What We Do

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We work with partners worldwide to tackle critical problems in five program areas. Our Global Health Division aims to reduce inequities in health by developing new tools and strategies to reduce the burden of infectious disease and the leading causes of child mortality in developing countries. Our Global Development Division focuses on improving the delivery of high-impact health products and services to the world’s poorest communities and helps countries expand access to health coverage. Our Global Growth & Opportunity division focuses on creating and scaling market-based innovations to stimulate inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Our United States Division works to improve U.S. high school and postsecondary education, and support vulnerable children and families in Washington State. And our Global Policy & Advocacy Division seeks to build strategic relationships and promote policies that will help advance our work. Our approach to grantmaking in all five areas emphasizes collaboration, innovation, risk-taking, and, most importantly, results.

where we work

Rather than look at the challenges that people face by region we identify challenges that can be tackled on a global level. We work with partners that can help to affect change globally, and then scale solutions to a local level.

our global health division

Our Global Health Division aims to harness advances in science and technology to save lives in developing countries. We work with partners to deliver proven tools—including vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics—as well as discover pathbreaking new solutions that are affordable and reliable. Equally important is innovation in how we bring health interventions to those who need them most. We invest heavily in vaccines to prevent infectious diseases—including HIV, polio, and malaria—and support the development of integrated health solutions for family planning, nutrition, and maternal and child health.

  • Vaccine Delivery

    Vaccines save millions of lives a year and are among the most cost-effective health interventions ever developed.
    Read Our Vaccine Delivery Strategy Overview

  • HIV

    More than 33 million people around the world are currently living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and more than 30 million people have died from HIV-related complications since the earliest cases were detected in the 1980s.
    Read Our HIV Strategy Overview

  • Malaria

    Malaria occurs in nearly 100 countries worldwide, exacting a huge toll on human health and imposing a heavy social and economic burden in developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
    Read Our Malaria Strategy Overview

our global development division

Our Global Development Division aims to identify and fund the delivery of high-impact solutions that can reduce health inequities and give everyone the opportunity to healthy, productive lives, We work closely with our partners to support innovative approaches and expand existing ones so they reach the people who are most in need.

our u.s. program

In the United States, our primary focus is on ensuring that all students graduate from high school prepared for college and have an opportunity to earn a postsecondary degree with labor-market value. Our approach is to play a catalytic role—to support the development of innovative solutions in education that are unlikely to be generated by institutions working alone and that can trigger change on a broader scale. We also work to address issues of social inequity and poverty in Washington State, where the Gates family has lived for generations and the foundation makes its permanent home.

  • K-12 Education

    Our work supports innovation that can improve U.S. K-12 public schools and ensure that students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college.
    Read Our K-12 Education Overview

  • Postsecondary Success

    This strategy is to ensure that all low-income young adults have affordable access to a quality postsecondary education that is tailored to their individual needs and educational goals and leads to timely completion of a degree or certificate with labor-market value.
    Read Our Postsecondary Success Overview

  • Our Work in Washington State

    Our goal is to create opportunities for all children in Washington State to thrive in stable families, great schools, and strong communities.
    Read Our Washington State Program Overview

our global policy & advocacy division

Because our resources alone are not enough to advance the causes we care about, we engage in advocacy efforts to promote public policies that advance our work, build strategic alliances with governments and the public and private sectors, and foster greater public awareness of urgent global issues. Our Global Policy & Advocacy Program has teams dedicated to advocacy, policy analysis, media and communications, government relations, as well as strengthening philanthropic partnerships and the charitable sector in the United States and overseas. We work in close collaboration with all our offices in the United States, Europe, China, India, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and South Africa.

  • Development Policy and Finance

    We aim to accelerate progress in advancing human development and alleviating extreme poverty by enabling evidence-based public policymaking at the global and national levels—through research, ideas, and innovations.
    Read our Development Policy and Finance overview

  • Tobacco Control

    We support efforts to reduce tobacco-related death and disease in low- and middle-income countries by preventing the initiation of new smokers, decreasing overall tobacco use, and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke.
    Read our Tobacco Control Strategy Overview

  • Regional Offices

    Our regional offices help maintain and further a global presence in our advocacy and strategy work. 
    Read about our Regional Offices

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