Activist to Foundation Leader: Jpb'S Deepak Bhargava to Deliver 'Lightning Bolt' to Philanthropy

Foundation: Open Society Foundations

credit: Wikipedia

The billionaire philanthropist married to Bernie Madoff's ex-wife is stepping down as president of the multi-billion-dollar JPB Foundation.

Barbara Picower, who agreed to pay more than $7 billion to Madoff victims after she was caught in the Ponzi scheme, will be replaced by Deepak Bhargava, a longtime activist and lecturer at City University of New York, the New York Times reports.

Picower was married to Jeffry Picower, who got caught in the Madoff scandal, and the foundation was created after she agreed to pay off Madoff's victims.

Under Picower, the foundation focused on three areas: reducing poverty, protecting the environment, and supporting medical breakthroughs.

Bhargava will focus on Democracy, Gender, and Racial Justice, Community and Worker Power, Movement Infrastructure and Explorations, Faith, Bridging, and Belonging, and Reproductive Justice, Medical Research, and NYC Community Grants, the Times reports.

"The underlying issue underneath all the problems we face, from housing to health care to climate injustice, is really an imbalance in power," Bhargava tells the Times.

He says the foundation will increase grantmaking by 20% to about $510 million this year.

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