Washington Post Examines How Bill Gates’ Full-Time Devotion to Gates Foundation Could Impact Philanthropy, Global Health Projects
The Washington Post on Wednesday examined how Bill Gates "could fundamentally alter the methodology of philanthropy" when he ends his duties at Microsoft to devote more time to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Noguchi, Washington Post, 6/21). Gates last week announced plans to relinquish over the next two years all daily duties at Microsoft, which he co-founded, and work fulltime for the foundation, which to date has spent more than $10 billion on programs to fight HIV/AIDS and other global health concerns and to reform education. Gates said he does not plan to run the foundation but will have a similar role in its operations to his current one at Microsoft (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/16). According to the Post, observers believe that "only Gates may be able to clear" the obstacles the foundation faces in global health. Projects such as developing an HIV vaccine "requir[e] political diplomacy, organizational efficiency, and monetary and human resources -- challenges that Gates may be uniquely positioned to take on as one of the most successful and driven businessmen of the era," according to the Post. Gates also will have to work with a "disparate group of governments, other [not-for-profit] groups and companies that do not answer to him" in order to combat "disease, mosquitoes, ignorance and political unrest," the Post reports. Although the Gates Foundation has helped fund drug and vaccine development for diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, issues associated with distributing vaccines -- including a lack of political will and infrastructure -- could hinder delivery in countries where the resources are most needed, according to Adel Mahmoud, incoming CEO of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise (Washington Post, 6/21).
Bill Gates "has the money, the brains and the connections" to fight preventable diseases in the developing world, David Pogue, a columnist for the New York Times, writes in a Times opinion piece. Although the "apparent contradiction between Gates, the merciless business man," and Gates, "the compassionate scientist whose goal is to save millions of lives," can make some people "cynical about [his] intentions," Gates can "really, truly make the world a better place," Pogue writes (Pogue, New York Times, 6/22).