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Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Seattle, WA, United States

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. It was launched in 2000 and is said to be the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 9, 2017

NEW YORK, May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tideline, a provider of tailored advice to clients developing impact investment strategies, products, and solutions, announced today that Amy Bell, formerly the Head of Principal Investments of JPMorgan Chase’s Sustainable Finance group, has joined the consulting firm as Senior Director. Since inception in 2014, Tideline has completed strategic advisory projects for leading foundations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network, and Rockefeller Foundation. Tideline has also worked with KKR, Impact Community Capital, Generation Investment Management and other financial services firms, and innovative groups such as Environmental Defense Fund, Nonprofit Finance Fund and the US Agency for International Development. “Amy joins us during a period of expansion at Tideline, consistent with growing investor interest in impact investing,” said Christina Leijonhufvud, Tideline Managing Partner. “She is a prominent leader in impact investing, known for her investment experience, exceptional analytical capability and ability to lead and manage complex, multi-stakeholder initiatives.” Prior to joining Tideline, Bell served as Executive Director and Head of Principal Investments for the Sustainable Finance business unit of JPMorgan Chase & Co. In this role, she managed a $100 million portfolio of impact investments in businesses benefiting low-income and underserved populations. She also led the development of program-related investments for the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and closed $10 million in loans under the program. In her last year with the firm, she worked in Costa Rica with EcoEnterprises Fund, supporting their work to grow businesses that drive conservation outcomes and improve rural livelihoods. Before her work in Sustainable Finance, Amy worked at JPMorgan’s Investment Bank as part of the Mergers & Acquisitions and Consumer & Retail Coverage groups. She also worked as a consultant for Deloitte in the Dispute & Forensics Service group. She has a BBA and MPA from the University of Texas at Austin. “I’m thrilled to be joining at such a pivotal time, both in terms of Tideline’s growth and that of the broader development of the impact investing market,” said Bell, who will be based in Austin, Texas. “I have been fortunate to be a part of the marketplace over the last several years and am excited to put that experience and knowledge to work in service of our clients.” Founded in 2014, Tideline is a consulting firm that provides tailored advice to clients developing impact investment strategies, products, and solutions. Tideline serves a variety of clients with a team of 18 based in New York, California, and Texas, including market leading foundations, financial services firms, development finance institutions, international donors, family offices and non-profits. Tideline's Managing Partners, Christina Leijonhufvud, Ben Thornley and Kim Wright-Violich, have deep expertise in financial services, public policy, and philanthropy and represent over 30 years of collective impact investment market experience.

News Article | May 9, 2017

President Donald Trump’s get-tough attitude on immigration is spurring a surge of high-tech investment in America’s heartland, where farmers are scrambling for new ways of coping with labor shortages and slumping profits. Finding people for the sometimes back-breaking tasks of planting and harvesting crops has become more and more difficult in the U.S., where the industry has relied on cheap immigrant labor for generations. Since taking office in January, Trump has compounded the problem with actions to limit foreign workers. But that’s also encouraged some investors to bet that growers will increasingly need new tools to cut costs and boost productivity. In the first quarter of 2017, a surge of cash has poured into agricultural technology companies, including some big-time investors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Sam Altman’s Y Combinator. Startups received $200 million through 29 deals, the most of any quarter since researcher CB Insights began tracking the data in 2012. Other recent backers include venture capitalist and Sun Microsystems Inc. Founder Vinod Khosla and Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. Chief Executive Officer Joel Marcus. “With the new administration and the emphasis on deportation and immigration, that has really heightened things,” David Slaughter, a professor of biological and agricultural engineering at the University of California in Davis, said in a telephone interview. Technology isn’t new to agriculture. Since John Deere invented the steel plow in the early 1800s, farming has embraced new tools from tractors that use global positioning systems to genetically modified seeds. But even though much of the $400 billion U.S. farm economy is mechanized, fresh produce and dairy remain heavily dependent on human labor. Much of that comes from immigrants, both documented and unauthorized. Even before Trump arrived, worker shortages were intensifying because former President Barack Obama had stepped up deportations. There’s also been a decline in arrivals from Mexico, traditionally the main source of migrant workers. More than half of U.S. farm workers are undocumented, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated 2.6 million jobs were on domestic farms in 2015. As labor supplies tighten, American farmers are increasingly under financial stress because of low crop prices and global surpluses. The USDA estimates farm income will drop in 2017 for a fourth consecutive year, the first time that’s happened since the 1970s. The Bloomberg Agriculture Subindex has dropped 33 percent in the past four years. Meanwhile, farmers are trying to figure out how they will provide enough food to feed the planet as populations grow over the next few decades. Harnessing data is still one of the biggest challenges to boosting crop yields, Sam Eathington, chief scientist at Monsanto Co.’s Climate Corp. unit, said in a March interview at one of the company’s research labs in Woodland, California. The United Nations estimates that the world’s population is set to expand 35 percent by 2050 to about 10 billion people. Climate change has left arable land subject to extreme weather events like drought that place an emphasis on water, chemical and fuel use. That’s drawing more interest in new farming technologies such as autonomous tractors, plant sensors, drones and data-management software that will probably generate $240 billion in revenue by 2050, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Farmers will be forced to adopt new technologies at a faster rate, the bank said. At the same time, investors who found success in the tech boom are hunting for the next opportunity, Slaughter said. Tech veteran Mark Kvamme co-founded Columbus, Ohio-based Drive Capital in 2012 with an eye toward investing in the Midwest. FarmLogs, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company that gives farmers data about the health of their fields, is one of the projects Drive Capital is backing. In January, the firm helped raise $22 million in a Series C round of financing. “In Silicon Valley, nobody understood farming,” Kvamme said in a telephone interview. But now, more investors are looking at the industry as another type of “data science,” where gains and losses are quantifiable, he said. So-called ag-tech started drawing more attention from investors after a big takeover was announced in 2013 by Monsanto Co., the world’s biggest seed maker, said Jesse Vollmar, chief executive officer and co-founder of FarmLogs. Vollmar grew up on his family’s farm in Michigan and started the company out of Y Combinator in 2012. Monsanto paid $930 million for Climate Corp., which specializes in agricultural data. With farmers looking for any advantage to protect shrinking profit margins, they’re more open to adopting new methods of growing and selling their crops, said Aki Georgacacos, managing director and co-founder of Avrio Ventures LP, an investment firm that focuses on food and agriculture companies. In March, Avrio was part of a Series A round of financing that included Monsanto Growth Ventures, the company’s venture capital segment. The financing raised $6.5 million for FarmLead, a company that allows farmers to sell crops online. Also in March, Arable Labs Inc., a company that’s selling a Frisbee-shaped tool that can be mounted on adjustable rod in fields to collect data, raised $4.25 million. Fred Bould, who designed Alphabet Inc.’s Nest learning thermostat, also designed the Arable device. Ceres Imaging said Wednesday that it raised $5 million in a Series A financing round, led by Krishna Gupta’s Romulus Capital. The company provides farmers with aerial spectral imagery and data to check the health of crops, by placing sensors on airplanes that then fly over growing areas. Bob Payne, who grows crops including almonds and barley in northern California, is the type of farmer investors are hoping to reach. Payne uses a computer application called Agworld to help manage his operations. His Deere & Co. tractors are equipped with GPS, and a few years ago he bought a fixed-wing drone. Last year, his drone helped him spot a virus forming in his fields that he estimates would have cost him $140,000 in losses. “It’s been nice to have all my fields with me on an app,” Payne said.

Esparza J.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Vaccine | Year: 2013

Soon after HIV was discovered as the cause of AIDS in 1983-1984, there was an expectation that a preventive vaccine would be rapidly developed. In trying to achieve that goal, three successive scientific paradigms have been explored: induction of neutralizing antibodies, induction of cell mediated immunity, and exploration of combination approaches and novel concepts. Although major progress has been made in understanding the scientific basis for HIV vaccine development, efficacy trials have been critical in moving the field forward. In 2009, the field was reinvigorated with the modest results obtained from the RV144 trial conducted in Thailand. Here, we review those vaccine development efforts, with an emphasis on events that occurred during the earlier years. The goal is to provide younger generations of scientists with information and inspiration to continue the search for an HIV vaccine. © 2013 The Author.

Mundel T.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
PLoS Biology | Year: 2016

In the aftermath of the Ebola crisis, the global health community has a unique opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned and apply them to prepare the world for the next crisis. Part of that preparation will entail knowing, with greater precision, what the scale and scope of our specific global health challenges are and what resources are needed to address them. However, how can we know the magnitude of the challenge, and what resources are needed without knowing the current status of the world through accurate primary data? Once we know the current status, how can we decide on an intervention today with a predicted impact decades out if we cannot project into that future? Making a case for more investments will require not just better data generation and sharing but a whole new level of sophistication in our analytical capability—a fundamental shift in our thinking to set expectations to match the reality. In this current status of a distributed world, being transparent with our assumptions and specific with the case for investing in global health is a powerful approach to finding solutions to the problems that have plagued us for centuries. © 2016 Trevor Mundel.

Sexually transmitted diseases, a source of widespread morbidity and sometimes mortality, are caused by a diverse group of infections with a common route of transmission. Existing vaccines against hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human papilloma virus 16, 18, 6 and 11 are highly efficacious and cost effective. In reviewing the potential role for other vaccines against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) a series of questions needs to be addressed about the burden of disease, the potential characteristics of a new vaccine, and the impact of other interventions. These questions can be viewed in the light of the population dynamics of sexually transmitted infections as a group and how a vaccine can impact these dynamics. Mathematical models show the potential for substantial impact, especially if vaccines are widely used. To better make the case for sexually transmitted infection vaccines we need better data and analyses of the burden of disease, especially severe disease. However, cost effectiveness analyses using a wide range of assumptions show that STI vaccines would be cost effective and their development a worthwhile investment. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Pingali P.L.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2012

A detailed retrospective of the Green Revolution, its achievement and limits in terms of agricultural productivity improvement, and its broader impact at social, environmental, and economic levels is provided. Lessons learned and the strategic insights are reviewed as the world is preparing a "redux" version of the Green Revolution with more integrative environmental and social impact combined with agricultural and economic development. Core policy directions for Green Revolution 2.0 that enhance the spread and sustainable adoption of productivity enhancing technologies are specified.

Zwane A.P.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Science | Year: 2012

The concept of scarcity helps to understand and aid decision-making, particularly in the case of very poor people.

Gates M.F.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Science | Year: 2014

The development field needs to be more serious about gender inequities and women's empowerment. By ignoring gender inequities, many development projects fail to achieve their objective. And when development organizations do not focus on women's empowerment, they neglect the fact that empowered women have the potential to transform their societies. I also review the Gates Foundation's record on gender and propose some approaches to improve it.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation | Date: 2014-11-14

At least one aspect of the technology provides a self-contained processing facility configured to convert organic, high water-content waste, such as fecal sludge and garbage, into electricity while also generating and collecting potable water.

Wheeler T.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Journal of epidemiology and community health | Year: 2012

Debates have raged in development for decades about the appropriateness of participatory approaches and the degree to which they can be managed, scaled and measured. The Avahan programme confronted these issues over the last 7 years and concludes that it is advantageous to manage scaled community mobilisation processes so that participation evolves and programming on the ground is shaped by what is learnt through implementation. The donor (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) and its partners determined a standard set of programme activities that were implemented programme-wide but evolved with input from communities on the ground. Difficulties faced in monitoring and measurement in Avahan may be characteristic of similar efforts to measure community mobilisation in a scaled programme, and ultimately these challenges informed methods that were useful. The approach the programme undertook for learning and changing, the activities it built into the HIV prevention programme, and its logic model and measurement tools, may be relevant in other public health settings seeking to integrate community mobilisation.

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