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SEATTLE -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has selected Kate James to serve as its chief communications officer. James will join the foundation from Citibank, where she was senior vice president for global corporate communications.
James will serve as the senior communications advisor to the foundation’s co-chairs and executive team. She will work closely with the foundation’s Global Development, Global Health, and United States programs to help advance the organization’s mission and advocacy efforts to improve education in the U.S. and combat disease and poverty in the developing world. James will also participate as a member of the foundation’s management committee.
“Kate’s expertise and success managing large teams to harness the voice of large, multi-faceted organizations will help us expand our efforts to share what we are learning,” said Jeff Raikes, CEO of the foundation. “She will be a tremendous addition to our leadership team, and we are thrilled she is joining us to help advance our work around the world.”
James joined Citibank in 2008 after serving as group head of public affairs at Standard Chartered Bank in London, where she managed the bank’s government and corporate relations strategies and developed its corporate responsibility initiatives in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia. Before working in the banking industry, James was a senior leader at Glaxo SmithKline, managing external relations in Latin America, Canada, Asia, Australia, and Africa, and for Glaxo Wellcome.
“The Gates Foundation recognizes that communications and advocacy are critical for building support for its work on the ground and bringing innovative solutions to those who need them most,” James said. “I’m looking forward to joining this team and working on some of the most important issues facing our world.”
James will assume her new role in January 2010 and will be based in Seattle.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. The foundation also has offices in Washington, D.C.; Beijing, China; and Delhi, India, and will open a new office in London in 2010.