Chris West has been involved with the Shell Foundation since its beginning. He was active in the discussions about its creation, joining as deputy director soon after its 2000 launch. In 2008 he was named director of the London-based foundation.
The Shell Foundation gives away about $16 million a year. Although it isn’t one of the larger foundations, it plays an outsized role in philanthropy, in part because of its ties to the world’s fifth largest corporation —Royal Dutch Shell—but also because of its innovative approach to grantmaking.
West and the Shell Foundation are unabashed about taking a businesslike approach to social change. West describes one of his roles as that of an angel philanthropist—taking big risks to help unproven social ventures get on their