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© 2018 by Laura Weidman Powers

Bio

Laura Weidman Powers is currently the Entrepreneur in Residence at venture firm New Media Ventures, supporting a portfolio of 80+ civic entrepreneurs wrestling with the biggest challenges facing our democracy today.

 

She is the co-founder and CEO emerita (2012-2018) of Code2040 (code2040.org), a nationally-recognized nonprofit whose mission is to ensure that by the year 2040 -- the beginning of the decade when the US will be majority people of color -- Black and Latinx people are fully represented in and leading the innovation economy, and have the economic and social capital needed to thrive and build generational wealth. Laura grew Code2040 from inception to a $7M organization with a staff of 35 partnering with 70+ companies and serving 250+ students and 6,000+ community members annually.

In summer 2016, Laura was invited to join the Obama Administration for a six month term as a senior advisor to U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith. At the White House, Laura focused on issues of diversity and inclusion related to ensuring the hiring practices, entrepreneurial ecosystems, and tech products and platforms of the future work for all Americans, particularly those from historically marginalized backgrounds.

Most recently before co-founding Code2040, Laura served as VP of product at a consumer web startup. Prior to that, she directed operations for New York City’s largest public art project and co-founded two organizations in the education space, one nonprofit arts education organization in West Philadelphia that is currently celebrating its 15th year, and one for-profit tutoring company that gave rise to a book.

Laura has taught social entrepreneurship at the American University of Rome as their first social entrepreneur in residence, and at Stanford University as a SEERS Fellow. She was a 2016 New America California Fellow, a 2013 Echoing Green Fellow, and a 2013 Stanford Social Innovation Fellow.

 

In 2016, Ebony included her on their Power 100 list, Foreign Policy Magazine gave her a Global Thinker award, and The Root named her one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans. In 2015, Fortune named her one of 10 Female Executives on the Rise and San Francisco Magazine saluted her as one of 37 Soldiers of Social Change. From 2014-2016 Laura sat on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) for the US Department of Commerce. Goldman Sachs named her one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2013. Her work has been covered by The New York Times, Forbes, NBC, Bloomberg, Fast Company, Inc. NPR, and others. Laura has a BA cum laude from Harvard College and a JD and an MBA from Stanford University.

 

From fall 2018 through summer 2019 Laura, her husband, and their new baby traveled abroad for 303 days, visiting 48 cities and towns, and chronicling their adventures at threegophers.com. After more than 10 years away Laura has finally moved back to her hometown of New York City.

 

You can find Laura's quick thoughts on Twitter (@laurawp), her longer thoughts on Medium (@laurawp), her management musings on LinkedIn (/in/laurawp), and her personal adventures on Instagram (@lewp).

 

SELECTED ACCOLADES

  • Social Entrepreneur in Residence, Lecturer, American University of Rome (Fall 2018)

  • Stanford Social Entrepreneur in Residence (SEERS) Fellow (Spring 2018)

  • New America CA Fellow (2016-2017)

  • New Profit Accelerator (2016)

  • Ebony Power 100 List (2016)

  • National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, US Department of Commerce (2014-2016)

  • 100 Most Influential African Americans, The Root (2016, 2013)

  • 10 Female Executives on the Rise, Fortune Magazine (2015)

  • 37 Soldiers of Social Change, San Francisco Magazine (2015)

  • Points of Light Civic Accelerator (2014)

  • Echoing Green Fellow (2013)

  • Stanford Social Innovation Fellow (2013)

  • 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs, Goldman Sachs (2013)

  • Aspen Institute Ideas Festival Scholar (2007)

  • StartingBloc Fellow (2006)