Carolyn Leighton

Founder/Chairwoman, WITI

Acting Advisory Board Chair

Carolyn Leighton founded WITI in 1989 as a worldwide e-mail network for women in all technology sectors. At the time WITI was established, Ms. Leighton was President of Criterion Research, a research consulting firm for the high tech industry which she founded in 1984, as well as chair of the Core Competency Database Project at Stanford University.

Due to Ms. Leighton's leadership and vision, WITI has grown to be the premiere brand and worldwide organization dedicated to empowering women worldwide to achieve unimagined possibilities and transformations through technology, leadership and economic prosperity.

Ms. Leighton has 35 years of experience as an educator and entrepreneur. In addition to WITI, she founded four start-ups in the high-tech, legal sectors and, most recently, the pet industry. She attended the University of Michigan and has a bachelor's degree in human development from Pacific Oaks College. Ms. Leighton was named one of the "Top 100 Women in Computing" in 1997 and 2000.

In addition to her continuing work with WITI, Ms. Leighton now runs a dog camp on the central coast of California.

Michelle Bailey

GVP/GM AND RESEARCH FELLOW, IDC

Michelle Bailey is Group Vice President, General Manager and IDC Research Fellow for IDC's Cloud and Datacenter services. Her focus is on articulating the short-and long-term impacts of emerging and disruptive technologies for Enterprise IT vendors, IT professionals and Cloud Service Providers. This includes building market models, conducting survey research and leveraging advanced data analytic capabilities to provide clients with prescriptive guidance on how digital transformation will impact their business as well as providing recommendations for how to future-proof their organizational strategy.

Prior to joining IDC, Michelle was Chief Research Officer at 451 Research where she was responsible for shaping the research agenda for over 100 analysts on a worldwide basis, spearheading the development of innovative research products around voice of the customer and building enterprise decision maker panels. She also served as Chief Data Scientist at a big data startup and consultant to CIO's to determine the business value of IT for their organization.

Dr. Cheemin Bo-Linn

President and CEO, Peritus Partners

Dr. Cheemin Bo-Linn is CEO and President of Peritus Partners Inc., an analytic platform and business IT consultancy. Leveraging her expertise in digital transformation and application of technology to drive competitiveness, she was IBM Vice-President and CSO, CRO, and Digital CMO at e-commerce, mobile, finance, and software companies. She has also been appointed to serve as Board of Director and Audit Chair for global public companies in Canada, US, and Europe and private health IT, energy, digital, and tech firms.

She was inducted to the WITI "Hall of Fame for Women in Technology", "Most Influential Silicon Valley Exec" Awardee, named "Top 100 CEOS in STEM," and invited speaker to the United Nations, Dow Jones, and British Chamber.

She attended the University of Houston earning a Doctorate degree in Computer Information Systems and Stanford University GSB Exec Program. She was appointed Visiting Professor on digital tech (AI, big data, cyber security) and marketing at the joint Columbia University, London School of Business, and Hong Kong University EMBA/MBA program.

Kelly Carnes

President & CEO, TechVision21

Kelly Carnes is a nationally recognized technology policy expert and thought leader, holding numerous leadership positions in technology business, government and law during her 18 year career in the technology industry. Currently, she is President and CEO of TechVision21, a global technology strategy firm whose clients include global companies, prestigious U.S. research universities, foreign governments and science and technology non-profit organizations.

Previously, Ms. Carnes served eight years at the highest levels of the federal government, first in the White House, and later, as a trusted technology policy advisor to four Secretaries of Commerce. Most recently, Ms. Carnes served as a top national advocate for technology business. As a presidential appointee, confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Ms. Carnes frequently testified before Congress, represented the United States in negotiations with foreign governments, and served as a liaison to, and advocate for, the technology business community. She also directed the National Medal of Technology, America's highest award for technological innovation, and created GetTech, a Telly Award winning national public awareness and information campaign to encourage teens to pursue technology careers.

Ms. Carnes previously enjoyed a highly successful technology business career. As an attorney at a top national law firm, Ms. Carnes structured and negotiated more than $1 billion in technology business transactions. These included joint ventures and strategic alliances, venture capital transactions, technology development, licensing and marketing agreements, systems integration projects, and large-scale computer outsourcing transactions.

Ms. Carnes is known as a dynamic speaker and forceful advocate for industry on technology and competitiveness issues. She is a frequent keynote speaker at national and international technology and business conferences and has been widely quoted in the media. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She also graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law School, where she served as Topics Editor for the Georgetown Law Journal.

Lake Dai

Adjunct Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, PARTNER, LDV PARTNERS

Lake Dai is an Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist and an Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. She is a partner at the venture capital firm, LDV Partners.

For 20 years she has led product and engineering teams globally at Alibaba, Apple, Yahoo!, and Overture. She is a recognized expert in Search Engine, Ad Platform, Marketplace, Analytics, and Mobile Platforms and Applications, holding several US patents in search algorithm, search tokenization, mobile data analytics, and mobile monetization.

In China, Lake was employee #84 at Alibaba, launching the first generation of profitable marketplace and travel products. At Yahoo! China, her team launched the first generation of web and vertical search products, tripling Yahoo!'s market share within one quarter.

In the US, as a co-founder Shinect, a non-profit acceleration program designed to connect Silicon Valley's entrepreneurs to China's market, she has been helping companies build successful products and profitable businesses. She also mentors start-ups at various incubators including 500 Startups, Muckerlab, Lab360 and Shinect.

As Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, she teaches Product Management of master's degree programs at Integrated Innovation Institute.

She is a Board Governor and Chairwoman of the US Chapter of non-profit Alibaba Alum which fosters entrepreneurship for Alibaba alumni worldwide.

Lake earned her MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business and her B.S. from Beijing International Studies University.

Esther Dyson

Esther Dyson (born 14 July 1951 in Zürich, Switzerland) is an authority on emerging digital technology.

Dyson is the daughter of Freeman Dyson, a physicist, and Verana Huber-Dyson, a mathematician, and the sister of the digital technology historian George Dyson. After graduating from Harvard in economics, she joined Forbes as a fact-checker and quickly rose to reporter. In 1977, she joined New Court Securities as "the research department," following Federal Express and other start-ups. After a stint at Oppenheimer covering software companies, she moved to Rosen Research and in 1983 bought the company from her employer Ben Rosen, renaming it EDventure Holdings. She sold EDventure Holdings to CNET Networks in 2004.

Dyson and EDventure specialize in analyzing the impact of emerging technologies and markets on economies and societies. She is mainly known for the following numbered sequence of media ventures:

  • Release 1.0, her monthly technology-industry newsletter, published by EDventure Holdings. Each year, Dyson writes several issues herself and edits the others.
  • Release 2.0, her 1997 book on how the Internet affected individuals' lives. Its full title is Release 2.0: A design for living in the digital age. The revision Release 2.1 was published in 1998.
  • Release 3.0, her bimonthly column for the New York Times, distributed via its syndicate and reprinted in Release 1.0.
  • Release 4.0, her weblog. On March 4, 2005, this weblog moved to Dyson's Flickr account.

Dyson is an active member of a number of non-profit and advisory organizations. From 1998 to 2000, she was the founding chairman of ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. As of 2004, she sat on its "reform" committee, dedicated to defining a role for individuals in ICANN's decision-making and governance structures. She has followed closely the post-Soviet transition of Eastern Europe, and is a member of the Bulgarian President's IT Advisory Council, along with Vint Cerf, George Sadowsky, and Veni Markovski, among others. She has served as a trustee of, and helped fund, emerging organizations such as Glasses for Humanity, Bridges.org, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the Eurasia Foundation. She is also a member of the board for The Long Now Foundation, and is a part-owner of the First Monday journal.

Radhika Emens

CEO, Tanjah Partners

Radhika Emens is CEO of Tanjah Partners, a global management advisory company which focuses on high tech startups and small to medium sized technology companies around the world. Markets currently served include US, Europe, Middle East/North Africa, India, Latin America, Brazil and Japan.

Tanjah Partners provides strategic consulting and operational services to enable technology companies to:

  • Successfully enter new markets
  • Define the go-to-market strategy
  • Develop effective marketing for accelerating revenue generation
  • Define and validate their product roadmaps
  • Drive product revenue from sales, and
  • Attract quality Silicon Valley investment
  • Radhika is a seasoned business and marketing strategist who enjoys bridging global markets. She has worked with large and small technology companies, and has been a technology entrepreneur. She is savvy in international and multicultural contexts, is multilingual in 8 languages, and successfully leverages her multilingual and multicultural talents to further her clients' international business interests.

    She is US-educated with a Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Chapman University, California and a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) from Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania. She actively speaks on Doing Business Globally and Global Entrepreneurship at conferences and entrepreneur groups globally.

    She is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Plug and Play Technology Center (a Silicon Valley accelerator) where she mentors international startups, and she teaches an international business expansion course at NestGSV (a Silicon Valley accelerator). She is a lead organizer for Health 2.0 Silicon Valley Chapter, spearheading the effort on corporate partnerships for this innovation-centric HealthIT group. She also holds leadership positions with numerous Silicon Valley and international organizations as well as global women's organizations. She is a WITI (Women in Technology International) Advisory Board Member.

    Amrita Kimmi Grewal

    Managing Director, Accenture

    Kimmi Grewal is an Executive in Accenture's Strategy practice. She has over a decade of business experience advising global Fortune 500 clients on their strategic growth initiatives with specific focus on changes to their business model and operating model strategies. Kimmi also holds leadership positions within Accenture's North America Strategy Women's Initiatives.

    Niraj Kataria

    Diversity Executive

    Most recently Kataria worked as the Director of Diversity at JobTarget. In doing so he put together diversity packages for employers and also helped with the OFCCP packages for job distribution. These packages are sold to the employers and government contractors.

    Kataria is the former Chairman for DiversityInc. At DiversityInc he was responsible for starting the first print publication. For four years as the Chairman the revenues increased eight times since he started at the company. He also developed new products such as career center and newspapers partnerships for the up sell of diversity. Prior to DiversityInc, Kataria was President of IMDiversity, which also published The Black Collegian Magazine and The Black MBA magazine. Kataria raised $3 million of VC funds for the company and built one of the first diversity recruiting website. The company also built a workforce from 13 to 65 people in New Orleans.

    Kataria has 25 years plus experience working in Finance and with start-ups. The first 15 years were spent in Finance positions in various companies as Dun & Bradstreet, United Technologies, Gartner Group, and Moldflow. At Gartner Group Kataria worked in the finance department at the time of its IPO in 1992. At Moldflow, he was the Controller as the company prepared for an IPO from Australia to be listed on NASDAQ. With the two IPO experiences he moved to New Orleans to set up a dot com in the publishing industry - IMDiversity.com.

    Kataria holds an MBA from University of Bridgeport in CT. He has spoken at various diversity conferences, emphasizing the business case for a diverse workforce and best practices for diversity in corporations and government agencies. He is an entrepreneur who enjoys working with venture capitalists and investment bankers when fundraising is needed for startups with growth potential.

    “I like working with growth companies and executing fresh ideas into reality," says Kataria, who resides in Southington, CT.

    Kathy Lomax

    Deputy CIO, L.A. Care Health Plan

    Kathy Lomax is a Deputy Chief Information Officer at L. A. Care Health Plan. As and IT executive with over 25 years’ experience in leading financial services and healthcare, she’s led a variety of global teams across IT disciplines including Infrastructure engineering and operations, application quality management and support, IT finance and vendor management. At L. A. Care Health Plan, Ms. Lomax is responsible for IT Shared Services in support of Solution Delivery and facilitates the strategy and Initiatives under the Office of the CIO. Ms. Lomax has extensive experience in overseeing large scale projects and programs leveraging globally distributed resources with an eye toward budget control and continuous improvement, and has demonstrated a proven ability to build and transform departments in to well-organized productive business units.

    Fueling her passion in supporting women, Ms Lomax led the WITI (Women in Technology International) Orange County regional network for 4 years, earning her a seat on the Global Advisory Board Member since 2017. Ms. Lomax is the founding member of Capital Group’s ITG Women’s Connect diversity community, fostering connections through local events, mentorship programs and a web portal for connecting, learning and sharing with over 350 women. Ms. Lomax also sits on the SCSIM (Southern California Society of Information Management) board and has served as event chair since July 2018.

    Adrian Ott

    Award-Winning Author & CEO, Exponential Edge, Inc.

    Adrian Ott was called, "One of Silicon Valley's most respected (if not the most respected) strategists." by Consulting Magazine. As CEO of Exponential Edge Inc. consulting, she was named Silicon Valley Enterprising Woman of the Year by NAWBO-SV in 2011 for her work assisting relentless visionaries to achieve market leadership and differentiation for their companies.

    Adrian is also the award-winning author of The 24-Hour Customer: New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always-Connected Economy (HarperCollins) which was named a Best Business Book of the Year in 2011 by Library Journal and USA Book News.

    Adrian is an expert contributor to Fast Company. Her award-winning work has also appeared in Harvard Business Review, Strategy & Leadership Journal, Bloomberg TV, Fox News, The Washington Post, and Forbes. She keynotes frequently at private client events, for major universities (U.C., Harvard Business School alumni, USC, Rice University), industry groups such as TEDx, and was the commencement speaker for Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley in 2011

    Prior to founding Exponential Edge, she was an HP executive who was recognized in an annual report for "infusing HP with new revenue streams, new technologies, and new business models." She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. from U.C. Berkeley.

    Danny Phillips

    President, Present Sky LLC

    Danny Phillips is an award-winning media industry executive with 20+ years of US/international business experience in both operational and strategic leadership for digital and mobile platform development, marketing, trade show, consumer show, conference, continuing education, marketing services and publishing environments.

    He led some of the largest content brands in the European technology sector for both International Thomson and EMAP in London, prior to moving to the United States in 1996 to join Advanstar as Executive Vice President, where he was responsible for media divisions serving the technology, automotive, licensing, entertainment and healthcare industries in the US, France, Brazil, Germany, the UK and Hong Kong.

    Danny now runs his own media consultancy - Present Sky LLC, specializing in M&A guidance and planning for strategic media buyers and investment management firms.

    Danny is 51 and lives in Laguna Beach, CA with his wife Marnie and son Cain.

    René Redwood

    CEO, Redwood Enterprise LLC

    René Redwood directs initiatives resulting in judicial, legislative, commercial, and political wins for public and private sector organizations. Ms. Redwood facilitates discourse on the case for equity and fairness, promotes policies that valuate human resources as an asset, and applies research and experience in identifying promising practices to reduce risk from and in organizational culture. Rene works with employers and nonprofit sector to transforms the workplace and communities with a focus on building and restoring trust with internal customers and external constituents; and conducting assessments, monitoring, training, and strategic guidance on racial justice, gender equity, unconscious and systemic bias, and abating barriers to individual and institutional success.

    René Redwood is the CEO of Redwood Enterprise LLC, a consulting practice that provides data informed strategies to deliver people and process solutions to support the client mission. Redwood Enterprise provides services to mitigate barriers to inclusion; foster cultures to enhance performance in the workplace and respectful behaviors in community; improve workforce and customer satisfaction; and promote measures for organizational accountability and societal impact. Rene is often described as smart, strategic and energetic, and has been featured in Time Magazine, Elle, Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise, American Editor, ...

    Ms. Redwood served on a court appointed Task Force to oversee a Fortune corporation's compliance with a historic discrimination settlement agreement and currently chairs the Equality Task Force for a Federal agency. René is a chemist by training and has been an executive or director for: a prominent polling and consulting firm; the Presidential Glass Ceiling Commission (Civil Rights Act of 1991, Title II); a coalition of leading legal defense organizations; congressional district offices; and political operations for a national party.

    René Redwood is honored as a Freedom's Sister for "continuing the legacy of African American women for courageous, spirited trailblazing that has helped to shape our country" (by Ford Motor Company Fund and Smithsonian Institute) and received the "Women-Owned Business, Servant Leadership Award". She serves on: the Investment Committee for Ms. Foundation for Women; Board Chair Emeritus of NARAL Pro-Choice America; member of Parity Portfolio's Advisory Committee for Social Impact of Matterhorn Group at Morgan Stanley; the Advisory Board for the WNBA Washington Mystics; and on the Small Business Advisory Council and Congressional Black Caucus Scholarship Committee for Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.

    Sheryl Root

    Director, MS in Technology Ventures, Associate Professor, Integrated Innovation Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Silicon Valley

    Sheryl Root is a leader in Stanford's Executive MBA Program, Director of Hewlett Packard's Executive Account Management for Business Strategy, Director of the Strategic Change office at HP, and owns a winery in Napa Valley.

    Dr. Ruth J. Simmons

    President, Brown University

    Dr. Ruth J. Simmons is the 18th president of Brown University, and she is the first African American to lead an Ivy League institution. Previously, she served as president of Smith College, the nation's largest undergraduate women's college and one of the top 25 liberal arts colleges in the country.

    Dr. Simmons was the 12th child born to sharecropper family in East Texas. When she was of school age, the family moved to Houston, where her father found employment as a factory worker and her mother worked as a maid while Dr. Simmons entered public school. With strong family and community support, Simmons continued her education, earning her bachelor's degree summa cum laude at Dillard University in New Orleans and her master's and doctorate in Romance languages and literatures at Harvard University. Her effort to understand how her own society could countenance racial cruelty and legally enforced segregation led her to a lifelong interest in humanities and other cultures. She studied in Mexico and France and later served as an interpreter for the U.S. State Department.

    Dr. Simmons has had a long and distinguished career in higher education. She has been a member of the faculties of the University of New Orleans, California State University, Northridge, Spelman College and Princeton University. Simmons has worked tirelessly toward opening higher education - particularly elite private institutions - to disadvantaged minorities, a mission she has described as "a matter of national salvation." At Smith, she established the nation's first engineering program at a women's college and started Meridians, a journal focusing on the concerns of minority women. Her achievements in higher education have brought her dozens of honors and awards including Danforth and Fulbright fellowships and nine honorary doctorates.

    AJ Thomas

    Vice President of People and Culture, Auction.com

    AJ serves as the vice president of people and culture at Auction.com, where she leads the overall talent acquisition, employee education, culture, talent development, and HR operations organization. Previously, she has worked at several technology and brand recognized companies, such as T-Mobile, Nimble Storage (now HP Enterprise), Iron Mountain, Adecco and Infinera. In these organizations, she served in several leadership positions and tours of duty, including product, sales, marketing, employee development, global talent, employee engagement, internal communications and leadership effectiveness. She holds credentials at several of the nation’s leading institutions: San Jose State University, Stanford University and NYU, where she majored in business, advanced program management, integrated systems and organizational leadership.

    Elizabeth Xu, PH.D.

    CEO & Board Director, CP Group

    Dr. Elizabeth Xu, who is a world-renowned global technology expert, has over 20 years of experience in developing, deploying and supporting software-as-a-service, big data, and mobile enterprise software. Before she joined the C.P. Group, Dr. Xu was CTO at BMC Software and was responsible for the company's Central Technology Organization and Digital Service Management BU Engineering Organization. Before joining BMC, Dr. Xu was group vice president of product engineering at Acxiom. She was the Global SVP of product development at Rearden Commerce, a partner at Business Innovation Services, and the Global SVP of product development at Vitria Technology. Dr. Xu's career also includes several years at IBM developing the IBM Content Management Suite and DB2. Recently, Dr. Xu was inducted into the Women in Technology International (WITI) 'Hall of Fame' and in 2015 was selected as one of Silicon Valley Business Journal's '100 Most Influential Women in Silicon Valley'.