Frequently Asked Questions

About the Alumni Network

Technical Issues and Support

Why is the Gates Foundation establishing an Alumni Network? 

We are creating the Alumni Network because we believe deeply that our impact - both our alumni and the foundation’s - will be greater by staying connected in a meaningful way. We also know that many of alumni made wonderful friends and strong professional connections during their time at the foundation, and hope this network can help them in rekindling those relationships. We believe that, by providing a place where past employees and current employees can connect, both will find new opportunities for professional growth.

Back to Top

Who is allowed to join the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Alumni Network?

Eligible current and former employees who elect to participate.

Back to Top

Is the Alumni Network only for for making alumni connections, or is it also to connect alumni and foundation employees?

The network links alumni to other alumni starting in November 2014. In the spring of 2015, we invited current employees, interns, and fellows to connect via the network, as well.

Back to Top

Who sees my information on the network?

The site is secure, accessible through registration only. It it visible to other alumni and current employees who choose to join the network.

Back to Top

Who is developing and managing the the Alumni Network? 

Andy Voytko, who over last eight years has served as chief of staff to Patty Stonesifer and Jeff Raikes, is the Alumni Network’s program manager. Andy has put together a launch steering committee comprised of staff and alumni who are assisting her with the launch and year one implementation. By the fall of 2015, the leadership and composition of the steering committee will shift to include more alumni, with the foundation playing more of a support role.

Back to Top

How do I give programmatic input on the Alumni Network?

Andy Voytko, the Alumni Network’s program manager, is always available to connect with via email andrea.voytko@gatesfoundation.org. Alternatively, feel free to submit input at alumni@gatesfoundation.org.

Back to Top

As an alumni, do I have access to using space at the foundation (Seattle or other offices) for meetings or events?

No, this is not one of the offerings of the Alumni Network. Our office space is at maximum capacity for foundation events and meetings.

Back to Top

As a current employee,  how can I invite alumni to participate in internal events or other foundation activities?

We encourage foundation employees to use the Alumni network as a way to reconnect with former colleagues both professionally and personally using tools like the forums, alumni jobs or volunteer opportunities, and special interest groups.

We also invite current staff to think about how to engage this community in foundation-sponsored events. To find guidelines and tips on how to work with the Alumni Network, visit “Working with Our Alumni” on Ampersand.

Back to Top

If I have HR questions related to my past employment at the Gates Foundation, who do I contact?

Please contact alumni@gatesfoundation.org.

Back to Top

How do I browse the list of members?

1. Click Directory
2. Use keyword or Advanced Search and click search icon
3. Sort by Last Name, First Name, and Current Company
4. Show the number of results by selecting number from drop down
5. To jump forward or backward in results use the First page, Fast Backward, Previous page or Next page, Fast Forward, and Last page.

Back to Top

How do I tag myself with keywords?

1. Click Profile
2. In the Keywords Section, click the "Add keywords" link
3. To enter multiple keywords, use a comma and a space after each word
4. To enter multiple words into a key phrase use only spaces in between words
5. Click Save.

Back to Top

What web browsers does the site support?

Internet Explorer 9/8/7
Firefox
Chrome
Mac Safari 6/5

Back to Top

How do I edit my profile?

1. Click Profile
2. Click Edit for the area you wish to edit
3. Edit accordingly
4. Click Save.

Back to Top

What do I do if I have forgotten my password?

1. Click the "Reset Password?"  link in the Member Login section on the logged-out landing page
2. On the Reset Password page enter your primary email address and enter the graphic code displayed below the email field
3. Click Send New Password
4. A login link will be sent to the primary email address associated with your account.  This link will be valid for only 48 hours. 
5. Click the link to create a new password.

Back to Top

How do I leave notes for other members and comment on those notes?

1. Firstly, you must be a mutual contact with that particular member.  To become a contact with a member, search for the member in the Directory and click "Add to Contacts" link for their listing.  They must approve this request before you become contacts.
2. Select the member's profile by checking the box for "Search only my contacts" in the Directory Advanced Search and clicking Search at the bottom
3. Enter your message in the notes box located in the left hand column
4. Click Post.

Back to Top

How do I view the list of my contacts?

1. Click Directory > Advanced Search > Check the box for "Search only my contacts" > Click Search

Back to Top

How do I view a contact's profile?

1. Click Directory > Advanced Search > Check the box for "Search only my contacts" > Click Search
2. Click on the member's name to view his or her profile.

Back to Top

How do I delete a contact from the list?

1. Click Directory > Advanced Search > Check the box for "Search only my contacts" > Click Search
2. Click Delete for specified member.

Back to Top

How do I change my display name?

1. At the upper right dropdown and beneath your name, select My Settings
2. Edit your name under the User Detail section
3. Click Save.

Back to Top

How do I send a message to a contact?

1. Click Directory > Advanced Search > Check the box for "Search only my contacts" > Click Search
2. Click the Send a Message link to the right of the member's name in the list view.

Back to Top

How do I add a contact?

1. In the Directory list view, click the Add to Contacts link for the member you wish to connect with.  A connection request will be sent to that member for his or her approval. After the member has approved the connection request, he or she will show up under your contacts.

Back to Top

How do I use basic and advanced search?

1. Basic Search
  a) Enter a name, description or keyword in the main search box
  b) Click search icon.

2. Advanced Search
  a) Click "Advanced Search" in the bottom right hand corner of the search box
  b) Use any of the search fields by entering your search criteria
  c) Click Search at the bottom.

Back to Top

For current employees: How can I access the network from my personal phone, tablet or PC?

When your account was auto-created during your first use of the portal, an auto-generated password was also created for you. In order to access the portal from a personal device such as a phone, tablet, or PC, you need to do a one-time reset of your password, changing it from the auto-generated one to one that you know and remember.

1. From any device, go to https://alumni.gatesfoundation.org and click “Reset Password?”
2. Type in your BMGF email address and the text verification code.
3. An email will be sent to your BMGF email address with a link to change the password.
4. Click the link and follow the instructions to reset your password.
5. Once this is completed you can use any device to log into the alumni portal by going to https://alumni.gatesfoundation.org and logging in with your email address (first.last@gatesfoundation.org) and your password.

Back to Top