Mr. Soros has been active as a philanthropist since 1979, when he began providing funds to help black students attend the University of Cape Town in apartheid South Africa, and began funding democratic movements in Central and Eastern Europe, playing a significant role in the peaceful transition from Communism to Capitalism in Hungary. He is now Chairman of the Open Society Institute and founder of a network of organizations in more than 50 countries that are dedicated to promoting the values of democracy and open society. The network receives approximately $400million of funding annually and work on programs focusing on civil society, education, media, public health and human rights as well as social, legal and economic reform. Mr Soros has also contributed funds to the Central European University, measures to alleviate child poverty in the US and to the Jeffrey Sachs-led Millennium Promise to help eradicate extreme poverty in Africa.
Soros is the author of eight books and holds honorary doctoral degrees from the New School for Social Research (New York), the University of Oxford, the Corvinus University of Budapest and Yale University. Soros also received the Yale International Center for Finance Award from the Yale School of Management in 2000 as well as the Laurea Honoris Causa, the highest honor of the University of Bologna in 1995.