Mark Suzman

CEO, Board Member

As CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mark Suzman leads the organization in service of our mission – to help every person have the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. Knowing that we cannot achieve that mission alone, he brings a deep commitment to building partnerships and ensuring that the culture of the foundation directly enables the impact we aspire to have. Mark serves as a member of the foundation’s board of trustees in his role as CEO.

Mark's upbringing in apartheid South Africa instilled in him a desire to use the advantages afforded to him to help tackle injustice and inequality. He began his career doing that through journalism, writing for the Johannesburg Star and then the Financial Times, where he covered international trade policy, welfare reform, and political issues, including the historic 1994 election of Nelson Mandela. In 2000, Mark joined the United Nations, where he was part of the effort to implement the Millennium Development Goals under the leadership of then Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He held multiple positions at the UN over his six-year tenure, including senior advisor for policy and strategic communications in the Office of the Secretary General, and policy director in the Office of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Program.

Mark joined the foundation in 2007 as director of Global Development Policy, Advocacy, and Special Initiatives. Prior to becoming CEO, he served as managing director of Country Offices, president of Global Policy and Advocacy, and chief strategy officer. In these roles, he built and oversaw the development of the foundation’s offices in India, China, Africa, and Europe, and managed the foundation’s relationships with government, private philanthropists, and civil society. He also implemented a new system for how the foundation measures impact and manages tradeoffs across its strategic priorities.

Mark holds a doctorate in international relations from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He earned his bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, from Harvard University.

See articles by Mark Suzman

A OneGoal classroom full of people sitting around a table and listening to a speaker.

From the interview chair to serious barbecue: CEO Mark Suzman in Texas

Mark shares some of his favorite moments from a recent trip to Houston, Texas to meet with education partners and grantees.
By Mark Suzman CEO, Board Member, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Thoko Moyo, Director of Global Communications, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Mark Suzman, CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation during the Optimist Q&A call.

Your questions for CEO Mark Suzman, answered (2024 edition)

Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman answers questions from Optimist e-mail subscribers from around the globe following the release of his 2024 annual letter.
By Mark Suzman CEO, Board Member, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Mark Suzman, the CEO of the Bill & Melinda Foundation, with Talash Hujibers, the founder and CEO of InsectiPro, during their visit to the insect breeding facility in Limuru, Kenya, on April 27, 2023. InsectiPro breeds black soldier flies and crickets and aims to secure Africa's future by providing sustainable protein sources. The black soldier flies are used to produce animal feed and fertilizer, while the crickets are processed into high-protein food snacks for human consumption.

2024 Gates Foundation Annual Letter

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed to spending $8.6 billion in 2024 to help meet mounting needs and fund innovative ways to save and improve lives. Many philanthropists are stepping up, but this extraordinary moment requires more: more urgency, more resources, and more bold, new ideas from around the world.
By Mark Suzman CEO, Board Member, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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