President & CEO; Director
Patty Stonesifer serves as a volunteer in the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of Martha’s Table. She is also Lead Director of the corporate board of Amazon.com, where she has served as a director for the past 19 years. After spending the first twenty years of her career as a technology executive and the next twelve years building the world’s largest foundation, Patty decided to spend the last quarter of her career supporting those who are faced every day with hard choices – the youth and family leaders struggling to achieve the American dream. Patty returned in a leadership role to a non-profit that she and Bill Gates first visited and admired in 1994, Martha’s Table, to stand day in and day out with children and families working to build a better future – and the colleagues working to support their success.
Patty has been a leader in the philanthropic world since 1997 when she joined Bill and Melinda Gates to launch the Gates Library Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to partnering with U.S. and Canadian public libraries to increase access to computers and digital information. In 2000, the Foundation merged with the William H. Gates Foundation to create the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where Patty served as volunteer Chief Executive Officer for over 10 years. At the Gates Foundation, Patty oversaw a $38.7 billion endowment fund, distributing over $2 billion a year to support organizations and efforts working to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations in the United States and globally. Under her direction, the Gates Foundation led the way in building and backing public-private partnerships to achieve a wide range of goals, from research and development for new malaria vaccines to improving both the measurement and visibility of the abysmal high school graduation rates in the United States.
Patty donates her time and resources to a number of other nonprofit organizations. She is on the board of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and is a member of the State Early Childhood Development Coordinating Council of DC and RaiseDC’s executive committee. She is also a member of the Circle of Allies and Champions for the National Council of Young Leaders, an advisory board member for America Achieves, and an advisor for Hope Street Group.
Patty was also a founding board member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. She previously served on the boards of the GAVI Fund, the Broad Institute, and the Center for Global Development, and recently completed her term as Chair of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents. Patty was appointed in 2010 by President Obama to serve as the Chair of the White House Council for Community Solutions. She also served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS.
Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, Patty spent two decades working in technology, with her final role as Senior Vice President at Microsoft Corporation, leading the Consumer and Interactive Products Division. Patty is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations. Patty is a graduate of Indiana University and has received honorary doctorate degrees from Indiana University, Tufts University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Trinity University, and American University.