Laurie Lee is the Director, Africa, within Global Policy and Advocacy, leading the Foundation’s team working on policy, advocacy and government relations in Africa, including the establishment of the new Country Representation of the foundation in Ethiopia, South Africa and Nigeria.
Laurie joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in January 2009 as Deputy Director for External Affairs in the Global Development Policy and Advocacy team.
Prior to joining the foundation Laurie was a civil servant in the British Government, mainly in the Department for International Development (DFID), in which his last position was Deputy Director and Head of the International Trade Department. From 2004 to 2006 Laurie served as Deputy Director and Foreign Policy Adviser on Africa to Prime Minister Tony Blair. While in this role, he helped to lead the UK’s 2005 G8 Presidency focus on Africa and Poverty, culminating in the Gleneagles Summit, negotiating some of the key agreements on debt, aid and HIV/AIDS.
Laurie’s other experience includes working as DFID’s programme manager for Afghanistan and South Africa, and serving as a UK negotiator on African issues in the European Union.