Melinda French Gates

Co-Founder and Co-Chair of Maverick Collective (2013 - 2018)

I was drawn to Maverick because of what it could offer women, and personally, what I wish was available at the earliest stages of my own giving. I wanted to understand the issues where I hoped my time, funding, and voice could have an impact. For me, learning also meant experiencing the work by seeing it firsthand.

Melinda French Gates is a philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls.

As the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda sets the direction and priorities of one of the world’s largest philanthropies. In 2015, Melinda founded Pivotal Ventures, a company working to accelerate the pace of social progress in the United States. Melinda is also the author of the bestselling book The Moment of Lift.

Melinda grew up in Dallas, Texas. She received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics and an MBA, both from Duke University. Melinda spent the first decade of her career developing multimedia products at Microsoft before leaving the company to focus on her family and philanthropic work. She has three children—Jenn, Rory, and Phoebe—and lives in Seattle, Washington.


Former Co-Chair, Maverick Collective

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