Melinda French Gates to leave the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


French Gates, who will officially leave on June 7th, will continue her philanthropy elsewhere, to the tune of $12.5 billion. The money stems from an agreement with her ex-husband, Bill Gates, and does not come from the foundation’s endowment. In her X post, she says she will focus on programs “on behalf of women and families.” 

“This is not a decision I came to lightly,” French Gates says. “I am immensely proud of the foundation that Bill and I built together, and of the extraordinary work it is doing to address inequalities around the world.”

French Gates and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates divorced in 2021. At the time, the two agreed to continue working together on the foundation with the proviso that they would revisit the arrangement after two years. This year marks the end of that two-year period. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman said in 2021 that if French Gates decided to leave, she would receive “personal resources from Bill for her philanthropic work” separate from the foundation’s endowment. 

The foundation’s current executive leadership team and board of trustees will remain in their positions. 

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded several projects targeting poverty, health, and education across the globe, including donating $250 million toward the development of covid-19 vaccines. 



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