Robin Martin

Deputy Director of Strategy, Planning and Management for the Postsecondary Success team

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Robin Martin

Deputy Director of Strategy, Planning and Management for the Postsecondary Success team

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr. Robin Martin is the Deputy Director of Strategy, Planning and Management for the Postsecondary Success team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She brings more than 20+ years of higher education experience and a doctoral degree in Urban Education Leadership to her role where she is responsible for leading the operational and financial functions of the Postsecondary Success team, including oversight of a $123 million strategic fund designed to transform colleges and universities in the U.S. Other responsibilities include: strategic planning and budgeting, quarterly portfolio performance reviews and ongoing investment pipeline and portfolio management.

During her tenure, Dr. Martin has already left her mark, spearheading the foundation's largest-ever single gift in the U.S. Program division's history to support COVID-19 diagnostic testing and technology to safely reopen Historically Black Colleges & Universities and support their surrounding communities. The Gates Foundation HBCU Investment was a quick-turnaround collaboration between Global Health and USP programs that was covered by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Martin served the University of Cincinnati in a wide range of leadership roles. The former tenure-track professor served as associate provost for diversity and inclusion and special initiatives, a role in which she spearheaded hiring initiatives and programs focused on building sustainable, equitable practices. As the Senior Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator (SWA), she developed and managed the university's $1.9 million Title IX Gender Equity fund, resulting in an 80 percent increase in the number of female head coaching placements, equity salary adjustments, and comprehensive marketing and development infrastructure, while at the same time doubling per-game attendance and fundraising dollars. USA Today ranked the University of Cincinnati's Athletics Department No. 1 in the country (beginning in 2013-14, and its success continues today due to embedded systems change work during her tenure).

Dr. Martin is also a sought-after speaker and valued strategic partner with deep connections around the globe. She founded Navigating Courage, Inc., a full-service leadership development and executive coaching consulting company, and published her first book, Navigating Courage: Leading Beyond Fear, in 2018. This collection of narratives and wisdom, drawn from her own experiences and studies, outlines professional trials faced by women of color and minorities in the workplace and illustrates how to manage them.

She earned her doctoral degree in Urban Education Leadership from the University of Cincinnati and her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees from the University of New Orleans, where she played for the Lady Privateer’s.

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