Founded by Melinda French Gates, Pivotal Ventures accelerates social progress by removing barriers that hold people back.

Our Founder

Melinda
French Gates

Melinda French Gates talks with two young students.

Watch Melinda French Gates explain why she believes so strongly in removing the barriers that hold women back.

Melinda French Gates smiling.

Photo by Jason Bell

Melinda French Gates founded Pivotal Ventures to accelerate the pace of social progress.

"Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity."

Melinda French Gates
Founder, Pivotal Ventures
Melinda French Gates speaks with a small group of students.

Photo by Bryan Meltz

Melinda French Gates visits Girls Garage, a design and construction school for girls and gender expansive youth, in Berkeley, CA.

Melinda French Gates is a philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls.

As the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda sets the direction and priorities of one of the world’s largest philanthropies. In 2015, Melinda founded Pivotal Ventures, a company working to accelerate the pace of social progress. Melinda is also the author of the bestselling book The Moment of Lift.

Melinda grew up in Dallas, Texas. She received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics and an MBA, both from Duke University. Melinda spent the first decade of her career developing multimedia products at Microsoft before leaving the company to focus on her family and philanthropic work. She has three children—Jenn, Rory, and Phoebe—and lives in Seattle, Washington.