Our Leadership Team

The AnitaB.org staff and board are made up of people who are passionate about what women can bring to technology. We understand the needs of women, and have worked inside organizations that view technology innovation as an imperative. Our community extends around the world, driven by the belief that we can accomplish more together than any of us can alone.

Officers

Brenda Darden Wilkerson, President and CEO

Brenda Darden WIlkerson, AnitaB.org CEOBrenda Darden Wilkerson is an advocate for access, opportunity, and social justice for underrepresented communities in technology. She currently serves as the President and CEO of AnitaB.org, an organization that connects, inspires, and strives for greater equality for women technologists in business, academia, and government. She founded the original Computer Science for All program, building computer science classes into the curriculum for every student in the Chicago Public Schools, and serving as the inspiration for the Obama administration’s national CS4All initiatives.

Dr. Jacqueline Copeland-Carson, Chief Operating Officer
A seasoned social impact leader and executive, Dr. Jacqueline Copeland-Carson is the Chief Operating Officer of AnitaB.org, the world’s preeminent women in tech enterprise. Before AnitaB.org, she was Chief Operations Officer for Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, a $40 million multi-service nonprofit addressing Silicon Valley‘s global poverty. Trained as an anthropologist and urban designer, Jacqueline has worked as a social impact executive for companies, foundations, nonprofits, and governments operating in the U.S., the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, India, and Brazil.

Executive Staff

Ylonda Davis, Vice President, Global Events and Customer Experience
Ylonda is a customer-focused global events expert with more than 20 years of success delivering strategic event management, customer marketing, end-user relations, partner marketing, and vendor management. She has experience working with Fortune 200 companies, including Apple, Intel, Symantec, VMware, and Marketo, and with managing marquee customer events, including ServiceNow Knowledge, Symantec Vision, and VMware VMworld. She is an exceptional leader who can manage strategic planning and flawless execution of world-class events, and who can blend strategic communication, company identity, and experiential marketing to create unique relationships for employees, customers, and partners. In 2015, Ylonda, along with two other industry professionals, created a marketing consultant agency called Alloy which provides public relations, marketing strategy, and event management to high tech companies. She is a native San Franciscan, born, raised and educated in the Bay Area.

Mary Kempski, Chief Information Officer 
Mary brings more than 25 years of experience in information technology focusing on business operations, infrastructure, process improvement and application deployment. Most recently she served as Chief Information Officer at Grant & Weber where she was responsible for the strategic vision and execution of scalable systems and technology solutions. Mary has held key technology and executive management leadership positions in the Biotechnology, Healthcare, Semi-Conductor and Cloud Computing Industries. Mary serves on the Board of Directors for The Bili Project Foundation, a non-profit organization partnered with UCSF to develop groundbreaking research in early detection and treatments for bile duct cancers.

Geetha Kannan, Senior Vice President, AnitaB.org India
Geetha has over 29 years of experience in the Information Technology industry, having a career spanning Software Development, Organization Transformation, HR, Diversity, and Sales. She has held senior leadership positions, and is responsible for driving growth and change in organizations including Infosys and ANZ Bank-Bangalore. She is passionate about diversity and women entrepreneurship. Geetha has been working actively for close to 13 years with industry associations and partners such as FICCI, CII, Nasscom, DST, the Government of India, and SHRM to promote the inclusion of women. She also previously worked with the leading organizations NIIT, Wipro Systems Ltd, and Raymonds.

Dr. Stephanie Rodriguez, Vice President of Policy & Engagement
Prior to working at AnitaB.org, Stephanie served as the Director of STEM Policy at the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit supporting afterschool and summer learning across the nation. An immunologist by training, Stephanie found her way to STEM education policy and advocacy through years of STEM-related community outreach, and service as a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation. While at NSF, she worked on efforts to broaden participation in computer science and other STEM fields. Stephanie completed her doctoral degree in immunology at Washington University in St. Louis, where she studied the T-cell development process and devised innovative strategies to observe this phenomenon in live animals, in real time, using advanced microscopy techniques. She received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Stanford University, with a focus on microbes and immunity. Having personally benefited from the generosity and attention of amazing STEM mentors, and still benefiting from those relationships, she values the opportunity to support young STEM enthusiasts and the systems that encourage them.

Michelle C. Russell, Vice President, Programs
Michelle C. Russell’s career began as an English teacher at University City High School in Philadelphia. She transitioned to school and district leadership roles in Chicago, IL and Montclair, NJ, culminating with being the proud Principal of TEAM Englewood Community Academy. Michelle now brings her passion for change and commitment to equity to AnitaB.org where she serves as the Vice President of Programs. Her team increases pathways for aspiring women in tech to enter the technology field; supports the development of mid-career women technologists; and works to open doors for female tech founders with a resolute focus on women of color and other marginalized groups. Michelle’s goal is to actualize AnitaB.org’s mission for a world where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for whom they build it.

Allison SpinnerCorporate Counsel
Allison Berry Spinner is a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Her practice focuses on corporate and securities transactions in the technology sector. She regularly handles corporate governance matters for public and private companies, investment banks, and venture capital and private equity firms.

DaWana WilliamsonInnovation Lead
DaWana Williamson is an engineer turned nonprofit operations executive with a demonstrated record of implementing operational structures that have resulted in improved outcomes. She has a diverse background that includes product development and scaling. She has a strong history of process innovation, improvement, and measurement, as well as organizational restructuring and repurposing. DaWana brings a proven ability to successfully lead, innovate, and scale programs and services in fast-paced environments. Her previous role was Senior Vice President of Operations for the YMCA Chicago, a $90 million nonprofit organization, where she led a total of 600 employees in multiple functions including strategy, finance, operations, and grants compliance. DaWana currently serves on the Advisory Board of the David Lynch Foundation, Chicago, an organization dedicated to bringing the practice of Transcendental Meditation to at-risk populations, helping them to heal, achieve, and flourish.