Dr. Mairo Mandara

Country Representative, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

An obstetrician-gynaecologist by training, Mairo Mandara works with the foundation’s Nigerian partners to help improve the lives of the country’s poorest people. Before joining the foundation, she served as a senior country advisor to Nigeria for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and as the Nigeria-based health systems advisor for the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

When people ask about my job, I tell them, “I work at the Gates Foundation to improve the lives of poor people, to show them dignity, and provide support to help themselves out of poverty because every life has equal value.” It’s not about Bill. It’s not about charity. It’s not about handouts. It’s about, as they say, teaching people how to fish.