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

Mark Suzman, CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, visits the H3D Lab with Dr. Kelly Chibale in Cape Town, South Africa.

Reflecting on the evolution of the foundation: A Q&A with Mark Suzman

Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman reflects on the evolution of the foundation, his 2022 Annual Letter, and the foundation’s newly appointed board of trustees.
By Mark Suzman CEO, Board Member, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Detail view of the "campus heart" courtyard on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Seattle campus in Seattle

Work in progress: An update on our DEI journey

We have much work to do to achieve true inclusion at the foundation. We aim to hold ourselves accountable for doing better.
By Mark Suzman CEO, Board Member, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Leadership and continuity in a time of change: A Q&A with Mark Suzman

The foundation’s CEO addresses pressing issues for the foundation—both internally and in its work to improve lives around the world during the pandemic and beyond.
By Mark Suzman CEO, Board Member, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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