Chan Zuckerberg Initiative expands Palo Alto headquarters

Philanthropy group takes additional space at 555 University Ave.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has doubled the size of its headquarters in downtown Palo Alto. On Thursday, the city's Planning & Community Environment Department issued the philanthropic organization a use-and-occupancy permit to expand its headquarters into the one-story 10,000-square-foot office building at 555 University Ave. adjacent to the approximately 10,000-square-foot office at 435 Tasso St., where Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, a physician, have operated their philanthropy group for the past nine months.

According to a spokesperson, "The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is leasing additional space as part of our plans to build for the future, and we are committed to working in our community."

The organization would not provide further comment on the expanded space, but according to its website, the Initiative is looking to fill 32 full-time Palo Alto positions in various areas including operations, policy, advocacy, product and technology as well as in its education and science initiatives aimed at accelerating breakthrough research in learning and medicine. Education and technology positions account for more than half the openings.

The new office space coincides with the Palo Alto couple's push to ramp up their philanthropic efforts since launching the Initiative in December 2015. In an open letter to their newborn daughter, Max, the duo pledged 99 percent of their Facebook shares -- worth an estimated $45 billion -- to bring together top thought leaders to "advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation."

The philanthropy is focused on personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.

In recent months, the couple's charitable giving has funded millions of dollars in grants to various nonprofits, scientists and engineers. The organization recently opened a bio hub in San Francisco where engineers and researchers from Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, San Francisco, can work together on curing, preventing or managing all diseases over the next decade. And this month, the organization announced a partnership with education-reform group Chiefs for Change.

The Initiative also is preparing to move into a 100,000-square-foot space in downtown Redwood City. The project at 2075 Broadway is scheduled to break ground in June.


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Linda Taaffe

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51 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on May 16, 2017 at 10:11 am

I know that it has become popular among millennials to trash Mark Zuckerburg --
just like it was popular among Generation X and Y folks to do the same with Bill Gates. However, I appreciate this sort of generosity. Dr. Chan and Mr. Zuckerburg deserve a degree of respect for wanting to give back.

20 people like this
Posted by EllenU85
a resident of Downtown North
on May 16, 2017 at 2:23 pm

Welcome - Chan Zuckerberg Initiative - a new neighbor in Downtown Palo Alto.

Posted by Go Away Zuck
a resident of Downtown North

on May 16, 2017 at 6:35 pm

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5 people like this
Posted by RossP
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 16, 2017 at 9:38 pm

Many thanks to CZI for their amazing generosity. IMO Palo Alto is a better place because of your presence and influence. :)

3 people like this
Posted by Sea Seelam Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on May 17, 2017 at 3:47 am

Thanks to CZI foundation for your initiatives.
We love your commitment.

it is good to be in our lovely Palo Alto.


13 people like this
Posted by George
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 18, 2017 at 4:05 pm

As time goes by, it's worth questioning what FB has added - or cost - society. Beyond a place to gossip or 'like' or disparage others, a tool for a generation to waste thousands of hours away from real world experience and a means for businesses to exploit the private information of users - what is its actual contribution? At it's best another dimension of the entertainment landscape along with gaming, gambling, tv, streaming vr, etc. sold as a social enabler. Really? Are we a better society as a result? For its scale and national focus, facebook does nothing to solve any of the nation's problems, including the growing lack of competitiveness globally. Yet, we put so much money into FB and Zuckerburg has taken his 10s of billions. That he now gets so much disproportionate influence is troubling. It's worth considering whether Zuckerburg and Facebook have already done more harm than good.

4 people like this
Posted by @George
a resident of Mountain View
on May 18, 2017 at 4:56 pm

You know, you could have been gracious, and given thanks for this initiative.

But I guess that's too much to ask, isn't it?

5 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 19, 2017 at 12:51 am

Facebook is where I get my Palo Alto police info -- Web Link
... my Palo Alto Baylands info -- Web Link
... in fact all City of Palo Alto info -- Web Link
I could go on, but I think these Town Square comments are limited to 3 web links.
Fire Department, City Libraries, Foothills Park, Stanford Theatre, a hundred others.
No other resource is as timely, because no other resource is easier for the authors to edit.
(Near as I can figure, anyway...)
Don't need an account to see the info, but the pages are more readable if you have a log-in.
Don't know what the site look like on a small screen; I'm on a full-size desktop.
Weirdest thing, I see no ads.

7 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 19, 2017 at 6:56 am

I enjoy FB for a lot of purposes but note that it is now flooded with ABC news clips, many featuring George S. Since Fox News is the leading day time channel I think the FB is being used by news / political organizations which are trying to boost their ratings. Also the ladies of The View are trying to boost their ratings via FB since their ratings are tanking. Otherwise I am grateful that we have such talented people in our area who are contributing so much of their resources to making this a better place. FB has to make money to expand.

10 people like this
Posted by No Real Value
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 19, 2017 at 2:43 pm

I have recently closed my FB account due to all of the ads disguised as posts. There is almost nothing from friends, just loads and loads of filler.

Look at what FB has done to society, to this generation as well as upcoming ones. Mostly, it fosters screen addiction.

There are probably good reasons why he is popularly known as Schmuckerberg, which is a colloquial Yiddish play on his name.

Were it not for Priscilla Chan, the guy would be even more vapid than now.

Speaking for MP, Facebook has ruined The Willows neighborhood, caused pollution and traffic congestion and displaced people.

Why not move to the Central Valley or the Far East Bay where people can afford to live, and not have to commute through residential side streets to get to work in the current location?

Or better, shut it all down and give the employees golden parachutes!

I agree: just go away. The number of people employed does not mitigate the local and societal damage FB does.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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