Advancing human potential and promoting equal opportunity.

The Mission

We believe we can make the world better for generations to come by uniting the greatest minds to solve the toughest problems. It will take long term focus and new ways of working together.

At the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, we empower strong, independent leaders from academia and government, as well as the technology and nonprofit sectors to do the best work possible. We engage directly in the communities we serve because no one understands our society’s challenges like those who live them everyday. These partners help us identify problems and opportunities, learn fast and iterate toward our goals for the next century.

By bringing world class engineering to the front lines of science and education, we can build new tools and technologies that help organizations scale. We invest in the best ideas regardless of organizational structure. That includes nonprofit and for profit entities, as well as non-governmental research institutions.


Brian Pinkerton, PhD

Chief Technology Officer

Brian Pinkerton leads the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s efforts to build a world-class engineering team that will help tackle the greatest challenges in science, education and other areas. He joined the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative from Amazon, where he served as the Vice President of Search and the General Manager of A9, Amazon’s technology group in Palo Alto.

Dr. Pinkerton has been working on the world’s greatest technology challenges for more than two decades. As a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington, he developed software and tools for the Department of Molecular Biotechnology and built the first Internet search engine, WebCrawler.

Cori Bargmann, PhD

President, Chan Zuckerberg Science

Cori Bargmann is an internationally recognized neurobiologist and geneticist. She is leading the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s science strategy, working to help accelerate basic science research and set us on a path to cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century. Dr. Bargmann is also the head of the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior and the Torsten N. Wiesel Professor at the Rockefeller University in New York.

Dr. Bargmann is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. She has the 2012 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience and a 2013 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, among many scientific honors. Prior to joining the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, she was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. She also co-chaired the National Institutes of Health committee that set goals and strategies for President Obama’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN Initiative). Dr. Bargmann holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jim Shelton

President, Chan Zuckerberg Education

Jim Shelton, former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, manages the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s education strategy. His team at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative partners with educators, community leaders and other key stakeholders to produce learning experiences and systems to address the needs of the whole child.

Previously, he served as the Chief Impact Officer at 2U, Inc., an education technology company that brings college degree programs and credit-bearing courses online. From 2003 to 2009, he was the Program Director for education at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He is a graduate of Morehouse College and holds Master’s degrees in business administration and education from Stanford University.

Learn more about our mission and our commitment to a better future for our children.

Our Initiatives