Melinda French Gates
As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda French Gates shapes and approves foundation strategies, reviews results, advocates for the foundation’s issues and helps set the overall direction of the organization.
She meets with local, national, and international grantees and partners to further the foundation’s goal of improving equity in the United States and around the world. She also uses many public appearances, including speeches, interviews, and articles, to focus attention on these issues.
After joining Microsoft Corp. in 1987, she distinguished herself in business as a leader in the development of many of Microsoft’s multimedia products. In 1996, Gates retired from her position as Microsoft’s General Manager of Information Products.
Since then, she has directed her energy toward the nonprofit world. In addition to her role with the foundation, she is a former member of the board of trustees of Duke University and is a former co-chair of the Washington State Governor’s Commission on Early Learning.
Melinda lives with her husband Bill in Medina, Wash., near Seattle. They have three children.