Hansjörg Wyss Signs the ‘Giving Pledge’

Hansjörg Wyss is among seven families and individuals who today announced that they are joining the Giving Pledge by committing to give half or more their wealth to charity.

Now in its fourth year and totaling 122 signatories, the Giving Pledge is a long-term, global initiative created by Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates that aims to inspire deeper engagement in philanthropy and increase charitable giving globally.

“President Thomas Jefferson reminds us: ‘There is a debt of service due from every man to his country proportioned to the bounties which nature and fortune have measured to him,’” writes Wyss in his pledge letter.  “I have been fortunate to benefit from the opportunities endowed by this nation, its land, and our world.  I am determined to fill my duty to others so we may always expand the reach of human possibility and compassion.”

Hansjörg Wyss is the Chairman Emeritus of Synthes, Inc., a pioneering company that he joined in 1977 and helped grow into a global leader that revolutionized the medical device industry and the treatment and healing of traumatic injuries. The company was sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2012.

Wyss’s philanthropy aims to foster new ideas, new tools, and new collaborations in areas ranging from basic research, medicine, and the arts to economic opportunity, conflict resolution, and land conservation. A native of Switzerland who now lives in Wilson, Wyoming, Wyss has helped found several philanthropic organizations, including the Wyss Foundation, PeaceNexus, the AO Foundation, and the Wyss Institute at Harvard.

“In this season of giving, we are inspired by the millions of people across the globe who give what they can in meaningful and significant ways,” said Melinda Gates, pledge co-founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “The Giving Pledge is rooted in this spirit and hopes to inspire people to tackle problems that are inherently difficult and diverse in an effort to address the pressing social issues they care about most.”

The new pledge signatories announced today come from around the globe and, in addition to Wyss, include Beth and Seth Klarman, Liz and Eric Lefkofsky, Richard Edwin and Nancy Peery Marriott, Yuri Milner, Bob and Renee Parsons, and Dato’ Sri DR Tahir.

This most recent group of pledge signatories comes from diverse geographic backgrounds representing five U.S. states and three different countries. They are also representative of the strong momentum in philanthropy around the globe, with 122 total pledge signatories representing 12 countries and 25 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Whitner Chase