Portrait of HPM DrPH alumna Nicole Bates

Nicole Bates, DrPH

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Health Policy and Management
Advisory Council Member
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health


Nicole Bates is an executive leader and impact-driven strategist with 20 years of experience designing original portfolios; building cross-sectoral partnerships; and activating public and political networks to generate support, policies and financing for health and development priorities – in the US and abroad.

She currently serves as the Director of Strategic Partnerships & Initiatives at Pivotal Ventures, an incubation and investment company founded by Melinda Gates, and leads the company’s efforts to build a well-resourced and active ecosystem of individuals and organizations working together to advance social progress.

Nicole joined Pivotal Ventures after more than a decade at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she led the foundation’s global advocacy and communications strategy for child health, including global immunization and polio eradication. Nicole previously served as the Director for Government Relations at the Global Health Council and Deputy Director for Public Policy at the Center for Community Change. Nicole began her career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a Presidential Management Fellow, and worked for Senator Edward Kennedy on domestic policy.

Nicole earned her doctorate and master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed undergraduate studies with high honors at the University of Virginia.


  • MPH, Health Behavior and Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2000
  • DrPH, Health Policy and Management , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2008