|A YOUNG AIDS PATIENT is treated at an orphanage in Kenya. Among its other activities, the Clinton Foundation negotiates with pharmaceutical companies to bring down the prices of generic HIV/AIDS drugs in the developing world.|
Slideshow: "The Clinton Effect"
The former president describes his philanthropic journey
In His Own Words Click here to read excerpts from Jonathan Rauch's interview with Bill Clinton
He is a business consultant, seemingly typical of the breed. Height and build average, hair a graying brown, age 51. His name is Stephen Crolius, and he has worked for 21 years as a strategist at a series of high-priced consultancies. There is not a boardroom in the country where he would look or feel out of place. His suit and tie are sharp and pressed, but he looks tired, and with reason: He and a handful of colleagues have effectively launched a new business in just six months. His travel itinerary has been killing, and when I ask about his work habits, he says, “On any given day I get up and I start to work, and I work all day until I’m able to feel like nothing bad will happen if I stop working. If possible, I try to go a bit beyond that. I eat dinner, I go to sleep, I get up the next morning, and I do the same thing again.”
At a press conference tomorrow, his boss will announce the first fruit of these labors, a business deal involving five banks, four industrial companies, and cities on several continents. It is mid-May, and Crolius and I are sitting over drinks (nonalcoholic) in the lobby of a Manhattan hotel. A colleague of his, Jamie Russell, approaches. He is younger, British, with glossy brown hair and a model-fresh, collegian face. He has the precocious self-assurance of a man who, at 32, has already obtained a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and an M.B.A. from Stanford, worked for McKinsey & Co. in London, New York, and Silicon Valley, and was among the first employees of a London-based investment bank that specializes in carbon trading. When I ask him to explain the deal he just helped put together, Russell produces a pencil and draws a cost graph. Perhaps catching my quizzical look—I have never even taken a business course—he says, “It’s a piece of McKinsey analysis, really.” This does not help me all that much.