Lauren W. Bright

Deputy General Counsel and Director, Washington DC Office

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Lauren W. Bright is Deputy General Counsel with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Director of the Foundation’s Washington, DC office.  For over 12 years, Lauren has provided advice on a broad range of legal and strategic issues impacting the foundation and serves as lead counsel for its U.S. Program, Global Policy & Advocacy, and Communications teams.  As Director of the Washington, DC office, Lauren oversees general operations and provides key input and guidance regarding policies and procedures impacting over 100 regionally-based staff.

Prior to joining the Foundation in 2005, Lauren worked with a variety of clients at the law firm Shaw Pittman LLP (now known as Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman), where she counseled and advocated for trade associations, professional societies, public charities, and other nonprofit organizations.  Lauren advised clients on a wide variety of legal matters, including governance, tax, regulatory compliance, antitrust, contracts, government relations, and other matters. Prior to joining Shaw Pittman, Lauren was an Associate with the law firm Dean, Blakey & Moskowitz, where she represented individual institutions of higher education, national education associations, and public interest organizations on a variety of education and health policy matters before Congress and United States administrative agencies.

She is the author of several articles on association practice and management, and co-authored narratives on the impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States.  Lauren speaks frequently at meetings and conferences about tax exempt organization legal issues and has guest lectured on Tax-Exempt Organizations at the University of Washington Law School Graduate Tax Program.         

Lauren received her undergraduate degree from Gettysburg College and her law degree from Villanova University School of Law.