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SEATTLE, May 21, 2020 – Today the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation named three new members to its Executive Leadership Team (ELT). Ankur Vora will become Chief Strategy Officer, Gargee Ghosh will become President, Global Policy & Advocacy, and Susan Byrnes will become Chief Communications Officer. Each will assume their new roles effective June 1, 2020.
“I am honored to welcome three exceptionally qualified individuals to the Executive Leadership Team,” said Mark Suzman, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Our ability to maximize impact can only be accomplished if we have a strong leadership team, composed of diverse voices and expertise, working well together. As long-standing colleagues, Ankur, Gargee, and Susan bring deep institutional experience, as well as strong resumes of accomplishments and leadership. They will be critical partners to guide the direction of the foundation in their new roles.”
Ankur joined the foundation in 2013 as deputy director, Strategy. He was promoted to director, Strategy Innovation & Impact team in 2015. In that role, he shaped the team into the highly valued resource it is today – partnering with programs on their strategy development. He has been instrumental in refining the strategy review and annual planning processes, which facilitate the allocation of resources toward highest impact opportunities.
Prior to the foundation, Ankur was a program director at The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation managing a portfolio across health, nutrition, and education. He is trained as a development economist from the University of Chicago where he earned his PhD and was a lecturer in the college. He grew up in India where his parents are still part of the health NGO that shaped his early interests.
Gargee first joined the foundation in 2003 as senior program officer for the Vaccine Fund – the financing arm of GAVI – and played a critical role in the foundation’s early work in global health delivery. She rejoined in 2012 as director of the Development Policy & Finance team, and her portfolio grew to include leadership roles in the Foundation Strategy Office and with Program Advocacy & Communications. Gargee brings strategy skills, policy acumen, ability to connect and motivate strong teams, and a deep commitment to the foundation’s mission.
Gargee’s career has taken her from the public sector in Canada and at the UN, to the private sector at McKinsey and Google, to the non-profit sector at the Center for Global Development. She holds graduate degrees in development economics from the University of Oxford and in international relations (MSFS) from Georgetown, and an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Victoria in Canada.
Susan initially joined the foundation in 2007 and has held a variety of communications leadership roles, including interim chief communications officer. In 2015, Susan joined foundation grantee Malaria No More as a managing director, partnering with global malaria organizations on coordinated communications campaigns to mobilize resources and political will to end malaria. Susan returned to the foundation in 2017 as director, External Communications. She has managed the foundation’s brand and reputation, key partnerships, and campaigns to advance programmatic priorities.
Prior to her career in communications, Susan spent a decade as a journalist. She worked as a staff writer, editorial writer, and columnist for The Seattle Times; general assignment report for The Los Angeles Times; and a news producer for Italian national television (RAI-Uno). Susan earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Brown University and a master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Mark Suzman and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
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