Bill & Melinda Gates

Gates Bill & Melinda

Co-chairs, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Biographie de Gates Bill & Melinda

Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with co-chair Melinda Gates, he shapes and approves grantmaking strategies, advocates for the foundation’s issues, and helps set the overall direction of the organization.

Bill and Melinda Gates work together to expand opportunity to the world’s most disadvantaged people by collaborating with grantees and partners. They also participate in national and international events and travel extensively to focus attention on the issues the foundation champions.

Gates began his major philanthropic efforts in 1994, when he created the William H. Gates Foundation, which focused on global health. Three years later, he and Melinda created the Gates Library Foundation, which worked to bring public access computers with Internet connections to libraries in the United States. Its name changed to the Gates Learning Foundation in 1999 to reflect its focus on ensuring that low-income minority students are prepared for college and have the means to attend. In 2000, to increase efficiency and communication, the two groups merged into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In 1975, Gates left Harvard University in his junior year to focus on Microsoft, the company he founded with his childhood friend Paul Allen. As chief software architect and chairman, Gates led the company to become the worldwide leader in business and personal software, services, and solutions. In July 2008, Gates transitioned into a new role as chairman of Microsoft and advisor on some key development projects. (See Microsoft’s web site for more information on his work with the company.)

Gates also founded Corbis, which is developing a comprehensive digital archive of art and photography from public and private collections around the globe. He is a member of the board of directors of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Gates grew up in Seattle with his two sisters. His father, William H. Gates Sr., is a co-chair of the foundation and a retired attorney. His late mother, Mary Gates, was a schoolteacher, University of Washington regent, and chairwoman of United Way International. The Gateses have three children.

As co-chairs, Bill and Melinda Gates shape and approve foundation strategies, review results, advocate for the foundation’s issues, and help set the overall direction of the organization.

They meet 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. They also use many public appearances, including speeches, interviews, and articles, to focus attention on these issues.
Melinda Gates received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics from Duke University in 1986 and a master’s in business administration from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in 1987.
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.
Bill and Melinda Gates live in Medina, Wash., near Seattle. They have three children.

Ses articles


n°40 Third Quarter 2011

One of my favorite parts of my work at the foundation is travelling to developing countries. I get to meet so many wonderful people, but I also see the scale and scope of the challenges they’re up against. No matter how many times I see it, poverty is still jarring.

We are impatient optimists

n°37 July-September 2010

Back in 2000, when we started our foundation, we saw there were incredible inequities in health. There were millions of poor people dying of diseases that we’d cured in this country. And we decided to make that a major focus of our giving. Now, about the same time, the U.S. government was starting to increase its own spending on global health. In fact, it’s been increasing for each of the last 10 years. And so we want to thank America’s leaders and America’s taxpayers, and we want to show the...