Sylvia's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Destination Unknown

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Seattle, WA

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 1

  • ON DVD:

SYLVIA MATHEWS

Executive Director
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

“Don't be afraid of risk; decide what it is that makes you happy, and make that the basis of your decision-making.”

INTERESTS:

Non-Profit Organizations Politics

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Regrets Self-Reflection Choices Planning

FOUNDATION:

Helping People

TAGS:

england, guiding principles, mountain climbing, politics, proactive, scholarship, study abroad

BIOGRAPHY:

  • After finishing college, she wanted to continue her schooling, so she left to do a second degree in England.
  • Finally, she realized that after seven years of secondary schooling, it was time for her to find a job.
  • Took a job with management consulting firm McKinsey & Company and moved to New York.
  • One day, she got a call from an old friend saying, "We want you on the Clinton campaign; you have 48 hours to come to Little Rock, Arkansas."
  • She took a leave of absence to work on the campaign...then she was pulled into the transition...and she stayed aboard for all eight years.
  • She decided to take a break from government work, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and then pivot into the private sector.
  • Her plans were derailed when the Gates Foundation called and made her an amazing offer that she couldn't refuse.
  • Says you should periodically stop and force yourself to examine where you are in life, and if you truly love what you're doing.

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