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CEO Patty Stonesifer Announces Transition

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
206-709-3400
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Phone: 206.709.3400
Email: media@gatesfoundation.org

SEATTLE-- Patty Stonesifer, Chief Executive Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, today announced that she will be transitioning from her role as CEO by January 1, 2009.  Stonesifer has led the work of the foundation since its inception in 1997.

"When Bill and I set out to help ensure libraries in the U.S. offer free access to computers and the Internet, we turned to our friend Patty, whose management ability and effective leadership made her perfect for the job," said Melinda Gates, co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "More than a decade later, as we reflect on the progress and depend on the foundation team she built to continue and expand this work, we know enlisting Patty was one of the best decisions we have ever made."

During the past 11 years, Patty Stonesifer has built a strong, stable organization committed to reducing inequity in the world. The work of the foundation and its partners to date has led to millions of lives saved globally through immunizations and other health advances and more young people graduating high school ready for success in places like New York City.

"Patty would be outstanding in any job but her talents have been particularly well suited to foundation management," said Warren Buffett, foundation trustee. "Both head and heart go into decisions made in this activity—and Patty has an abundance of both."

Under Stonesifer's leadership, the foundation is organized into three program groups, each led by a president: Global Health, Global Development, and the U.S. Programs, and to date, has committed to more than $16 billion in grants aimed to ensure all people have a chance to live productive lives. The Seattle-based foundation has a $38.7 billion endowment and more than 500 employees. Stonesifer's tenure has been marked by growth and a steadfast commitment to learning, improving, and delivering results.

"Patty made our vision a reality, and I am deeply grateful to her," said Bill Gates, foundation co-chair. "Her remarkable leadership and foresight has put into place an organization that is fully devoted and prepared to continue the work. This is a rare quality even in great leaders, and I am pleased that she is choosing to stay involved with the foundation."

Stonesifer will work with co-chairs Bill and Melinda Gates in selecting a new CEO to run the organization. She expects to transition out of the CEO role by the end of the year and plans to stay engaged in the work of the foundation in a new and different way.

"I feel certain that my special purpose this past decade—to help Bill and Melinda build this unique institution—has been fulfilled. In fact it has been accomplished beyond my wildest dreams," said Stonesifer. "It's a good moment in time for the foundation and for me to hand the reins to a new CEO. We have in place the best leadership team I've ever seen, solid strategies, and many extraordinary and dedicated partners for this work."

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