Melinda French Gates has resigned from her role as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with her last day being 7 June 2024.

Mark Suzman, CEO of the foundation, shares that Melinda Gates plans to play a role in improving the lives of women and families.

“After a difficult few years watching women’s rights rolled back in the US and around the world, she wants to use this next chapter to focus specifically on altering that trajectory,” he says in a message shared with employees.

“Bill and Melinda created the foundation with a simple belief: All lives have equal value,” he adds. “I believe wholeheartedly in our mission that everyone deserves the opportunity to live a healthy and productive life. I have been reminded firsthand in recent trips from Texas to Ethiopia about the unique role the Gates Foundation plays in providing opportunities and changing lives.”

He points out that the foundation has made significant contributions to the world, saving and improving tens of millions of lives in partnership with a network of partners.

“As we move to an unprecedented annual payout of $9-billion, we have the opportunity to continue to reduce the number of women who die in childbirth and children who die before their fifth birthdays. Eradicate polio and possibly even malaria. Expand the number of women who are running their own businesses and pulling their families out of poverty. Ensure more people in the US and around the world have access to the tools and resources they need to educate and feed their children and take care of their health.”

Suzman adds that the foundation will change its name to the Gates Foundation, with Bill Gates as the sole chair.