Melinda Gates Resigns as Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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Melinda French Gates announced her resignation as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, set to take effect in June 2024.

The decision was announced in a statement on X this week.

The news comes almost three years after her public divorce from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

French Gates described this move as a pivotal step to “protect and advance women’s rights globally,” and signaled her renewed focus on gender equality and support for women and families.

She also revealed plans to commit an additional $12.5 billion to these causes.

Here is French Gates’ full statement:

After careful thought and reflection, I have decided to resign from my role as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. My last day of work at the foundation will be June 7th.

This is not a decision I came to lightly. I am immensely proud of the foundation that Bill and I built together and of the extraordinary work it is doing to address inequities around the world. I care deeply about the foundation team, our partners around the world, and everyone who is touched by its work.

I am taking this step with full confidence that the foundation is in strong shape, with its extremely capable CEO Mark Suzman, the Executive Leadership Team, and an experienced board of trustees in place to ensure all its important work continues. The time is right for me to move forward into the next chapter of my philanthropy.

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 urgent need of support. Under the terms of my agreement with Bill, in leaving the foundation, I will have an additional $12.5 billion to commit to my work on behalf of women and families. I’ll be sharing more about what that will look like in the near future.

Bill Gates expressed his sentiments about the resignation:

“I am sorry to see Melinda leave, but I am sure she will have a huge impact in her future philanthropic work.”

Bill’s decision to continue his friendship with Epstein is one of the main issues that prompted their divorce in May 2021.

After Bill repeatedly met with Epstein, Melinda demanded her husband introduce her to the billionaire hedge fund manager in 2011.

“I did not like that he had meetings with Jeffery Epstein. I made that clear to him. I also met Jeffery Epstein exactly one time. I wanted to see who this man was and I regretted it from the second I stepped in the door,” Gates told CBS mornings host Gayle King.

“He was abhorrent, evil personified,” Melinda said. “I had nightmares about it afterward. That’s why my heart breaks for these young women. That’s how I felt, and I am an older woman. He was awful.”

“It was not one thing, it was many things [that led to the divorce]. Any of the questions remaining about what Bill’s relationship with him was…those are for Bill to answer. I made it very clear how I felt about him,” she said.

Melinda claimed that Bill is a womanizer and had multiple affairs throughout their marriage.

“Those are questions Bill needs to answer. I believe in forgiveness. I thought we had worked through some of that,” she said. “I gave every single piece of myself to that marriage. I was committed from the day we got engaged to the day I got out of it.”

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