Co-Chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Melinda Gates is co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with Bill Gates, she shapes and approves the foundation’s strategies, reviews results, and sets the overall direction of the organization. Together they meet with grantees and partners to further the foundation’s goal of improving equity in the U.S. and around the world. They use many public appearances to advocate for the foundation’s issues. In July of 2012, Gates made headlines by spearheading the London Summit on Family Planning, with the goal of delivering contraceptives to an additional 120 million women in developing countries by 2020. While involved in all of the organization’s endeavors, Gates believes that empowering women in developing countries to decide whether and when to have a child is a critical driver of her work at the foundation, since this decision can be the source of transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of whole societies. Bill and Melinda Gates live in Medina, Washington, near Seattle. They have three children.