Image - Rajiv Shah and detail from book cover

San Francisco

Making Big Bets with Rockefeller Foundation President Rajiv Shah

In-person TicketsOnline-only Tickets

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Throughout his career, Rajiv J. Shah has tackled some of the world’s most intractable challenges head on. At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Shah played an integral role in the colossal effort to vaccinate 900 million children. At the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under President Obama, he led the U.S. response to the Haiti earthquake and the West African Ebola pandemic, served on the National Security Council, and elevated the role of development as part of our nation’s foreign policy. Now, as president of the Rockefeller Foundation, Shah oversees the global institution in its mission to promote the well-being of humanity around the world.

His approach to tackling some of the biggest humanitarian efforts of the 21st century? A "big bets" philosophy—the idea that seeking ambitious solutions rather than making incremental improvements can attract the unlikely partners with the power and know-how to achieve results.

His debut book, Big Bets, offers a masterclass in approaching challenges—regardless of magnitude—through decision-making, leadership and, of course, a willingness to make bets.

Come hear Shah as he illuminates his "big bets" philosophy on creating transformational and lasting change—in our own lives and well beyond.


This program has 2 types of tickets available: In-person and online-only. Please pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event.

If you have symptoms of illness (coughing, fever, etc.), we ask that you either stay home or wear a mask. Our front desk has complimentary masks for members and guests who would like one.

The Commonwealth Club of California is a nonprofit public forum; we welcome donations made during registration to support the production of our programming.

Copies of Big Bets are available for purchase during registration (U.S. domestic shipping only).

Photo by Ralph Alswang.

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

Wed, Oct 25 / 5:30 PM PDT

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - Rajiv Shah

Rajiv Shah

President, The Rockefeller Foundation; Author, Big Bets: How Large-Scale Change Really Happens; Twitter @rajshah

Moderator TBA


5 p.m. doors open & check-in
5:30–6:30 p.m. program
6:30 p.m. book signing
(all times PDT)


$15 members
$25 nonmembers
$45 members with a book
$55 nonmembers with a book
Free for members
$10 nonmembers
$30 members with a book
$40 nonmembers with a book