Fatema Kothari was most recently the Director for Engineering and Program Management for Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, where she led their efforts to expand internet connectivity to unserved rural communities both in the US and globally. Her work in telecommunications is fueled by her passion to expand Internet access and bridge the digital divide.
Driven by her keen interest in policy, she currently served on the Board for the Internet Society – SF Bay Area, avidly advocating an open Internet that is accessible to everyone. In July 2017, she was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment, a forum to ensure that disadvantaged communities are not denied the wide range of opportunities made possible by next-generation networks.
Fatema is an avid advocate for gender parity in technology. She served on the board for the global non-profit Girls in Tech SF and is a proud mentor with Techbridge, an after-school program to inspire girls in STEM fields. She is also an advisor to a team of women entrepreneurs from Africa, and has coached them to secure a seed grant from the U.S. Department of State (TechWomen program).
At heart, she is a third culture kid (Kuwait -> India -> US) and loves to travel.