Mark Suzman

Chief Executive Officer

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'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

Woman receiving vaccination from health care worker

Why we're giving $250 million more to fight COVID-19

The next phase in the fight against the pandemic is beginning: Will the science developed in 2020 benefit everyone in 2021?
By Mark Suzman Chief Executive Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Visitor Center at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on February 4, 2012, the first official day the center was open to the public. Exterior of the Visitor Center

Making diversity, equity, and inclusion part of everything we do

CEO Mark Suzman announces the Gates Foundation’s commitment to a diversity of talent, equitable practices, and an inclusive culture.
By Mark Suzman Chief Executive Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Farmer harvesting crops in field

The time to adapt to climate change is now

CEO Mark Suzman makes the case for immediate global action on climate change, including investments in research and innovation and stronger social safety nets.
By Mark Suzman Chief Executive Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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