About Mark Suzman
As CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, I lead the organization’s vision to create a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. Knowing that we cannot achieve that vision alone, I am deeply committed to building partnerships and ensuring that the culture of the foundation enables us to have maximum impact.
Growing up in apartheid South Africa instilled a strong desire to use the advantages I have to help tackle injustice and inequality. I began my career doing that through journalism. I started at the Johannesburg Star before moving to the Financial Times, where I covered international trade policy, welfare reform, and political issues, including the historic election of Nelson Mandela in 1994. In 2000, I joined the United Nations, where I was part of the effort to implement the Millennium Development Goals under then Secretary-General Kofi Annan. During my six-year tenure, I held multiple positions, including Senior Advisor for policy and strategic communications in the Office of the Secretary General, and Policy Director in the Office of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Program.
I joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2007 as director of Global Development Policy, Advocacy, and Special Initiatives. Prior to becoming CEO, I served as Managing Director of Country Offices, President of Global Policy and Advocacy, and Chief Strategy Officer. In these roles, I built and oversaw the development of the foundation’s offices in India, China, Africa, and Europe; managed the foundation’s relationships with government, private philanthropists, and civil society; and implemented a system for how the foundation measures impact and manages trade-offs across its strategic priorities.