What Melinda Gates wants

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From Editor in Chief Sam Jacobs
What Melinda Gates Wants
By Sam Jacobs
Editor in Chief

One of my favorite things about TIME is having the chance to follow leaders across different stages of their lives.

In June, Belinda Luscombe had the opportunity to speak with Melinda French Gates, someone who Belinda has covered for many years. It’s been almost 20 years since French Gates was selected as TIME’s Person of the Year, alongside Bill Gates and Bono, for their humanitarian work. Today, French Gates is beginning a new chapter of her life, both professionally and personally. She recently announced a billion dollar funding plan focused on improving the lives of women and girls, following the decision to divorce from her husband Bill Gates.

In their conversation, Luscombe traces the astonishing arc of French Gates’s life from an all-girls Catholic school in Dallas, Texas, to her emergence as the one most influential philanthropists in the world. 

They also talk about her life today. “I feel like, Wow, I’m 60. I better surround myself with people and still travel [so that] I’m still absolutely learning, because the world is moving, the world is changing,” French Gates told Luscombe. “I’m totally unencumbered to work in any way I want.”

I hope you get a chance to read our story and let me know what you think. Sam@time.com.

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