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Leah Gilliam

Inaugural VP Strategy & Innovation, Girls Who Code

Networking Lunch Keynote (Saturday, September 15th at 12:00PM)

Leah Gilliam was the inaugural Vice President of Education, Strategy & Innovation at Girls Who Code. She is an expert in developing creative strategies, new products, and educational programs that help underrepresented groups—specifically LGBT, people of color, women, and girls—overcome barriers and succeed in technology fields. She is an award-winning artist and designer, breaking new ground at the intersection of learning, technology, and creativity. She is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in technology fields. Gilliam is a sought-after public speaker focusing on how applying the best practices from creativity, learning, and design can diversify and transform the innovation economy. Over the past 15 years, Gilliam has helped leading nonprofits solve problems; scale programs; manage change; and develop diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning experiences.

Gilliam has held major leadership positions in non-profit, social-impact organizations. As a tenured professor at Bard College, she lectured on art and technology, chaired the Arts Division, and created the college’s electronic media curriculum. At Institute of Play, Gilliam was part of the leadership team that launched a New York City (NYC) public school using game-design practices. At the Mozilla Foundation, she led a NYC-based network of technologists and youth educators. Gilliam has consulted for a donor’s collaborative with a focus on educational innovation at New York Community Trust. At Girls Who Code, Gilliam helped to guide the long-term strategy of the organization, launch new technology products (including a Webby-award winning app), and shape computer science curriculum reaching tens of thousands of young women. Currently, she serves as the board secretary of Out in Tech,

Gilliam holds a bachelors of arts in Modern Culture & Media from Brown University, masters of fine arts in Film from University of Wisconsin, and a master’s of arts in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University (NYU). Her creative projects have been presented and screened widely in such venues as the NYU Game Center, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Biennial.