The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has appointed a board of trustees with four new members. Strive Masiyiwa, Baroness Nemat (Minouche) Shafik, Thomas J. Tierney, and Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman will join co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda Gates as members. The board members will work alongside Bill Gates and Melinda Gates, bringing independent and diverse perspectives to help strengthen the foundation’s governance.
Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman announced the board members in the foundation’s inaugural annual letter. The letter highlights the foundation’s efforts to fight poverty and disease, its goal of creating a better, fairer world, and its commitment to listening to diverse perspectives and deepening engagement with partners and communities.
The governance change comes following the demise Bill Gates Sr., Bill Gates’ father, an honorary co-chair, and a long-time guiding voice at the foundation in late 2020, Warren Buffett’s resignation as a trustee. The board could include up to nine total members, with conversations ongoing about adding to the initial slate to enhance representation across gender, geography, and expertise.
In addition to introducing the new board members, Suzman noted the foundation’s efforts to maximize its impact while ensuring that its work is increasingly inclusive. That includes deepening engagement with developing country agencies and governments, establishing offices and growing its staff outside of the United States, and expanding grants to institutions closer to affected communities.
“Our new board members are strong, qualified leaders who will support the foundation and its partners in our work to promote a healthier, safer, more equal world for all. I am deeply proud of all that we have accomplished over the past two decades and energized to work with them to drive progress on some of the most important issues the world faces today,” stated Melinda French Gates.
Strive Masiyiwa, chairman and founder of Econet Group, said: “Over the last 20 years I have worked with the Gates Foundation, beginning with efforts to improve agricultural production for more than 400 million smallholder farmers in Africa, to improving livelihoods for the poorest people across Africa and the world. We have worked together to address global health crises like the Ebola and COVID-19 pandemics. I am honored to join the co-chairs and the incredible team at the foundation in fighting disease and poverty throughout the world.”