Sue Desmond-Hellmann, the physician and scientist who led the world’s largest philanthropy as CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for more than five years, announced Thursday morning that she will leave the role early next year.
Mark Suzman, a 12-year Gates Foundation veteran, was named as her successor, the fourth CEO in the 19-year history of the Seattle-based organization.
Desmond-Hellmann was the first person without a Microsoft pedigree to lead the $46.7 billion philanthropy Desmond-Hellmann began her career as a practicing oncologist in San Francisco. She moved to Uganda to provide medical care to patients with HIV/AIDS and cancer alongside her husband in 1989. When she returned to the U.S., she continued her work as a physician for several years before taking a position at the biotech firm Genentech developing gene therapies for cancer.
After 14 years with Genentech, Desmond-Hellmann went on to serve as the first female chancellor at the University of California San Francisco.more » « less