Global Conference 2013
Co-Chair and Trustee, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill Gates is co-chair and trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with co-chair Melinda Gates, he shapes and approves grant-making strategies, advocates for the foundation's issues, and helps set the overall direction of the organization. They work 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. 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 website for more on his work with the company.) A Seattle native, Bill and Melinda have three children.