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Melinda French Gates to leave Gates Foundation; will pivot to gender equality

caption: Melinda Gates in 2017 at an event in Washington, D.C., about investing in adolescents.
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Melinda Gates in 2017 at an event in Washington, D.C., about investing in adolescents.

Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the last 24 years, announced Monday she is leaving the philanthropic organization.

The foundation will be renamed the Gates Foundation. In a statement on X, Melinda Gates said she would have an additional $12.5 billion to focus on gender equality, under terms of her agreement with her ex-husband and co-founder, Bill Gates.

“This is a critical moment for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world – and those fighting to protect and advance equality are in need of urgent support,” Gates wrote on X.

The Gateses launched the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 after amassing their wealth at Microsoft, of which Bill Gates was co-founder. They pledged to donate a majority of their wealth, focusing on a range of issues, from education to global health.

The Gates split in 2021.

In response to Gates’ statement on X, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton weighed in: “Melinda, this is so exciting. Thanks for everything you’ve already done, and I can’t wait to see all you do next. Onward!”

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