Connie Collingsworth is the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Legal Officer and an Executive Leadership Team member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest foundation with over $67 billion in assets. In this role, she oversees the foundation’s governance and business operations, providing guidance and leading strategic planning to drive operational efficiency and effectiveness in support of the foundation’s mission.
Ms. Collingsworth is a board member and Chair of the Governance & Nominating Committee of Banner Corporation, a bank holding company, with assets of approximately $16 billion. She is also a board member and Chair of the Compensation Committee of Premera Blue Cross, one of the largest health plans in the United Stated Pacific Northwest. She has served on each of these boards for over 8 years, developing experience as an independent board member.
Ms. Collingsworth recently joined Planet First Partners, a European private equity fund focused on purpose-driven investments aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals and Europe’s Green Deal.
Prior to joining the foundation, Ms. Collingsworth was a partner of Preston Gates & Ellis (now K&L Gates), a major international law firm, where she served as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Her practice focused on merger and acquisitions, private equity financing, venture capital and hedge fund formation.
Ms. Collingsworth has extensive nonprofit governance experience, including serving as the Board Co-Chair of Women’s World Banking, a global institution focused on expanding access of low-income women to financial services. She also previously served as Board Chair of Social Venture Partners and was a Co-Founder, Board Chair and President of the French American School of Puget Sound.
Recent honors include, 2020 K&L Gates Honorable Betty Binns Fletcher Award, 2019 Women’s Inc.’s Most Influential Corporate Board of Directors, 2018 Direct Women Board Institute Distinguished Alumna Award, 2017 University of Nebraska College of Law Alumni Council Distinguished Alumna Award, and 2015 Legal Momentum Annual Women of Achievement Award.
Connie received an LL.M. in International Business Legal Studies from the University of Exeter, England, a J.D. from the University of Nebraska School of Law, and a B.A. from Andrews University.