Melinda French Gates to Resign From Gates Foundation

Melinda French Gates is leaving the behemoth foundation she and her former husband, Bill Gates, founded nearly a quarter-century ago to devote herself fully to her work on behalf of women and girls, which has been the focus of much of her recent philanthropy.

Her move, announced on Monday, marks the end of an era for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — henceforth known as the Gates Foundation — which she and her former husband founded in 2000 and transformed into a juggernaut that shook up the world of philanthropy and reshaped the fields of global public health and development.

“After careful thought and reflection, I have decided to resign from my role as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,” Ms. French Gates, 59, said in a post on X. She added that the foundation was “in strong shape,” and that it was the right time for her to move “into the next chapter of my philanthropy.” Her last day will be June 7.

Ms. French Gates will get $12.5 billion in resources to direct toward her philanthropic work. In a statement, she said she would use the money she was leaving with to “commit to my work on behalf of women and families.”

Already one of the world’s most influential female philanthropists, Ms. French Gates has long argued that the uplift of women benefits all of society. Her pivot to women’s rights and gender equality is likely to have a meaningful impact on the world of giving.

“It’s a milestone in the evolution of arguably the most important foundation of our time,” said Amir Pasic, the dean of Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

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