George Mitchell was a businessman, developer and philanthropist and the co-founder of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation. Born to Greek immigrant parents in Texas in 1919, the businessman turned philanthropist has contributed much to society along with his wife through their charitable foundation, the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation. The foundation concentrates primarily on promoting and helping to support the development of renewable energy. Since it was founded in 1978, the late George P. Mitchell and Cynthia Woods Mitchell have distributed more than $400 million in grants to various causes, programmes and institutions.
Current initiatives the foundation is supporting include water, sustainability science, clean energy and natural gas sustainability. The foundation also helps other non-grant-making programmes, including the Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University and Cook’s Branch Conservancy. George and Cynthia Mitchell are dedicated to supporting the work of others that reflects their own values.
George Mitchell himself is credited with having pioneered the extraction of shale gas, a natural gas trapped within shale formations and an important source of energy. Over 20% of the USA’s natural gas supply now comes from shale gas. This is a vital discovery, with the world’s increasing use of natural energy reserves demanding larger supplies.
Supporting the Arts and Science
Other areas that have benefited from the foundation’s work and support include the arts, which the Mitchells believe have transformational power to influence people’s lives in a positive way through inspiration and intellectual and emotional growth.
In 2010, George Mitchell joined the Giving Pledge, which was established by Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates. It publicised his and Cynthia’s decision that most of their wealth would be given to charity.
Science and Technology Donations
Alongside various national leaders, George Mitchell created the International George and Cynthia Mitchell Prize and the Woodlands Conference series. Both were created to help to develop sustainable. He was strongly committed to combining business sense with charitable works to help the development of sustainability. Science and technology also received another boost from the foundation when Mitchell gave 20 million dollars towards the creation of the George and Cynthia Mitchell Endowment for Sustainability Science at the National Academy of Sciences. At regional level, another sustainability project set up by Mitchell is the Houston Advanced Research Center. By 2011, the Mitchell’s total contributions to universities and research organizations in the pursuit of sustainability had reached 159 million dollars.
George P. Mitchell died on 26th July, 2013.