Scott provided an update on this effort on Tuesday in a message on Medium and also announced that she had changed her last name to the middle name she had grown up with, following her divorce from the CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos last year.
Scott received a quarter of Bezos’ Amazon shares in the couple’s divorce settlement last year, giving him a 4% stake that was worth more than $ 35 billion at the time. His net worth is currently estimated at around $ 60 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
“Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror,” Scott wrote. “What fills me with hope is the thought of what will happen if each of us thinks about what we can offer. ”
The $ 1.7 billion donation was distributed among 116 organizations focused on one of nine “areas of need,” she added, including racial equity, LGBTQ + equity, functional democracy. and climate change. Among the organizations she has supported are the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Obama Foundation, the George W. Bush Presidential Center, RAINN and the European Climate Foundation.
Scott joined the Giving Pledge initiative last year. The initiative, started by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates, encourages the richest people in the world to devote the majority of their wealth to charitable causes, either during their lifetime or by will.
Bezos, the richest man in the world, has previously been criticized for not contributing more of his wealth to philanthropy, but has donated billions of dollars in recent years to causes such as climate change and banking food. He did not sign the pledge to give.
Scott’s announcement comes a day before Bezos was set to testify in Congress alongside CEOs of Facebook, Google and Apple to respond to claims that their companies are too dominant or have hurt competition.