Melinda French Gates Quits Gates Foundation, will pursue own philanthropy with $12.5 billion grant

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Melinda French Gates Steps Down from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Focus on Women’s Rights

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Melinda French Gates, the former wife of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, announced on Monday her resignation as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, effective next month.

In a statement, French Gates highlighted the urgency of protecting and advancing women’s rights globally, signaling a pivotal moment for her philanthropic endeavors. This decision comes nearly three years after the announcement of her divorce from Bill Gates in May 2021.

With her resignation, French Gates disclosed that she would have an additional $12.5 billion to allocate towards her work for women and families, as per the terms of their divorce agreement. Bill Gates expressed regret at her departure, acknowledging her significant contributions to philanthropy.

The Gates Foundation, under their leadership, has been instrumental in addressing global poverty and health challenges, including anti-malaria efforts in Africa and investments across South Asia. Additionally, French Gates has championed gender equality initiatives, founding Pivotal Ventures in 2015 to advocate for minorities and women’s access to opportunities in the U.S.

French Gates’ decision to step down follows the couple’s separation in 2021, amid reports linking Bill Gates to Jeffrey Epstein. Despite the personal challenges, the Gates Foundation remains a formidable force in global philanthropy, with French Gates poised to embark on a new chapter dedicated to advancing the rights of women and girls worldwide.


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