[San Francisco Chronicle]: Google Inc., which has said it plans to put $1 billion into its charitable efforts, hired as its first chief of philanthropy a man who has helped eliminate smallpox in the Third World, founded a pioneering online community and rubbed elbows with the Grateful Dead.

Dr. Larry Brilliant, 61, of Mill Valley will become executive director of as it gets started on its mission of “applying innovation and significant resources to the largest of the world’s problems,” in the words of Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

It’s an inspired move, imho, and one that restores faith in Google’s ‘do no evil’ maxim (recently tarnished as it may be by the flap over their role in China. Brilliant is someone who has both visioned boldly and delivered on that vision — Seva Foundation is a rather stunning example of deep compassion in effective action — and that in itself is a great model for our times.