Jeff Raikes is the former chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led the foundation’s efforts to promote equity for all people around the world. During his more than five years there, Jeff set strategic priorities, oversaw significant growth of the organization, and facilitated relationships with key partners. In 2011 he was named the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Executive of the Year.
With his wife, Tricia, Jeff now co-leads the Raikes Foundation, which they founded in 2002 with a mission to empower young people to transform their lives. Based in Seattle, the Raikes Foundation’s priorities are preventing and ending youth homelessness in King County; improving the quality of after school programs in Washington State; and helping students across the country develop “student agency” – the academic mindsets and learning strategies that have been demonstrated to advance achievement. Jeff and Tricia have committed to significantly increase the foundation’s grant-making capacity over the next decade.
Before joining the Gates Foundation, Jeff was a member of Microsoft’s senior leadership team, which sets overall strategy and direction for the company. Jeff was president of the Microsoft Business Division and oversaw the Information Worker, Server & Tools Business and Microsoft Business Solutions groups. He previously served as group vice president of the Worldwide Sales and Support Group, where he was responsible for providing strategic leadership for Microsoft’s sales, marketing, and service initiatives. Before that, he served as senior vice president of Microsoft North America.
Jeff joined Microsoft in 1981 as a product manager and was instrumental in driving Microsoft’s applications marketing strategy. Promoted to director of applications marketing in 1984, Jeff was the chief strategist behind the company’s success in graphical applications for the Apple Macintosh and the Microsoft Windows operating system and the creation of the Microsoft Office suite of productivity applications. Before joining Microsoft, he was a software development manager at Apple Computer Inc.
Jeff, a Nebraska native, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering-economic systems from Stanford University. He and his wife, Tricia, have three children. In addition to being founders of the Raikes Foundation they are also active members of the United Way of King County, where they served as co-chairs of the 2006-2007 fundraising campaign.
Jeff serves on the board of directors for Costco Wholesale Corp., Green Diamond Resources, and Hudl. He is a vice-chair of the Stanford University Board of Trustees, chair of the Microsoft Alumni Network, and serves on the boards of AGRA and the Daugherty Water for Food Institute of the University of Nebraska, and on the advisory board of the Social Enterprise Initiative of Harvard Business School. In June 2008, the Board of Regents at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln renamed the J.D. Edwards Honors Program in Computer Science and Management to the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management. A longtime supporter of the highly selective and renowned school, Jeff was a part of the initial conceptualization and has served on the advisory board since its inception in 2001.