Forbes: Melinda Gates ranks third among world’s most powerful women

May 22, 2013, 8:42 AM | Updated: 9:58 am
Last year, the vast majority of $3.4 billion of the Gates Foundation giving was was spent on global...
Last year, the vast majority of $3.4 billion of the Gates Foundation giving was was spent on global health programs. (Image courtesy the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Flickr)
(Image courtesy the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Flickr)

Beat out only by top-ranked German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Melinda Gates is the third most powerful woman in the world, according to Forbes.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to its chosen causes, and Melinda Gates has been the voice of many of them.

Last year, the vast majority of $3.4 billion of the Gates Foundation giving was was spent on global health programs. The foundation has made more than $26 billion in grant commitments since the Foundation’s 2000 founding.

With billionaire status for Gates and the Foundation, it’s no surprise she ranked among the most powerful. What may be more shocking are the others she beat out to be considered the most powerful American on the list: Michelle Obama (4) and Hillary Clinton (5).

Still, Forbes highlights the commitments the foundation has made. “Some of the projects we fund will fail,” the Foundation states on its website. “We not only accept that, we expect it because we think an essential role of philanthropy is to make bets on promising solutions that governments and businesses can’t afford to make.”

In 2012, Gates was ranked the fourth most powerful woman on the Forbes list. Hillary Clinton was ranked second.

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Forbes: Melinda Gates ranks third among world’s most powerful women