Sixteen years ago, I fell into my first role in philanthropy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. My background was in public diplomacy and international studies. While I had heard of the Foundation’s work in global health, I didn’t know anything about working in a philanthropic foundation. As I started in my role, I realised that other people had a similar experience of stumbling into philanthropy. I began to wonder who we all were and how we got here. It was the seed of a research idea I would carry for over a decade.

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