Melinda French Gates, a renowned philanthropist, said on Monday that she will step down from her role as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which she has assisted in leading since 2000.

The foundation has awarded grants totaling around $78 billion in the roughly 25 years since it was established. The CEO of the foundation, Mark Suzman, said in a statement on Monday that French Gates had taken the choice “after considerable reflection, based on how she wants to spend the next chapter of her philanthropy.” “Melinda has fresh perspectives on the role she wants to play in enhancing the lives of families and women both domestically and internationally. She also wants to utilize this new chapter to concentrate particularly on changing the trajectory of women’s rights, having endured a trying few years witnessing its retraction both domestically and internationally.

According to French Gates’ divorce settlement with Bill Gates, she would get an extra $12.5 billion for her philanthropic endeavors.

“This is not a decision I came to lightly,” she stated in a statement that was uploaded on X. “The foundation Bill and I created together and the amazing work it is doing to address injustices worldwide make me incredibly proud.”

French Gates said that she will be leaving the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on June 7 and that she will soon provide additional details about her future giving endeavors.

According to Suzman, the group will now be known as the Gates Foundation, with Bill Gates serving as its only chair.

In a second statement released on Monday, Bill Gates said, “I am sorry to see Melinda leave, but I am sure she will have a huge impact on her future philanthropic work.”

He stated, “Going forward, I remain fully committed to realizing the opportunities we have to continue improving the lives of millions of people around the world, as well as to the work of the Foundation across all of our strategies.”

The goal of the $75.2 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is to alleviate poverty, advance educational opportunities, and improve health care in poor nations by funding and supporting numerous global projects and organizations.

In 2015, French Gates also established Pivotal Ventures, a different nonprofit organization dedicated to breaking down obstacles facing women and minorities in the US. In 2019, she gave the group a $1 billion pledge.

Both French Gates and the founders of Microsoft have promised to contribute the great bulk of their fortune to the foundation and other charitable causes.


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