Sunday, January 30, 2011

Billionaire's Wife

Melinda and Bill Gates

Born Melinda Ann French on August 15, 1964 in Dallas, Texas, Melinda Gates is the wife of American Billionaire, Bill Gates. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Economics from Duke University and Master of Science in Economics from the same school in 1987.

She met Bill Gates when she worked as a unit manager of Microsoft products (Publisher, Microsoft Bob, Encarta and Expedia). According to Sylvia Matthews, Chief Operating Officer of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, there’s a joke in the foundation calling the couple 2 and-a-half-degrees Melinda is 2 while Bill is half referring to their educational attainment.

“But despite what anyone says, it's clear that the big decisions still get made by Bill Gates. At a quarterly review of grants at the offices in Seattle, he sits at the head of the table, with Melinda on his left and his father on his right. Nervous staff members direct their presentations to him, not Melinda--who drinks a Snapple and seems like the most relaxed person in the room. Bill flings out questions in his trademark squeaky voice, with an expression on his face that suggests more curiosity than concern. "How are they going to prioritize?" he asks about a potential grantee. "Are they going to have a theme? Are they heart, lung, cancer, infections--what are they?" he asks, his voice arcing higher with each question” ---Time Magazine’s article From Riches to Rags by Amanda Bower.

In 2006, she and her husband received the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation given by the Royal court of Spain for their impact in charitable works. Melinda Gates ranked by Forbes magazine as #40 Most Powerful Women in the World in 2008. In 2010, she left Microsoft to focus more on her family and foundation. Each year, Bill and Melinda Gates embarked into what they called a “learning tour”, roaming to places which seemed forgotten by the world. 

They often flown with their private jet to visit the most depressed places in the planet and learned from the people’s experience how to live in such depressing situation, they interact with people who ravaged by malnutrition, with Melinda holding malnourished and sickly children. They recorded their discoveries and learning experience by intensifying their foundation to help fund scientific researches on AIDS, pneumonia and other diseases.

0 comments: