MAKERS Profile

Melinda Gates

Co-Chair and Trustee, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

In this video

Melinda Gates talks about learning to use her voice, meeting Bill for the first time, and helping women worldwide lift themselves up.

As co-chair and trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates helps to shape and approve strategies, setting the overall direction for the foundation. In developing countries, the Foundation harnesses science and technology to save lives, while empowering the world’s poorest people to lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. In the U.S., it works to improve U.S. high school and postsecondary education.

Over the years, Melinda has become a champion for women and girls’ rights and health around the world. In 2012, she spearheaded the London Summit on Family Planning, aiming to deliver contraceptives to 120 million women in developing countries by 2020. And on her storytelling platform Better by Half, she shares stories about individuals and organizations doing work to empower women and girls.

In 2014, Gates began her partnership with Hillary and Chelsea Clinton on No Ceilings, a project to collect and analyze data on global gender equality in the 21st century.

More From Melinda

Better With Her There
Melinda Gates’ dad worked on the Apollo missions, and he often talked about how much better his team was when there were women on it.

It Was About Success
Melinda Gates learned how to define success in high school. It was about giving back.  

Lifting Themselves Up
Melinda Gates talks about opportunities for education and aid in the developing world.

Where Are We?
Melinda Gates tells the story of her engagement to Bill.

A Math Student
Melinda Gates had a great female math teacher in high school who gave Gates her first opportunity to learn computer programming.  

A Bit of Both
How Melinda Gates got both science and management experience in high school.

Working with Men
Melinda Gates noticed how, as she continued with computer science, there were less and less girls in her classes.  

Both Competitive
Melinda Gates talks about the qualities she and Bill share.