Bill Gates Sets Out His Global Charitable Goals

Bill and Melinda Gates visit Lee High School in Houston. i i

Bill and Melinda Gates visit Lee High School in Houston. Public education is at the center of their funding initiatives in the United States. In the developing world, the couple’s foundation focuses on improving public health. David Evans/Courtesy of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hide caption

itoggle caption David Evans/Courtesy of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill and Melinda Gates visit Lee High School in Houston.

Bill and Melinda Gates visit Lee High School in Houston. Public education is at the center of their funding initiatives in the United States. In the developing world, the couple’s foundation focuses on improving public health.

David Evans/Courtesy of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

After retiring from his day-to-day role at Microsoft in 2008, Bill Gates transitioned into full-time work at the charitable foundation he runs with his wife, Melinda Gates.

With billions of dollars at its disposal, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has the power to make a major mark on the issues it chooses to focus on.

On Monday, Gates issued a 19-page public letter that reflects on his first full-time year on the job and articulates the goals he has for his organization moving forward. Here is a section from the introduction:

Melinda and I see our foundation's key role as investing in innovations that would not otherwise be funded. This draws not only on our backgrounds in technology but also on the foundation's size and ability to take a long-term view and take large risks on new approaches. Warren Buffett put it well in 2006 when he told us, "Don't just go for safe projects. You can bat a thousand in this game if you want to by doing nothing important. Or you'll bat something less than that if you take on the really tough problems." We are backing innovations in education, food, and health as well as some related areas like savings for the poor.

The foundation is now supporting about 30 projects in three areas: global health, global development and the United States.

Gates joined Neal Conan of Talk of the Nation on Monday to discuss his first full-time year on the job and his funding priorities.

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