Bill Clinton Discloses Donors Behind Global Initiative Meeting in Asia
By Philip Rucker
Former president Bill Clinton, who agreed to make his charitable activities more transparent in an accord with President-elect Barack Obama that paved the way for his wife to become Obama's secretary of state, today disclosed the sponsors of last week's Clinton Global Initiative meeting in Hong Kong.
About a dozen corporations, foundations and individuals underwrote the Dec. 2-3 philanthropic gathering, according to a list of sponsors released by Clinton's office. Among them is Citi, one of the nation's largest banks, which last month was granted a multibillion-dollar bailout by the federal government.
Victor Pinchuk, who runs a leading Ukranian steel company and is one of the wealthiest businessmen in Eastern Europe, was listed as a convening partner. Datuk Vinod Sekhar, a Malaysian businessman and philanthropist, was named the major underwriter of the initiative's Hong Kong meeting. Sekhar is chairman of the Sekhar Foundation in Kuala Lumpur and is president of the Petra Group, a rubber technology company.
Other sponsors include CLSA, a large Hong Kong-based investment bank; Laureate, an education firm; the Robertson Foundation, established by Tiger Management founder Julian H. Robertson, Jr.; the Li Ka Shing Foundation, established by Hong Kong entrepreneur Li Ka Shing; Hewlett Packard, a U.S. technology firm; Ogilvy, an international public relations firm; Suzlon, an Indian wind power company; and Thompson Reuters, a global information company. CNN and The Economist were listed as the meeting's media partners.
The non-profit Clinton Global Initiative hosts lavish meetings in New York and around the world that bring together heads of state, corporate chiefs, philanthropists and celebrities to facilitate charitable commitments in such areas as global health, climate change and international development.
"Our sponsors are vital to the mission of the Clinton Global Initiative," Clinton said in a statement. "CGI was founded on the belief that great change emerges from the collaboration of dedicated partners."
In a deal reached with Obama that allowed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) to become secretary of state, Bill Clinton agreed to several concessions restricting his international activities. If she becomes secretary of state, he agreed to make the Clinton Global Initiative a separate entity from his foundation and said he would no longer accept contributions from foreign governments or hold meetings outside the United States.
Clinton also said he would disclose all past and future donors to his foundation, including those whose contributions were made anonymously. Clinton's office plans to release publicly the list of about 200,000 donors by the end of December.
Web Politics Editor
December 9, 2008; 2:19 PM ET
Categories: Hillary Rodham Clinton
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