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60 Female CTOs to Watch in 2020

September 8, 2020

These powerful women leading technology and innovation at their companies are ones to watch. Many earned advanced degrees in engineering and robotics, serve on boards and give back.

We are unlocking the clubhouse and building a bigger table for CTOs of companies big and small — more opportunities for women and underrepresented groups to lead.

1 – ADP CTO Urvashi Tyagi

ADP CTO Urvashi Tyagi joined the benefits and payroll company in New York in 2019. Before joining ADP, Urvashi worked at American Express, most recently as Vice President of Global Head of Commercial Data Engineering. Before American Express, she was a Director of Engineering at Amazon. She began her career as a Software Engineer at NuGenesis. Urvashi mentors at Newark Venture Partners and Illicit Mind. Follow her on Twitter at @urvashidtyagi.

2 – Adstream CTO Katie Nykanen

Adstream CTO Katie Nykanen has been at the digital advertising company in London since 2012. Prior to Adstream, Katie worked at Nokia for six years, most recently as Marketing Solutions Development Manager. Prior to Nokia, she spent a decade working at B&Q as a Project Leader. Check out this interview she gave recently about working in tech. Follow her on Twitter at @katienykanen.

3 – Advanced Energy CTO Isabel Yang

Advanced Energy CTO Isabel Yang has been at the innovative power company in Denver since 2018. Prior to Advanced Energy, Isabel worked at IBM for over 19 years, most recently as Vice President of Research Strategy. She began her career as a Lead CMOS Device Engineer at Motorola. She earned advanced degrees from MIT, and is open to serving on boards.

4 – Biden for President CTO Jacky Chang

Biden for President CTO Jacky Chang was a senior engineer on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and worked for the Democratic National Committee’s voter protection team during the 2018 midterms. She spent most of her career as a software engineer in Silicon Valley, working for companies like Stripe and Eventbrite. Prior to Eventbrite, she was CTO and co-founder at Plympton and began her career as a Research Engineer at StumbleUpon. Follow her on Twitter at @kyoki.

5 – Bloc CTO and Co-Founder Amina Yamusah

Bloc CTO Amina Yamusah co-founded the career service management platform for job training organizations. Prior to Bloc, Amina worked at MoveOn as a Data Engineer. Before MoveOn, she was a Social Entrepreneurship Fellow at Echoing Green in New York. She began her career in diversity affairs at Princeton University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in politics, and led a career development organization, Our Bloc, dedicated to lowering the black collegiate unemployment rate from 13% to 5%. Follow her on Twitter at @AminaYamusah.

6 – Breaker CTO and Co-Founder Leah Culver

Breaker CTO Officer Leah Culver co-founded the social network for podcasts in 2016. Prior to Breaker, she worked at Dropbox, Medium and Sincerely. Before that, Leah co-founded Convore and Pownce (acquired by Six Apart). She is an angel investor in GitHub (acquired by Microsoft), Sentry, Numeracy (acquried by Snowflake), Opsolutely (acquired by Shift), and many more. She is an author of OAuth 1.0, passionate about many technical topics, and a frequent conference speaker. Fun fact: she is renovating the Pink Painted Lady, one of the famous Painted Ladies in San Francisco. Follow her on Twitter at @leahculver.

7 – Cabot CTO Patricia Hubbard

Cabot CTO Patricia Hubbard has been at the chemicals and performance materials company in Boston since 2018. Prior to Cabot, Patricia worked at Avery Dennison as Vice President of R&D and Materials. Before that, she worked at PolyOne for nine years, most recently as Vice President of Technology. Before that, Patricia worked at GE for a decade, most recently as CVD Technology Manager.    

8 – CBS Interactive CTO Elizabeth Carrasco

CBS Interactive CTO Elizabeth Carrasco joined the online content network in 2011. Prior to CBS Interactive, Elizabeth was CTO at Clicker Media (acquired by CBS Interactive). Before Clicker Media, she was Vice President of Engineering at Spot Runner, Authenticlick, and United Online. She started her career as an Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Follow her on Twitter at @deneiges.

9 – Change.org CTO Elaine Zhou

Change.org CTO Elaine Zhou joined the platform for change in 2020. Prior to Change.org, she was at Vidado as CTO, and has held leadership positions for over a decade at companies including HomeStore, PlanetOut, IAC and more. She’s been a longtime mentor at Upwardly Global. Follow her on Twitter at @softwired.

10 – Curve Health CTO Cheryl Porro

Curve Health CTO Cheryl Porro joined the senior health platform company in 2020. She spent 13 years at Salesforce.com and Salesforce.org building platforms and industry-leading products that helped grow multiple business lines into 100Ms+ in annual revenue. She has led technology teams for Amazon, DigitalThink, and most recently Thrive Global. Follow her on Twitter at @cporro_sf.

11 – Democratic National Committee CTO Nell Thomas

Democratic National Committee CTO Officer Nellwyn Thomas has been leading technology and analytics for the Democrats since 2019. Prior to the DNC, she worked at Facebook in data science and served as Deputy Chief Analytics Officer for the Hillary for America campaign in 2016. Before that, she worked at Etsy for over four years, most recently as Senior Director of Analytics & Business Intelligence. Follow her on Twitter at @nellwyn.

12 – Digital Guardian CTO Debra Danielson

Digital Guardian CTO Debra Danielson has been at the data loss prevention software company in Waltham since 2019. Prior to joining Digital Guardian, Debra was at CA Technologies for 30 years, serving in a variety of VP and SVP roles. She began her career as a Software Developer at Applied Data Research. Debra serves on the board of Rock Solid Technologies and Springboard Enterprise’s Technology Council. Follow her on Twitter at @debradanielson.

13 – Dina CTO Erin Karam

Dina CTO Erin Karam has been at the AI-powered care coordination company in Chicago since 2015. Prior to Dina, she was at Solstice Mobile as Director of Solution Delivery. Before that, Erin was at Clean Urban Energy as Vice President of Engineering. She began her career at IBM as an IT Specialist, and worked her way up to IT Architect in nine years. Follow her on Twitter at @erinkaram.

14 – Ding CTO Barbara McCarthy

Ding CTO Barbara McCarthy has been working at the international mobile top-up platform in Dublin since 2019. Prior to Ding, she worked at HubSpot as Director of Engineering for four years. Prior to HubSpot, Barbara worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for over seven years, most recently at VP of Software Development. She serves on the board of Social Innovation Fund Ireland and mentors at 30% Club Ireland. Follow her on Twitter at @babsogrady.

15 – EXOS CTO Yvette Pasqua

EXOS CTO Yvette Pasqua joined the human performance company in 2020. Previously, she held product and engineering leadership roles at Meetup, Haven, and the WPP Group. She’s an advisor at Chloe Capital and cares deeply about doing the work to support people from underrepresented groups in the technology industry. Follow her on Twitter at @lolarobot.

16 – ezCater CTO Erin DeCesare

ezCater CTO Erin DeCesare has been at the online catering marketplace in Boston since 2019. Prior to ezCater, she was Vice President of Data and Analytics at Bottomline Technologies and Vistaprint. Before Vistaprint, Erin worked at Fidelity Investments as Director of Program Management and was a Project Manager at Sovereign Bank and Woodman Design.

17 – FCC CTO Monisha Ghosh

Federal Communications Commission CTO Monisha Ghosh has been at the United States government agency in Washington D.C. since 2020. Prior to the FCC, she worked at the National Science Foundation as Program Director and was a Research Professor at the University of Chicago, conducting research in wireless technologies. Prior to the University of Chicago, she was with Interdigital, Philips Research, and Bell Laboratories. She was recognized for her contributions to the IEEE 802.22.

18 – FeelIT CTO and Co-Founder Meital Segev-Bar

FeelIT CTO Meital Segev-Bar has been working on predictive maintenance and sensing solutions since 2017 in Haifa. Prior to co-founding FeelIT, she earned her PhD focused on Nanotechnology from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

19 – Firefly Health CTO Mimi Liu

Firefly Health CTO Mimi Liu has been working on technology-powered concierge medicine service for average Americans since 2020. Prior to Firefly Health, she worked at Devoted Health. Before that, Mimi worked at athenahealth for over 12 years, most recently as Executive Director of Engineering. She began her career as a Senior Developer at athenahealth.

20 – Flare CPTO Liz Crawford

Flare CPTO Liz Crawford has been working at the HR software company in Sydney since 2018. Prior to Flare, she consulted for Skillshare, Outdoor Voices, Flare and more. Before that, Liz was CTO at Birchbox in NYC for over five years. She is a serial entrepreneur, launching Aprizi and Crono, after earning multiple engineering degrees and publishing over 20 academic journal and conference publications. Follow her on Twitter at @liscrawford.

21 – GE Renewable Energy CTO Danielle Merfield

GE Renewable Energy CTO Danielle Merfeld has been working at GE since 2007, leading technical efforts to develop differentiated products and services across a broad renewable energy portfolio. She began her career as a Solar Platform Engineer at GE, after earning multiple degrees in electrical and electronics engineering. Follow her on Twitter at @dwmerfeld.

22 – Glassdoor CTO Bhawna Singh

Glassdoor CTO Bhawna Singh has been working at the recruiting and jobs company since 2016. Prior to Glassdoor, Bhawna worked at Ask for over seven years, most recently as Senior Director of Search Intelligence. She began her career as a Software Engineer at Sybase and AT&T. Follow her on Twitter at @bhawna_tweets.

23 – Global Payments CTO Shannon Johnston

Global Payments CTO Shannon Johnston has been working at the pure play payments technology company in Atlanta since 2016. Prior to Global Payments, she worked at ShopVisible as COO and was CTO at Points of Light Institute. Before that, she was at CompuCredit, most recently as VP of Global Infrastructure Services.

24 – Glossier CTO Pawan Uppuluri

Glossier CTO Pawan Uppuluri has been working at the beauty company in Seattle since 2019. Prior to Glossier, she worked at Amazon for over 14 years, most recently as Director of Alexa Orchestration Engine. Before Amazon, Pawan worked at i2 Technologies, most recently as Director. 

25 – Halma CTO Catherine Michel

Halma CTO Catherine Michel has been working at the global group of life-saving technology companies since 2019. Prior to Halma, she worked at Sigma Systems for six years, most recently as CTO. Prior to Sigma Systems, Catherine worked at Tribold (acquired by Sigma Systems) as CTO and co-founder. She began her career as a Senior Manager at Accenture.

26 – Healx CTO Meri Williams

Healx CTO Meri Williams has been working at the AI-powered, patient-inspired technology company in Cambridge in England since 2020. Prior to Healx, she worked at Monzo Bank and Moo.com. Before that, she worked at Marks and Spencer as Head of Engineering and at Proctor & Gamble, most recently as Head of Operations. Follow her on Twitter at @Geek_Manager.

27 – Honeycomb CTO and Co-Founder Charity Majors

Honeycomb CTO Charity Majors has been working at the full stack observability company in San Francisco since 2016. Prior to founding Honeycomb, she worked at Facebook as a Production Engineering Manager. Prior to Facebook, Charity worked at Parse as Infrastructure Tech Lead. Before that, Charity was a Systems Engineer at Cloudmark, Shopkick and Linden Lab. Follow her on Twitter at @mipsytipsy.

28 – Intuit CTO Marianna Tessel

Intuit CTO Marianna Tessel has been working at the global financial platform company in Mountain View since 2017. Prior to Intuit, she worked at Docker as SVP of Engineering and VP of Engineering at VMware, Intaact, Ariba and General Magic. Follow her on Twitter at @mariannatessel.

29 – Iron Mountain CTO Kimberly Anstett

Iron Mountain CTO Kimber Anstett has been working at the storage and information management company in Boston since 2019. Prior to Iron Mountain, she worked at Nielsen for over 19 years, most recently as Chief Information Officer. Follow her on Twitter at @kimanstett.

30 – Itaú Unibanco CTO Vanessa Fernandes

Itaú Unibanco CTO Vanessa Fernandes has been working at the bank since 2017. Prior to Itaú Unibanco, she worked at Itaú BBA as CIO. Before that, Vanessa worked in compliance at Itaú Unibanco. Before Itaú Unibanco, she worked as VP at JP Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank.

31 – Johnson & Johnson CTO Rowena Yeo

Johnson & Johnson CTO Rowena Yeo has been working at the healthcare company since 2016, when she joined as VP and CIO for Asia Pacific at Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Johnson & Johnson, she worked at Cargill for 21 years, most recently as Global Group CIO. Rowena began her career as a Systems Engineer at IBM.

32 – Kapor Center CTCO Lili Gangas

Kapor Center CTCO Lili Gangas has been working at the social impact non-profit in Oakland since 2016. Before Kapor Center, she was a Tech for Good Fellow at New America. Before that, Lilii worked at Accenture and Booz Allen Hamilton. She began her career as an engineer. Lili is on the advisory board for Techqueria and a board member for Latinas in Tech. Follow her on Twitter at @LilsG31.

33 – Kennametal CTO Carlonda Reilly

Kennametal CTO Carlonda Reilly has been working at the materials company in Pittsburgh since 2018. Prior to Kennametal, she worked at DuPont for 22 years, most recently as Global Technology Director. She began her career as an Engineering Technology Manager at DuPont. Carlonda serves on the board of directors at W. L. Gore, Saint Vincent College, and the United Way of Westmoreland County.

34 – Khan Academy CTO Marta Kosarchyn

Khan Academy CTO Marta Kosarchyn has been working at the educational company in Palo Alto since 2017. Prior to Khan Academy, she worked at SCI Solutions as SVP of Product Development and Operations. Prior to SCI Solutions, Marta worked at Intuit as Director of Product Development. Before that, she was in management at Hewlett-Packard. Follow her on Twitter at @mkosarchyn.

35 – LimeLoop CTO and Co-Founder Chantal Emmanuel

LimeLoop CTO Chantal Emmanuel has been working at the shipping company in Emeryville since 2018. Before launching LimeLoop, she worked at SYPartners and Red Clay as a Software Engineer. Before Red Clay, she worked at New York Cares as Community Programs Officer. She began her career working at AmeriCorps. Follow her on Twitter at @chantalemmanuel.

36 – Lululemon CTO Julie Averill

Lululemon CTO Julie Averill has been working at the athletic apparel company in Seattle since 2017. Prior to Lululemon, she worked at REI, most recently as CIO Prior to REI, Julie worked at Nordstrom for over a decade as VP of Selling and Marketing Systems. She has taught classes on strategy and engineering at Seattle University, and began her career as a Project Manager at Weyerhaeuser. Follow her on Twitter at @julie_i_b.

37 – Lyra Health CTO Jenny Gonsalves

Lyra Health CTO Jenny Gonsalves has been working at the teletherapy company in Burlingame since 2016. Prior to Lyra Health, she worked at SugarCRM, most recently as VP of Engineering. Before SugarCRM, Jenny worked as a Senior Software Engineer at Epiphany. She started her career as a Programmer Analyst at RBC Dominion Securities. Follow her on Twitter at @jenny_gonsalves.

38 – Carbon Health CTO Claire Hough

Carbon Health CTO Claire Hough previously worked as CTO at ticketing company Lyte. Prior to Lyte, she worked at Apollo GraphQL as VP of Engineering. Prior to Apollo, Claire worked at Udemy, most recently as SVP of Engineering. Before Udemy, she led engineering at Tapjoy, Citrus Lane, NextTag, Blue Martini Software, Napster, and Netscape. She is a Limited Partner at Operative Collective.

39 – McKesson CTO Nancy Flores

McKesson CTO Nancy Flores is EVP and CIO, leading the company’s technology initiatives including software, infrastructure, application development tools and processes, operations, and cybersecurity. She also guides the overall direction for the company’s healthcare technology products and data and analytics. Prior to McKesson, she served as CIO at Johnson Controls (JCI) where she was responsible for information technology, cybersecurity and analytics. Previously, she spent 22 years at Abbott in several leadership roles including chief information officer. She serves on the board of the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

40 – Navenio CTO Niki Trigoni

Navenio CTO Niki Trigoni has been working at the infrastructure-free location company in Oxford since 2019. She has been a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Oxford for the past 13 years. Before that, she taught Computer Science at University of London and was a Postdoctoral Researcher at Cornell University.

41 – NovoEd CTO and Co-Founder Farnaz Ronaghi

NovoEd CTO Farnaz Ronaghi has been working at the online-learning company in San Francisco since 2012. She designed and built the first version of the NovoEd platform at Stanford’s Social Algorithms Lab. The project was part of her PhD thesis on collaborative learning at scale, and her research focused on incentives and motivators in online learning environments. Follow her on Twitter at @farnazr.

42 – Nylas CTO and Co-Founder Christine Spang

Nylas CTO Christine Spang has been working at the unified communications company in San Francisco since 2013. Prior to launching Nylas, she worked at Oracle for two years, most recently as Principal Developer. Christine joined Oracle by way of acquisition of Ksplice, where she worked as Software Engineer after graduating from MIT with a degree in Computer Science. Follow her on Twitter at @spang.

43 – Omada Health CTO Maria Latushkin

Omada Health CTO Maria Latushkin has been working at the digital care company in San Francisco since 2018. Prior to Omada Health, she was Chief Technology Officer at Narvar, One Kings Lane, and Peet’s Coffee. Before Peet’s, Maria was at Walmart, most recently as Director of Engineering. She began her career as a Software Engineer at Homewarehouse.

44 – One Medical Group CTO Kimber Lockhart

One Medical Group CTO Kimber Lockhart has been working at the primary care company since 2014. Prior to One Medical Group, she worked at Box, most recently as Senior Director of Web Application Engineering. Prior to Box, Kimber was CEO and founder of Increo Solutions (acquired by Box).  Follow her on Twitter at @kimber_lockhart.

45 – Outer Labs CTO Jen Carlile

Outer Labs CTO Jen Carlile has been working at the modern architecture, engineering, and construction software company in San Francisco since 2018. Prior to founding Outer Labs, Jen worked at Flux Data for five years as VP of Engineering and co-founder. Before Flux Data, she worked at Google[X] as a Software Engineer for almost two years. She began her career as an Audio and Acoustics Engineer at AuSIM. Jen mentors at Hackbright and Stanford. Follow her on Twitter at @jencarlile.

46 – Pilot CTO and Founder Jessica McKellar

Pilot CTO Jessica McKellar has been working at the finance company in San Francisco since 2017. Prior to founding Pilot, she worked at Dropbox for three years as Director of Engineering. Before Dropbox, Jessica was co-founder and VP of Engineering at Zulip (acquired by Dropbox). She began her career as a Software Engineer at Ksplice (acquired by Oracle). The open source developer is PyCon North America’s Diversity Outreach Chair. Follow her on Twitter at @jessicamckellar.

47 – Precisely CTO Tendü Yoğurtçu

Precisely CTO Tendü Yogurtçu has been working at the data integrity company in New York since 1997. She began her career as a Senior Software Engineer at Precisely. Tendü has also served as a part-time Adjunct Professor for graduate level courses (Programming with C++, C++ for Financial Engineering, Programming with JAVA, and Computer Architecture). Follow her on Twitter at @tenduyogurtcu.

48 – Puppet CTO Abby Kearns

Puppet CTO Abby Kearns has been working at the continuous delivery company in San Francisco since 2020. Prior to Puppet, she worked at Cloud Foundry Foundation for four years, most recently as CEO and Executive Director. Prior to Cloud Foundry, she worked at Pivotal Software and OPSWAT. Before that, Abby worked at Verizon and Totality. Follow her on Twitter at @ab415.

49 – Redfin CTO Bridget Frey

Redfin CTO Bridget Frey has been working at the real estate company in Seattle since 2011. Prior to Redfin, she worked at Lithium Technologies, most recently as Director of Engineering for Analytics and Business Applications. Before that, she worked at IntrinsiQ as VP of Development and IMlogic as Senior Program Manager. She began her career as a Software Engineering Manager at Plumtree, after interning at Microsoft and Motorola. Bridget serves on the board for Premera Blue Cross. Follow her on Twitter at @svbridget.

50 – Refinitiv CTO Alex Cesar

Refinitiv CTO Alex Cesar has been working at the financial infrastructure company in London since 2017. Before Refinitiv, she was at Thomson Reuters as Global Head of Risk Technology, at Deutsch Bank as Head of Governanc, and at J.P. Morgan as Head of Compliance. Before that, she was at Standard Chartered Bank as Head of Compliance and Assurance Technology. Alex began her career as a Technical Analyst at HSBC.

51 – Silicon Valley Bank CTO Ivneet Kaur

Silicon Valley Bank CTO Ivneet Kaur has been working at the bank in Santa Clara since 2020. Prior to Silicon Valley Bank, she worked at Equifax for over a decade, most recently as CTO. Before that, Ivneet worked at Claritas for six years, most recently as Product Development Manager. She began her career as a Software Engineer at Microsoft.

52 – Skillz CTO Miriam Aguirre

Skillz CTO Miriam Aguirre has been at the eSports company in San Francisco since 2013. Prior to Skillz, she worked at Financial Engines for over eight years, most recently as Software Architect. Follow her on Twitter at @techaguirre.

Sky Medical Technology CTO Rachel Fallon has at been the UK-based medical devices company since 2010. Their products include Geko devices, OnPulse technology, and Firefly recovery.

54 – Staples CTO Pragati Mathur

Staples CTO Pragati Mathur has been at the worklife fulfillment company in Framingham in 2017. Prior to Staples, she worked at Biogen as CTO. Before Biogen, she worked at Boeing as Enterprise Chief Architect. Before that, she worked at General Motors for a decade, most recently as Chief Architect. She started her career as a Senior Consultant at PWC. Follow her on Twitter at @pragatimathur2.

55 – Starbucks CTO Gerri Martin-Flicking

Starbucks CTO Gerri Martin-Flickinger has been at the coffee company in Seattle since 2015. Prior to Starbucks, she worked at Adobe for over eight years, most recently as CIO. Before that, she was CIO at VeriSign and Network Associates / McAfee. Gerri began her career at Chevron. Follow her on Twitter at @gmflickinger.

56 – SurveyMonkey CTO Robin Ducot

SurveyMonkey CTO Robin Ducot has been at the survey company in San Mateo since 2017. Prior to SurveyMonkey, she worked at DocuSign as SVP of Engineering. Before DocuSign, she was VP of Engineering at Eventbrite, Linden Lab, Adobe and Avolent. She began her career as a Software Engineer at BGS Systems. Folow her on Twitter at @rducot.

57 – ThoughtWorks CTO Rebecca Parsons

ThoughtWorks CTO Rebecca Parsons has been at the global software consultancy company in Seattle since 1999. Follow her on Twitter at @rebeccaparsons.

58 – Token Transit CTO and Founder Ekaterina Kuznetsova

Token Transit CTO Ekaterina Kuznetsova has been at the shared mobility marketplace company in San Francisco since 2016. Prior to launching Token Transit, she was at Meteor Development Group as a Core Developer for two years. Before that, Ekaterina worked at Google and Akamai Technologies as a Software Engineer. Follow her on Twitter at @technekate.

59 – Transposit CTO and Founder Tina Huang

Transposit CTO Tina Huang has been at the incident resolution company in San Francisco in 2016. Prior to launching Transposit, she was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Sutter Hill Ventures and a Founding Engineer at Sigma Computing. Before that, Tina worked at Twitter for four years as Staff Software Engineer. Prior to Twitter, she worked at Google and Apple as a Software Engineer. Follow her on Twitter at @kmonkeyjam.

60 – Verizon CTO Rathi Murthy

Verizon Media CTO Rathi Murthy has been at the media company in Sunnyvale since 2020. Prior to Verizon, she was CTO at Gap — and served as CIO at American Express. Rathi has been in engineering leadership at eBay, Yahoo!, Metreo, and WebMD. She began her career as a Software Engineer at Sun MicroSystems. Rathi serves on the board of directors for PagerDuty. Follow her on Twitter at @rathi_murthy.

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