George Soros, founder and chair of the Open Society Foundations, has been named as Inside Philanthropy’s 2019 Philanthropist of the Year.

“No donor is doing more to push back against the rising tide of authoritarianism worldwide,” Inside Philanthropy, a website focusing on large philanthropic foundations and wealthy donors, declared.

Among his different fights, Inside Philanthropy recognized Soros’ recent pledge to donate over $800 million to support academic freedom in Central Europe. The $800 million should support the efforts of the Central European University (CEU) established by Soros, as the institution recently opened its new campus in Vienna.

CEU had to move the bulk of its courses out of Hungaryfollowing the country’s decision to ban foreign-registered universities that do not also offer courses in their home country.

The Hungarian-born liberal philanthropist Soros founded the Open Society Foundations in 1979 to promote democracies around the world and to support “individuals and organizations fighting for freedom of expression, accountable government, and societies that promote justice and equality”.

Inside Philanthropy also recognized Soros’s 35-year-old son Alexander as the Most Intriguing Heir in 2019.

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