Speaker Biographies

Lisa Lambert

Lisa Lambert

Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, National Grid
Founder & President of National Grid Partners

As Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at National Grid and Founder & President of National Grid Partners, Lisa Lambert is responsible for leading investments and innovation initiatives across the company.

Prior to National Grid, Ms. Lambert was a Managing Partner at The Westly Group. Prior to The Westly Group, she worked at Intel Corporation for 19 years and was Vice President and Managing Director of Intel Capital’s Software and Services Fund and the Founder and Managing Director of the $125 million Diversity Fund. An advocate for women, Ms. Lambert is the founder/CEO, and chairman of UPWARD (Uniting Professional Women Accelerating Relationships and Development), a global network of executive women. Ms. Lambert earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Management Information Systems from The Pennsylvania State University.

SF State President Mahoney Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.

President, San Francisco State Unversity

Lynn Mahoney serves as the 14th president of San Francisco State University, one of the nation’s premier urban comprehensive universities. She leads more than 3,900 faculty and staff as they serve a student population of nearly 30,000. The first woman appointed to serve as the University’s president in a permanent capacity, Mahoney succeeded Leslie E. Wong, who retired in July 2019.

Mahoney has spent her academic career working on issues related to enhancing student learning and faculty success and is committed to providing San Francisco State students with an exceptional educational experience. “Throughout her career, Dr. Mahoney has been dedicated to student success and has made a profoundly positive impact on the lives of tens of thousands of students across the CSU,” said CSU Trustee Rebecca Eisen, chair of the SFSU search committee. “She is the type of bold thinking leader who will continue to elevate SFSU.”

Approximately 8,500 students graduate from SF State each year and the Gator alumni family is more than 321,000 strong. The University’s distinguished alumni can be found in virtually every walk of life. Their accomplishments include 21 Pulitzer prizes, 16 Oscars, the invention of the microprocessor, and (jointly with SF State faculty) the discovery of the first exo-planets beyond the solar system.

Prior to her appointment at SF State, Mahoney served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. Earlier in her career, she served as the associate vice president for undergraduate studies and interim vice provost & dean of undergraduate studies at California State University, Long Beach. Mahoney served in a variety of leadership roles at Purchase College, State University of New York, including associate provost for Integrative Learning and vice president for student affairs.

President Mahoney has been recognized for her work in support of student success and academic excellence by the CSU Long Beach Office of Students with Disabilities, the Purchase College Student Government Association and the United University Professions.

Mahoney received a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in History from Rutgers University. She is the author of “Elizabeth Stoddard and the Boundaries of Bourgeois Culture” and has lectured extensively on the construction of whiteness in the U.S. and the construction of gender globally.

San Francisco State offers baccalaureate degrees in 73 academic areas; 16 credential programs; 34 certificate programs; 61 master’s degrees; and three doctoral degrees.

Yim-Yu headshotYim-Yu Wong, Ph.D.

Interim Dean, San Francisco State University Lam Family College of Business

Yim-Yu Wong joined the College of Business as an Associate Professor in 1995 and became chair of the Department of International Business from 2000 to 2003 and from 2008 to 2016. She is an active member of the San Francisco State University community. She served as a member of the Strategic Plan Coordinating Committee and co-chair of the College of Business Strategic Planning Task Force in 2015. Yim-Yu is positioned to realize the college’s vision and implement the strategic plan. She earned her bachelor’s in business and her MBA from Western Illinois University, and her PhD in strategic management from the University of Nebraska.

Luz UrrutiaLuz Urrutia

Chief Executive Officer, Opportunity Fund

Luz Urrutia joined Opportunity Fund as C.E.O. in 2017, working to build a more inclusive financial system. In this role, Luz is helping to scale the non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to deepen its impact in California and expand its reach nationwide. Already the nation’s largest non-profit small business lender – with over $100 million in small business loans under management – Luz will attract the capital and raise the philanthropic funds that will quadruple Opportunity Fund’s impact by 2020.

Luz has spent her career in banking and financial services, particularly in underserved markets, and has won numerous awards for her leadership. She began her career at Wachovia, where she spent 18 years, before founding El Banco de Nuestra Comunidad, a financial institution based in Georgia serving the underbanked Latino population . Luz served as President and Chief Operating Officer from 2001 - 2013. As VP of Retail Sales and Services at Oportun from 2013-2016, Luz’s team expanded Oportun’s footprint across five states. In 2016, Luz joined Dollar Financial Group as CEO for the Americas to help transform the organization into a responsible consumer finance business for underserved communities.

Luz has served on the Board of the Center for Financial Services Innovation and the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank. In 2006, Luz was awarded “Community Banker of the Year” by American Banker. Luz received a B.S., magna cum laude, in Business Administration and Finance and an M.B.A., both from Georgia State University.

Priya KothariPriya Kothari

Chief Operating Officer, Creative Market

Priya Kothari is Chief Operating Officer at Creative Market, a design marketplace with the mission to make design simple.

Priya started her career in 2005 working with non-profits to improve their presence and distribution, as well as strengthen and grow their online fundraising efforts. While in this role, she developed a passion for strong execution and shifted focus from marketing to operations. Her early career was focused on leading teams in successfully executing large projects from CRM implementations to site redesigns. Priya helps organizations achieve success by leveraging high-performing people with strong culture and values.

She started her career at agencies serving clients that include Dell, Microsoft, and several well-known non-profits and moved into operational roles at Blackbaud and Autodesk. Today, she serves as COO at Creative Market, a 50-person Series A company, where she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a fully distributed company.

Leah McGowen-Hare HeadshotLeah McGowen-Hare

Vice President of Trailhead Evangelism, Salesforce

Leah McGowen-Hare, VP of Trailhead Evangelism at Salesforce, is passionate about making learning accessible and empowering everyone to have a career in technology. Leah is a master technical trainer for Salesforce with more than twenty years of experience in technology. She works closely with Salesforce’s Trailhead online learning program and is one of the brains behind the “Be a Multiplier” program, which is designed to give anyone the resources to host a Trailhead workshop at work, in their community, or elsewhere. Leah uses her industry knowledge and experience to make technology more accessible to youth, girls, communities of color and Veterans’ through organizations such as BlackGirls Code, Technovation, Girls Who Code and Vetforce.