GiveWell's Co-Executive Directors prior to joining GiveWell's Board.)
  4. Other relationships we feel are worth disclosing.

Please note that this policy applies to GiveWell's work identifying top charities but not its research under the Open Philanthropy Project. Over time, we hope to design a relationship disclosure policy that is a good fit for the nature of that work. Until then, if we feel it is worth disclosing a relationship between a GiveWell staff or board member and a person at an organization receiving a grant under the Open Philanthropy Project, we will disclose that relationship in the individual grant's writeup and not on this page.

As of the most recent update of this page (May 2016), these relationships consisted of the following:

  • GiveDirectly. GiveDirectly is a GiveWell-recommended charity; Paul Niehaus is its Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director.

    Timothy Telleen-Lawton (GiveWell staff member as of April 2013) has been friends with Paul Niehaus for many years. When Timothy met Holden Karnofsky (GiveWell's Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director) in April 2011, he suggested that GiveWell look into GiveDirectly and introduced Holden and Paul by email. GiveWell later recommended GiveDirectly as a top charity in November 2012, before Timothy was on GiveWell staff.

    Starting in January 2013, Holden started living in a shared house with Timothy, around the same time Timothy started a trial to work at GiveWell. Paul has visited and stayed at the shared house several times.

    Holden had not met Paul, or interacted significantly with Paul or Tim, prior to moving to San Francisco in January 2013. Tim has not been responsible for evaluative work on GiveDirectly.

  • END Fund. END Fund is a GiveWell-recommended charity which supports deworming programs. Sarah Marchal Murray, Chief Operating Officer at End Fund, was previously the Director of Institutional Advancement at the Center for Global Development. Michael Kremer, the co-author of a key paper on deworming, is a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development.

    David Roodman is a Senior Advisor at the Open Philanthropy Project. He conducted an in-depth review of the evidence for deworming in the fall of 2016. He was employed at the Center for Global Development from 2002 to 2013.

  • Rob Reich. Professor Rob Reich joined the GiveWell Board of Directors in December 2013. Professor Reich had a pre-existing friendship with Program Officer Alexander Berger, who was one of his students when in college. Professor Reich is also co-director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, for which Cari Tuna (another GiveWell Board member, and President of Good Ventures) was previously a member of the Advisory Board.
  • Greg Jensen. Greg sits on GiveWell's Board of Directors. Prior to the creation of GiveWell, Greg worked with, managed, and was friends with Holden Karnofsky and Elie Hassenfeld, GiveWell's co-Executive Directors.