Bill Gates

Co-chair and Trustee

As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates shapes and approves foundation strategies, advocates for the foundation’s issues, and sets the organization’s overall direction. He works with grantees and partners to further the foundation’s goal of improving equity in the United States and around the world.

Bill co-founded Microsoft Corporation in 1975 with Paul Allen and led the company to become the worldwide leader in business and personal software and services. In 2008, Bill transitioned to focus full-time on the foundation’s work. Through his private office, Gates Ventures, he pursues his work in climate change and clean energy innovation, Alzheimer’s research and other healthcare issues, interdisciplinary education, and technology. He is also the founder of Breakthrough Energy, which works to address climate change by supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs, big thinkers, and clean technologies.

If we are going to change people’s lives, we need another level of innovation. Not just technology innovation – system innovation.
Bill Gates
Co-chair and Trustee

In 2010, Bill, Melinda French Gates, and Warren Buffett founded the Giving Pledge, an effort to encourage the world’s wealthiest families and individuals to publicly commit more than half of their wealth to philanthropic causes and charitable organizations during their lifetime or in their will.

Bill grew up in Seattle with two sisters. His late father, William H. Gates Sr., was an attorney and civic leader who served as a co-chair of the foundation from 2000 to 2020 His late mother, Mary Gates, was a schoolteacher, University of Washington regent, and chair of United Way International. Bill has three children.

See articles by Bill Gates

Healthcare worker

A three-part plan to eliminate COVID-19

In order to distribute a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, Bill Gates underscores the need for capacity to produce billions of doses, funding to pay for them, and systems to deliver them.
By Bill Gates Co-chair and Trustee
Staff and volunteers at a United Way of King County distribution center.

The vital importance of everyday giving: A Q&A with Bill and Melinda Gates

Bill and Melinda Gates reflect on the importance of everyday giving and support for community nonprofits.
By Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates
Girl working on homework

How to help students get to college in the COVID era

Bill Gates shares three organizations that support high school students on their path to a college degree.
By Bill Gates Co-chair and Trustee

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