Melinda French Gates
Melinda French Gates is a philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls. As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she shapes and approves the foundation’s strategies, reviews results, and sets the organization’s overall direction. She works with grantees and partners to further the foundation’s goal of improving equity in the United States and around the world.
Through her work at the foundation over more than two decades, Melinda has seen firsthand that empowering women and girls can bring about transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of families, communities, and societies. Her work has led her to increasingly focus on gender equity as a path to meaningful change.
Melinda is also the founder of Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company working to drive social progress for women and families in the United States, and she is the author of the bestselling book The Moment of Lift, which introduces readers to the inspiring women she has met during her work and travels around the world and shares her own journey to becoming an advocate for women and girls.
The second of four children, Melinda grew up in Dallas, Texas. She earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics and an MBA, both from Duke University. She spent the first decade of her career developing multimedia products at Microsoft before leaving the company to focus on her family and philanthropic work.
She has three children, Jenn, Rory, and Phoebe, and lives in Seattle, Washington.
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