Creating an Infrastructure for Inclusive Innovation

On October 27, 2021 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET,  our Elevating Conversation focused on “Creating an Infrastructure for Inclusive Innovation.” It was hosted by Fellow in Residence, Dr. Kai Two Feathers Orton, and moderated by President and CEO of, Brenda Darden Wilkerson.

This exciting conversation highlighted the importance of getting women and historically overlooked people involved in the innovation ecosystem and rebuilding the economy. Our distinguished speakers included, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Gina M. Raimondo, and Oracle CEO, Safra Catz.

More About Our Speakers:

President and CEO of – Brenda Darden Wilkerson

Brenda 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, 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 CS For All initiatives.

Dr. Kai Two Feathers Orton

Dr. Kai Two Feathers Orton

Dr. Kai Two Feathers Orton was the Senior Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Dartmouth College. While there, her portfolio focused on developing  multi-dimensional engagement strategies with foundations and industry enterprises in partnership with faculty across the basic and biomedical sciences, physical sciences, computer science and tech, to advance research development and innovation initiatives.  Dr. Two Feathers Orton was also a Research Assistant Professor at Northwestern University in the School of Education and Social Policy and Faculty Liaison for the Office of STEM Education Partnerships. She founded the Computational Thinking for Girls Clubs (CT4G) to empower girls of color through experiences in computing, technology, and STEM.

Gina M. Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce

U.S. Secretary of Commerce – Gina M. Raimondo

Gina M. Raimondo serves as the 40th U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on March 3, 2021. As Secretary of Commerce, she is focused on a simple but vital mission — to spur good-paying jobs, empower entrepreneurs to innovate and grow, and help American workers and businesses compete. View her complete bio.

Oracle CEO – Safra Catz

Safra A. Catz has been chief executive officer of Oracle Corporation since 2014 and a member of the company’s board of directors since 2001. Previously, she was president of Oracle and has also served as the company’s chief financial officer. Prior to being named president, Catz held various other positions since starting at Oracle in 1999. She is also currently a director of The Walt Disney Company and previously served as a director of HSBC Holdings plc. Prior to joining Oracle, Catz was a managing director at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, a global investment banking group.

Education is a key priority for Catz, who shares her wealth of industry knowledge and practical experience as a lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she teaches Mergers and Acquisitions.

She has also been a director of the Oracle Education Foundation since its founding in 2000, serving as chair since 2004. The foundation initially made hardware grants to US schools that lacked access to technology and later provided them with ThinkQuest, an online learning platform. In addition, Catz led the team that built a public high school on Oracle’s Redwood Shores, Calif., campus. Design Tech High School ( is a free charter school that incorporates technology, design thinking and problem solving skills.

Catz graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

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