William Gould Dow Distinguished Lecture

Technology, Innovation and Diversity: Women and men creating technology together, and defining our future

Telle WhitneyFormer CEO, Anita Borg Institute, Board member and Consultant
Stamps Auditorium, Walgreen Drama CenterMap

The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, CSE Division, is pleased to announce the 19th William Gould Dow Distinguished Lecture.

Abstract – The excitement of technology is contagious. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Crypto-currency and Smart Cities bring the promise of a positive impact on our lives. And yet technology creation still lacks significant participation from women and other under-represented groups, that comprise well over half of the population.

Dr. Whitney will speak on the dream of inclusion for technology, drawing on her significant experience in this area, and results that we’ve seen to date. She will discuss some of the new efforts and trends in diversity and inclusion, starting with some exciting work in the K-12 arena. She will cover what actions works for organizations, both in industry and academia, and example organization where there is significant change in broad participation. She will discuss why she is optimistic about the future.

Biography – Telle Whitney is a senior executive leader, a recognized expert on diversity, and a true pioneer on the issue of women in technology. She has over 20 years of leadership experience, and is a frequent speaker on diversity topics.

Telle served as CEO of the Anita Borg Institute from 2002 to September 2017, and co-founded the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference with Anita Borg in 1994. She transformed the Institute into a recognized world leader for women and technology.

The Grace Hopper Celebration – which attracted 500 attendees in 1994 – has grown exponentially and was attended by over 18,000 women in 2017 In addition, the organization now partners with hundreds of technology firms and academic institutes, including many of the world’s most recognized brands.

Prior to joining the Anita Borg Institute, Telle was VP of Engineering for Malleable Technologies, a start-up tech firm, where she led the creation and scale-up of the company’s engineering function and turned the founder’s initial idea into a reality.

Telle has been called “a pioneer for the promotion of women technologists” and “one of the most inspirational leaders I have ever known.” She has won numerous awards including the ACM distinguished service award and an honorary degree from CMU. She serves on multiple boards and advisory councils and frequently speaks on diversity topics. She is also the co-founder of the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT).

Telle holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science from the California Institute of Technology and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Utah.

Sponsored by


Faculty Host

Valeria Bertacco