Topic: Gates Foundation
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September 10, 2013 at 6:43 AM
Jeff Raikes, the CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has decided to step down from the job.
Raikes announced his resignation in an email and in meetings with employees, accompanied by Bill and Melinda Gates, co-chairs of the foundation, according to a news released issued this morning.
In his email, Raikes wrote:
When Bill and Melinda approached me about this job in May 2008, we discussed a five-year commitment. I am proud of the work we’ve all done together in the past five years. We are having an impact on people’s lives every single day, and we are set up to keep on having an even bigger impact in the years to come.
Now, I’m looking forward to doing some things I haven’t had time for, including my work at the Raikes Foundation, which is tackling youth and education issues.
Bill Gates says in the announcement that the foundation “is in the best shape that it’s ever been in thanks to Jeff. He has successfully managed the organization through a period of significant growth … Thanks to Jeff we are at the place now where we will be able to have the impact we want.” said Bill Gates following the announcement.
Raikes, who spent 27 years at Microsoft, was named CEO in May 2008, succeeding Patty Stonesifer as head of the huge philanthropy with ambitious goals such as eradicating malaria and developing a vaccine to prevent AIDS.
Raikes, 55, will stay on the job until a new CEO is chosen.
July 15, 2013 at 10:48 AM
A well-respected national newspaper that covers higher education published a package of stories Monday that was critical of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s influence on higher education.
The Chronicle of Higher Education report calculated that the Seattle foundation has spent $472 million to remake U.S. higher education since 2006. The amount makes the foundation the largest player in the higher education reform movement.
In the report, which raises questions about the extent of the foundation’s influence, The Chronicle says it has funded research, advocated reform policies and helped build a consensus among other foundations, state lawmakers, policy advocates and the Obama administration that emphasizes “graduating more students, more quickly, and at a lower cost, with little discussion of the alternatives.”
The report says that higher-education analysts who don’t agree with the Gates approach “see their expertise bypassed as Gates moves aggressively to develop strategies for reform.”
“Some leaders and analysts are uneasy about the future that Gates is buying: a system of education designed for maximum measurability, delivered increasingly through technology, and — these critics say — narrowly focused on equipping students for short-term employability,” the Chronicle report says.
The report also notes that the foundation has kept its reform goals on the national agenda by supporting news organizations that cover higher education. That includes The Chronicle, which has received two contracts totaling about $850,000 from the foundation to support work on two stand-alone websites, College Completion and College Reality Check.
Most of the report is available for free for the next few days on The Chronicle’s website.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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