Patty Stonesifer
Patty Stonesifer

Rajiv Shah, current Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, was employed at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for seven years before he started working for the government. He says that Patty Stonesifer, former chief executive of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the current Chair of the Smithsonian Board of Regents, is one of his most important mentors. She makes others feel included in her problem-solving process, Shah says, "One of the reasons why Patty is so successful at doing this is that she never forgets to have fun and ensures that those she works with do as well."

Last updated October 24 2011: 2:41 PM ET
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