updated 9/9/2004 4:26:41 PM ET 2004-09-09T20:26:41

Melinda French Gates, wife of Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates, has been elected to the board of directors of The Washington Post Co., the company announced Thursday. (MSNBC is a Microsoft-NBC joint venture.)

The addition of Gates brings the size of the Washington Post's board to 10. The board includes several high-profile figures from the business world, including Warren Buffett, former Hollywood mogul Barry Diller and Alice Rivlin, a former vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board.

Along with her husband, Melinda Gates is co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a health and educational charity. She joined Microsoft in 1987, and since leaving in 1996 has held various positions with non-profit organizations, including serving as former co-chair of a commission on early learning in Washington State.

In addition to The Washington Post, the company also owns Newsweek, the Kaplan Inc. educational services business and several TV stations and cable TV systems.

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