Ruth Atherton




Ruth Atherton is primarily responsible for legal services to the foundation’s Global Health division and supporting the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute. In this role, she provides legal, compliance, policy, and strategic advice on a broad portfolio of grants, contracts, and investments. She is the executive sponsor of the foundation’s Global Access Team, which leads the development and implementation of the foundation’s intellectual property strategy and creates affordable access to the products and developments funded by the foundation to benefit the world’s populations who are most in need.

Prior to joining the foundation in 2012, Ruth was senior corporate counsel at Sanofi, supporting Industrial Affairs, and senior Intellectual Property (IP) Counsel at Genzyme Corporation supporting Global Manufacturing and Operations. Ruth was an IP litigation attorney at Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto in NYC, where she supported biotech and pharmaceutical litigation.

Ruth holds a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Cornell University and a J.D. from Fordham School of Law. She is admitted to the bar in Washington, New York, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. She is a registered patent attorney and a member of the International Law Association’s Global Health Law Committee.


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