What Next

The Gates Divorce

The future of philanthropy in a post-Gates breakup world.


Episode Notes

Divorces aren’t usually major news events. But in the case of Bill and Melinda Gates, the state of their union is in the public interest. For the last 20 years, the two have led one of the most influential philanthropic organizations in the world.

What happens to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation once its founders are broken up? And what does it say about society’s dependence on billionaires that we even have to ask?

Guest: Teddy Schleifer, reporter on money and influence for Recode at Vox.

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

All episodes


  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.