Board Bio: Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson is a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he coordinates efforts focused on increasing educational attainment rates, from the early childhood years through college completion, for low income students in the Seattle metro region. He has worked in a variety of positions at the Foundation since 1998, including managing the foundation’s research team, and in grantmaking areas including those supporting libraries, technology access, youth, education and afterschool programs. His current work brings many of those efforts together in an integrated, community-wide approach to increasing success in school and college that includes helping to improve educational institutions as well as connecting other community resources and parents better to education systems.

He has Masters degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Washington’s Information School. Ken previously helped to start the statewide LGBT organization Equal Rights Washington in 2005, serving on their board of directors for three years, and in his concluding year served as Board President. In those three years, ERW helped to pass Washington State’s employment non-discrimination law, and later began passing a series of laws which lead to full domestic partnership rights, and eventually full marriage.

Ken lives in Seattle, where he recently married his binational partner of more than 10 years. He and his husband continue to advocate for the rights of LGBT immigrants.