Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation names Miguel Veiga-Pestana Chief Communications Officer
SEATTLE (October 13, 2014) – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced the appointment of Miguel Veiga-Pestana as Chief Communications Officer. Veiga-Pestana joins the foundation from Unilever, where he served 14 years in various capacities, most recently as vice-president of sustainability and global advocacy.
Veiga-Pestana will lead a global communications function that includes leadership communications, media relations, digital and social media, brand and research, employee communications, community relations, and strategic media partnerships. He will work closely with the foundation’s program and advocacy teams and regional offices to advance the organization’s mission and advocacy efforts. He will also serve on the Executive Leadership Team, and report to foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann.
“Miguel is a proven leader, outstanding manager, and skilled communications practitioner,” said Desmond-Hellmann. “He brings 25 years of experience leading innovative communications teams, and a deep commitment to issues of health, development and poverty eradication. We are lucky to have him.”
Most recently at Unilever, Veiga-Pestana was responsible for driving global advocacy on key sustainability and business strategic priorities, and led Unilever’s engagement in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals process. He began his career at Unilever in 2001 when he joined the company to lead its European public affairs work. Prior to that he held a variety of public affairs roles in Europe and the United States and he worked as a research assistant in the U.K. Parliament and U.S. Congress. He is a graduate of Leeds University, where he earned a B.A. with honors in politics and parliamentary studies.
Veiga-Pestana will assume his new position in November and will be based in Seattle.
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 Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.