Rising tech and business leaders to gather for unique humanities executive program
September 14, 2023
They hail from Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, and fields that focus on media management, business security, criminal justice reform, and higher education.
Next week, a group of 11 rising leaders will gather at Virginia Tech for an opportunity to see leadership through a unique lens — the humanities.
The Institute for Leadership in Technology, a year-long humanities education program, one of few in the country, begins Sept. 19 with an impressive group of fellows hailing from across the United States and four countries.
The program, which culminates in an executive leadership certificate, will feature virtual modules, independent writing, a winter immersion trip, and a spring convocation on Virginia Tech’s campuses in Northern Virginia.
“In a world in which computing and commercial skills are increasingly within reach, deeply felt and rigorously honed, human skills and sensibilities are breakthrough - and, indeed, the superpower of the future” said Rishi Jaitly, professor of practice and a distinguished humanities fellow at Virginia Tech. “We at the Virginia Tech Institute for Leadership in Technology are honored to welcome such a distinguished and dynamic inaugural class, all of whom are bona fide leaders in technology, and all of whom understand the unique role the liberal arts and humanities play in furthering not merely leadership, but stewardship.”
Jaitly, who is leading the institute, is an entrepreneur who previously was an executive at both Google and Twitter. He also serves as a trustee of Virginia Humanities, the state humanities council, and the National Humanities Center.
The Institute launched in April with a team of faculty and technology industry advisors and issued a call for class of 2024 nominations and applications.
This year, while visiting different sites on Virginia Tech’s campuses, institute participants will be part of experiences that shed light on the role that the humanities play in the university’s story. They will see the Creativity and Innovation District in Blacksburg, the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC in Roanoke, and the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria.
Fellows also will take courses via virtual modules that will cultivate a range of skills and sensibilities, from introspection and imagination to story-listening and storytelling. Independent work will follow courses on the humanities and leadership, religion and philosophy, literature and creative writing, the liberal arts and technology.
The 2024 fellows
- Richard Averitt, co-founder and CEO, Starchive, Charlottesville
- Bryan Garey, vice president and chief human resources officer, Human Resources, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg
- Sruthi Krishnan, structural and payload design engineer, Boeing Defense, Space and Security, Huntsville, Alabama
- Cristina Martinez Pinto, founder and CEO, Public Interest Technology Policy Lab, Mexico City, Mexico
- Jennifer Morgan An, chief of staff and director of operations, state and local government operations, Boeing, Arlington, Va.
- Keith Rebello, senior technical fellow, Boeing, Arlington, Va.
- Marisa Ronan, senior program manager, leadership development and professional skills, cloud business operations, Microsoft, Dublin, Ireland
- Danielle Ruderman, senior manager, Worldwide Security Specialists, Amazon Web Services, Herndon, Va.
- Shaka Senghor, author of "Writing My Wrongs" and "Letters to the Sons of Society," president of Shaka Senghor Inc., former vice president, Navan, Los Angeles
- Jeremy Treadwell, president and COO, The Treadwell Agency, Washington, D.C.
- Amrita Tripathi, founder, Health Collective and Tap In Tribe, ex-head content partnerships, Twitter India, New Delhi, India
Read more about the fellows.
Written by Jenny Kincaid Boone