Senior Policy Advisor at White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Laura Weidman Powers is joining the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as a Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer. In this role, Powers will focus on issues of diversity and inclusion in tech. Specifically, Powers will focus on efforts related to ensuring hiring, entrepreneurship, and the products and platforms of the future work for all Americans, particularly those from historically marginalized backgrounds.
Laura Weidman Powers is the co-founder and CEO of Code2040, a nonprofit that creates pathways to success in the innovation economy for Blacks and Latino/as. She has a background in entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, youth development, and technology. Laura has started two organizations in the education space, one nonprofit arts education organization in West Philadelphia that is currently celebrating its 11th year, and one for-profit tutoring company that gave rise to a book.
Laura first explored the tech space as a project manager in a small web development shop in New York and, most recently before CODE2040, she served as VP of Product at a consumer web startup in Los Angeles, redesigning the product development process to be inclusive of engineers.
Laura is a 2016 New America California Fellow. She was a 2013 Echoing Green Fellow and a 2013 Stanford Social Innovation Fellow. The Root named her one of the 100 Most Influential African-Americans in 2016 and 2013 and Goldman Sachs named her one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2013. In 2015, San Francisco Magazine saluted her as one of 37 Soldiers of Social Change, and Fortune named her one of 10 Female Executives on the Rise. Her work has been covered by The New York Times, Forbes, NBC, Bloomberg, Fast Company, NPR, and others. From 2014-2016, Laura sat on the second National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She has a BA cum laude from Harvard College and a JD and an MBA from Stanford University.
This panel will address the role and responsibility of local and national government in helping create a more diverse and inclusive tech ecosystem.