Melinda Gates

Born:August 15, 1964 (age 59)
Education:B.A., Duke University
MBA, Fuqua School of Business

Melinda Gates is a philanthropist and a former executive at Microsoft. In 2019, Gates pledged to commit $1 billion over 10 years to expand gender equality in the United States, with three priorities: dismantling barriers to women’s professional advancement; fast-tracking women in sectors with significant impact on society; and mobilizing shareholders, consumers and employees to increase pressure on companies and organizations to reform.

Gates was born on August 15, 1964, in Dallas, Texas. She earned a bachelor's degree in computer science and economics from Duke University in 1986 and an MBA from Duke's Fuqua School of Business in 1987. After graduation, she began her career as a product manager at Microsoft, working her way up to general manager, a position she held until 1996, when she left Microsoft to focus on philanthropic work and family. In 2000, she and her husband Bill Gates founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private charitable organization. As of 2018, the foundation had provided $50.1 billion in grant payments.

In 2016, President Obama awarded the Gates the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their philanthropic work. In 2019, Gates authored the book "The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World."