Chief Exective Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Inducted in: 1997
Patty Stonesifer serves as the president and CEO of Martha’s Table, a company that finds solutions to poverty. For the past 19 years, Patty was lead director of the corporate board for Amazon.
After spending the first 20 years of her career in technology as an executive, she moved to build the world’s largest foundation at Microsoft. She knew she wanted to spend the last years of her career supporting hard choices and the people who have to make them and took on a leadership role at Martha’s Table to help youth and family leaders build a better future for themselves.
In 1997, Patty joined Bill and Melinda Gates to start the Gates Library Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to partnering the United States and Canada with public libraries to increase computer access and digital information. By 2000, the foundation merged with the William H. Gates foundation to create the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Patty volunteered her services as CEO for over ten years. She oversaw a $38.7 billion endowment fund, distributed $2 billion a year to support organizations, and worked to improve the health of vulnerable populations in the United States and globally.
Patty directed and backed the Gates Foundation with public-private partnerships to achieve a wide range of goals, from research and development for new malaria vaccines to improving the measurement and visibility of the low high school graduation rates in the United States.
Patty donates her time and resources to many nonprofit organizations. She is vice chair of the board of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and is a member of the State Early Childhood Development Coordinating Council of Washington, D.C. and Raise D.C.’s executive committee.
She is a member of the board of trustees at the Federal City Council. She is also a member of the Circle of Allies and Champions for the National Council of Young Leaders, an advisory board member for America Achieves, and she is an advisor for Hope Street Group. Patty was a founding board member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, as well.
She previously served on the boards of GAVI (The Vaccination Alliance) , the Broad Institute, and the Center for Global Development. She recently completed her term as chair of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents. Appointed in 2010 by President Obama, Patty served as the chair of the White House Council for Community Solutions. She also served as a member of the United States delegation to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV and AIDS.
Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, Patty spent two decades working in technology, with her final role as senior vice president at Microsoft Corporation, leading the Consumer and Interactive Products division. She is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Patty is a graduate of Indiana University and has received honorary doctorate degrees from Indiana University, Tufts University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Trinity University.
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