Mr. William H. Gates, III, is Co-Chair & Trustee at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, Co-Chairman at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at Cascade Investment LLC, Chairman at Corbis Corp., Chairman at Corbis Images LLC and Chairman at TerraPower LLC.
He is on the Board of Directors at Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Along with co-chair Melinda Gates, he shapes and approves grantmaking strategies, advocates for the foundation’s issues, and helps set the overall direction of the organization.
He began his major philanthropic efforts in 1994, when he created the William H. Gates Foundation, which focused on global health. Three years later, he and Melinda created the Gates Library Foundation, which worked to bring public access computers with Internet connections to libraries in the United States. Its name changed to the Gates Learning Foundation in 1999 to reflect its focus on ensuring that low-income minority students are prepared for college and have the means to attend. In 2000, to increase efficiency and communication, the two groups merged into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Mr. Gates was previously employed as Founder by Shop.com, Trustee, Officer & Volunteer by Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and President by The King County Bar Association.
He also served on the board at ICOS Corp. and Kymeta Corp. In 1975, he left Harvard University in his junior year to focus on Microsoft, the company he founded with his childhood friend Paul Allen. As chief software architect and chairman, he led the company to become the worldwide leader in business and personal software, services, and solutions. In July 2008, he transitioned into a new role as chairman of Microsoft and advisor on some key development projects.
He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington.