Gates Cambridge: Honorary Patrons
In 2012, Bill and Melinda Gates generously agreed to become Honorary Patrons of the Gates Cambridge Trust. The Trust is delighted to reinforce a direct link between the Gates Cambridge Scholarships and the Gates family.
William (Bill) H. Gates III
Co-chair and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Melinda French Gates
Co-chair and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Gates Cambridge: Trustees
The Gates Cambridge Board brings together nine distinguished Trustees from a range of backgrounds. Two Trustees are appointed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the others by the University of Cambridge. Trustees meet twice a year to provide strategic direction for the programme.
Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge and Chair of the Gates Cambridge Trust
Ms Martha Choe
Chief Administrative Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Dr Mimi Gates
Former Director of the Seattle Art Museum and Yale University Art Gallery
Mr Eric Godfrey
Vice President & Vice Provost for Student Life at the University of Washington
Lord Rees of Ludlow
Previous President of the Royal Society and Former Master of Trinity College, Cambridge
Dr Andrew Robertson
Director of US Regulatory Policy, Merck Research Laboratories; and Gates Cambridge Scholar (2001)
Professor David Runciman
Professor of Political Thought at Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Cambridge and Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Professor Susan Smith
Mistress of Girton College, Cambridge
Mr Andrew Thompson
Fellow and Senior Bursar Emeritus of Magdalene College, Cambridge
Gates Cambridge Trust: Officers and staff
Three Officers and a small administrative team are responsible for managing the Gates Cambridge Scholarships programme. The Provost (CEO) is responsible for the overall operations of the programme.
Provost: Professor Robert Lethbridge
Master of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
Secretary: Dr Jonathan Nicholls
Registrary of the University of Cambridge
Director of Finance: Dr David Lott
Senior Member of Wolfson College, Cambridge
Programme Director: Mr Jim Smith
Senior Member of Wolfson College, Cambridge
Programme Administrator: Ms Lucy Milazzo
Senior Member of Wolfson College, Cambridge
Accounts Officer: Mrs Usha Virdee
Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with co-chair Melinda Gates, he shapes and approves grantmaking strategies, advocates for the foundation’s issues, and helps set the overall direction of the organization.
Bill and Melinda Gates work together to expand opportunity to the world’s most disadvantaged people by collaborating with grantees and partners. They also participate in national and international events and travel extensively to focus attention on the issues the foundation champions.
Melinda Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with co-chair Bill Gates, she shapes and approves foundation strategies, review results, advocate for the foundation's issues, and help set the overall direction of the organization.
They meet with local, national, and international grantees and partners to further the foundation's goal of improving equity in the United States and around the world. They also use many public appearances, including speeches, interviews, and articles, to focus attention on these issues.
Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz was installed as the 345th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge on 1 October 2010. The Vice-Chancellor is the principal academic and administrative officer of the University.
Sir Leszek was previously Chief Executive of the UK’s Medical Research Council (2007-10). From 2001 to 2007 he was at Imperial College London, as Principal of the Faculty of Medicine and later as Deputy Rector, responsible for the overall academic and scientific direction of the institution. He led the development of inter-disciplinary research between engineering, physical sciences and biomedicine.
In 1988 he was a Lecturer in Medicine at Cambridge. He went on to be Professor of Medicine at the University of Wales in Cardiff, where he led a research team that carried out the pioneering work on vaccines for which he was knighted in 2001. In particular, his unit in Cardiff conducted clinical trials for a therapeutic vaccine for human papillomavirus (a cause of cervical cancer) – the first in Europe.
He was a founding Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1996 and a member of its Council from 1997 until 2002; and he became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2008.
As CAO, Martha Choe oversees the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation’s HR, Security and Global Workplace Resources, and serves as a member of the foundation’s Management Committee. Choe joined the foundation in 2004 as the Director of the Global Libraries initiative in the foundation’s Global Development Program.
Before joining the foundation, Choe served under Governor Locke as the director of the Washington State Dept. of Community, Trade and Economic Development, providing leadership for sustainable job growth throughout Washington State and promoting two-way trade in Asia and Europe. Previously, Martha served two terms on the Seattle City Council, chairing the transportation/economic development and finance committees.
Prior to public service, Choe was vice president at Bank of California. Choe earned a BA degree in speech and ethnic studies from the University of Washington and received her MBA from Seattle University.
In addition to The Gates Cambridge Trust, she currently serves on the boards of The Seattle Foundation, CRAFT3, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Seattle Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Mimi Gardner Gates was director of the Seattle Art Museum for fifteen years and is now director emerita, overseeing the Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas. Previously, she spent nineteen years at Yale University Art Gallery, the last seven-and-a-half of those years as director. She is a fellow of the Yale Corporation; Chairman of the Dunhuang Foundation; Chairman of the Blakemore Foundation; a trustee of the San Francisco Asian Art Museum; a trustee of the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, and serves on the boards of the Yale University Art Gallery, the Northwest African American Museum, the Terra Foundation and Copper Canyon Press. Dr. Gates formerly chaired the National Indemnity Program at the National Endowment for the Arts and served on the Getty Leadership Institute Advisory Committee.
Eric S. Godfrey is the Vice President and Vice Provost for Student Life at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. In this role as the chief student affairs officer for the University, he provides leadership for a range of programs and services aimed at enhancing the student experience, including admissions, financial aid and scholarships, student activities, student residences and food services, mental health services and University Police.
During his 30-year plus tenure at the University, Godfrey has held a number of administrative and leadership positions in Student Life and University Advancement. Prior to arriving at the University, Godfrey held student services positions at California State University Long Beach, The Pennsylvania State University and Pacific Lutheran University.
Godfrey received a BA in Psychology and an MA in Education from Pacific Lutheran University and earned additional credits in the Doctoral Program in Education at The Pennsylvania State University.
Professor Martin Rees is former President of the Royal Society (2005-10), and Former Master of Trinity College. He is a member of the House of Lords, and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge. He holds the honorary title of Astronomer Royal.
After studying at Cambridge, he held post-doctoral positions in the UK and the USA, before becoming a professor at Sussex University. In 1973, he became a Fellow of King's College and Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge and served for ten years as director of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy. He is also on the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum and the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study.
He is the author or co-author of more than 500 research papers, mainly on astrophysics and cosmology, as well as seven books, and numerous articles on scientific and general subjects. He broadcasts and lectures widely, and has held visiting professorships at many universities around the world.
Andrew S. Robertson is currently the Director of Regulatory Policy at Merck & Co., where he focuses on U.S. and international regulatory policies affecting complex molecules, such as vaccines, biologics/biosimilars, and in vitro diagnostics. Andrew is also a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, where he researches policy issues in synthetic biology, personalized medicine, and global health. Prior to joining Merck, Andrew worked as an IP litigation attorney in the life sciences practice of Jones Day, Silicon Valley.
Over the past ten years, Andrew has developed a broad career in life sciences law and policy. His experience includes a faculty research position in genetics at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Centre, a AAAS S&T Policy Fellowship at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Secretary, and serving as the Chief Policy Officer at BIO Ventures for Global Health. He has authored multiple peer-reviewed articles on topics pertaining to health and innovation policy, such as the FDA priority review voucher, social enterprises in global health drug discovery, and regulation policies concerning in vitro diagnostics. Andrew sits on numerous national panels, and chairs the American Bar Association Committee for the Rights and Responsibilities of Sciences.
Andrew holds a JD from UC Berkeley, School of Law, a Ph.D. in structural biology from Cambridge University (w/ distinction), and a MS and BS in genetics from UC San Diego. Andrew is an alum of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship program (’01), and currently sits on the Gates Cambridge Board of Trustees.
David Runciman is Professor of Political Thought at the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) and Staff Fellow in Politics at Trinity Hall. He is currently the holder of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2009-12).
His recent books include The Politics of Good Intentions and Political Hypocrisy (both Princeton University Press) and he has written widely about the history of ideas and contemporary politics.
He is a regular contributor to a number of newspapers and journals, including the London Review of Books, and to politics programmes on BBC Radio.
He is currently writing a history of confidence in democracy, from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present financial crisis.
Professor Smith read Geography at St Anne’s College, and completed her DPhil at Nuffield College, both at Oxford University. Prior to moving to Cambridge, she held the Ogilvie Chair of Geography at the University of Edinburgh (1990-2004), and was Professor of Geography and a Director of the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University (2004-9). She is a Fellow of the British Academy, an inaugural member of the Academy of Social Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a member of the Society of Authors.
Professor Smith has had a distinguished career both as a social geographer and in the interdisciplinary world of housing studies. Her work is centrally concerned with the challenge of inequality, addressing themes as diverse as residential segregation, housing for health and fear of crime. Her current research focuses squarely on the housing economy, and particularly on the uneven integration of housing, mortgage and financial markets. In addition to her academic work, Susan is a keen skier with a passion for music, and a particular interest in the world of brass.
Andrew Thompson is a Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge and was the Treasurer of the Gates Cambridge Trust from 2007 - 2012. He now holds the role of Honorary Treasurer.
He joined the Royal Air Force in 1971, retiring as a Group Captain in 1994; he was appointed an MBE in 1980. In 1986 he took an MPhil in International Relations at St John's College, writing a thesis on Britain's relations with NATO.
He was subsequently deeply involved in the analysis of the 1991 Gulf War, leading a tri-service team that reported to the Secretary of State for Defence on the British contribution to the Coalition operations.
He began a second career in college administration when he was appointed Bursar of Darwin College in 1994, before becoming Senior Bursar of Magdalene in 2001. He is a past Chairman of the Cambridge Bursars' Committee and has served on both the University Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Development. He was a Director (and Treasurer) of Cambridge in America from its inception in 1999 until 2008.
Robert Lethbridge is Master of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and Hon. Professor of Nineenth-Century French Literature in the University of Cambridge. He is Emeritus Professor of French Language & Literature in the University of London. Much of his research has been devoted to French Naturalism. As well as authoring a monograph and some 50 essays, he has edited a number of texts by Maupassant and Zola in the Oxford World Classics series (Bel-Ami, Pierre et Jean, Germinal, L’Assommoir and La Débâcle) and translated Zola’s Pot-Bouille for Everyman. He has also taught and published extensively in interdisciplinary perspectives, editing, with Peter Collier, Artistic Relations. Literature and the Visual Arts in Nineteenth-Century France (Yale University Press, 1994).
Dr Jonathan Nicholls took up the post of the University of Cambridge’s 26th Registrary in October 2007. The Registrary is the principal administrative officer of the University of Cambridge and Secretary to its Council.
Dr Nicholls gained a PhD in English from the University of Cambridge in 1984, where he was a student at Emmanuel College. He has devoted his career to higher education administration. He joined the University of Warwick in 1982 as a junior administrator and became its Registrar in 1999, moving to Birmingham University as its Registrar and Secretary in 2004.
He is a member of the national Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff and is currently the Deputy Chair of the Association of Heads of University Administration (AHUA). He is currently an appointed Governor of the University of Cambridge NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust.
Originally born in Stockport, David earned a his Masters degree in Physics at the University of Sheffield in 1999 and completed his PhD in Astronomy at the Open University in Milton Keynes in 2003. He subsequently trained as a Chartered Accountant at Chater Allan LLP, a Cambridge firm specialising in the charity and not for profit sector. On completing his training David worked as Finance Manager to the Non-School institutions at the University of Cambridge, being awarded an MA during his service. David joined the Gates Cambridge Trust at the start of 2010 and was privileged to become a Senior Member of Wolfson College around the same time.
David runs the Accounts Office for the Trust and is currently the acting Treasurer. His duties include preparation of the financial and management accounts, budgeting and modelling and most importantly, making payments for Scholars' fees and maintenance.
Born in Cambridge, Jim was educated at Parkside School and Hills Road Sixth Form College; he gained a First Class Honours degree in Politics from the University of Newcastle in 1999.
Upon graduation he took up a position at the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust & Cambridge Overseas Trust, working across the full range of the trusts' activities. In 2002 he was awarded a prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship for postgraduate study in Australia, but instead took up the opportunity to become a professional musician.
Jim was appointed Executive Officer of the Gates Cambridge Trust in 2005. In this role he is part of the senior management of the Trust and works closely with the Provost to determine and implement Trust policy across all non-financial areas of the programme.
Jim is privileged to be a Senior Member of Wolfson College, Cambridge (since 2006) and has served on the College's Communications Committee.
Bio coming soon
Usha Virdee joined the Gates Cambridge Trust in March 2009 and holds the position of Accounts Officer. Previously she worked as an Accounts Administrator for Magdalene College before taking leave to start a family.
Usha enjoys spending her time with her two young boys and family.