Sat. May 25th, 2024

Philanthropist Melinda French Gates announced Monday she was leaving the nonprofit foundation she established with her ex-husband Bill Gates — an organization that has become one of the most influential in the world.

The announcement from the 59-year-old French Gates comes three years after her divorce from the 68-year-old Microsoft co-founder.

Under the agreement between the former power couple, French Gates — whose resignation will take effect on June 7 — will receive $12.5 billion for use on her philanthropic efforts “on behalf of women and families.”

“After careful thought and reflection, I have decided to resign from my role as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” French Gates wrote in a statement posted on social media.

“This is a critical moment for women and girls in the US and around the world — and those fighting to protect and advance equality are in urgent need of support.”

The announcement comes in an election year in the United States when abortion is expected to play a pivotal role, as Democrats seek to exploit voter dissatisfaction with Republican efforts to restrict access to the procedure.

French Gates has long-standing links to prominent Democratic Party politicians.

“Melinda, this is so exciting,” former secretary of state and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wrote on X. 

“Thanks for everything you’ve already done, and I can’t wait to see all you do next. Onward!”

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