Melinda Gates

Co-chair and Trustee

Along with Co-chair Bill Gates, Melinda Gates shapes and approves foundation strategies, advocates for the foundation’s issues, and sets the organization’s overall direction. She and Bill work 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.

Our role is to take risks that, if they pay off, could give millions of people the chance to make the most of their lives.
Melinda Gates
Co-chair and Trustee

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 and Bill have three children: Jenn, Rory, and Phoebe.

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