Alex Reid joins Gates Ventures as chief communications officer

The Gates Foundation veteran is focused on pandemic prevention, global health and climate change communications.

Reid previously worked at the Gates Foundation.

SEATTLE: Gates Ventures has appointed Alex Reid as chief communications officer. 

After starting in the role on December 6, Reid is reporting to Larry Cohen, CEO. Reid replaced Bridgitt Arnold, who was hired by Google in early December as VP of comms, reporting to chief communications officer Corey duBrowa. 

Gates Ventures is Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates’ private office, overseeing the full breadth of his work. Reid said it works closely with his philanthropic entities, including the Gates Foundation and Breakthrough Energy, to drive a cohesive strategy for Gates’ voice, image and narrative. 

Reid said her priorities include “building a clear communications strategy and narrative that help advance the issues that [Gates] cares most about, particularly pandemic prevention, global health and climate change.”

Reid works on proactive communications, partnering with organizations and handling incoming press requests. She also cooperates with stakeholders, including global and national policy makers, academics, scientists, activists and the broader public.

Reid previously worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for more than nine years, starting as head of European communications in 2010. She served as a strategic comms lead for agriculture and nutrition programs, head of global program communications and head of global campaigns. She ran her own consultancy, Reid Strategies, after leaving the company from June 2020 to this month. 

Reid served on the board of trustees at Comic Relief with a brief stint as chief executive and has worked at Weber Shandwick, Burson-Marsteller and Cancer Research U.K.

“The values I hold dear will be a big focus for me in this new role, being kind, speaking truth, having fun and showing integrity,” said Reid, adding that she is looking forward to using Gates’ platform to elevate diverse voices.

“[Gates] is focused on helping to end this pandemic and prevent the next one, so we will be working hard to communicate effectively with decision makers, key influencers and the public to learn about and support the best science and innovation in global health,” she said.

Referencing Gates’ book, “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” Reid emphasized the need for communications in getting to net zero carbon emissions, investing in new and clean technologies and building political will to mitigate climate change.

This story was updated to correct the title of Gates' book. 

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