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Sue Desmond-Hellmann

Meet a Five-Star General in the War on Poverty and Disease

Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, talks about the battles we face and how she maintains optimism amid enormous challenges.


We're in the midst of a rarely discussed war: The global war on poverty and disease.

In this episode, you'll meet a five-star general in that war: Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

She holds one of the most interesting jobs in the world, which is appropriate, as she is one of the most interesting people in the world. During her career, Sue has been a doctor, a researcher, a business leader, and the head of major university — all before she took the helm of a ~$40 Billion Foundation.

It's an unusual career path — one that began when, early in her career, Sue took a crazy good turn and headed off to Ghana to work at an HIV clinic. This was in the very early days of the HIV crisis, when little was known about the disease and fear was incredibly high. In this show, you'll hear Sue describe the 'why' behind her decision, and the impact that experience had on the rest of her life.

Sue also will share her thoughts on where she thinks the war on poverty and disease is going, where the next battles lie, and on a personal level, how she maintains optimism and focus in the face of the enormous challenges ahead.

I hope you enjoy and learn from this episode. I know I did.


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