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Harvey Mudd President Maria Klawe Has a Message for CS grads—and the Tech Industry


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Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College.

Maria Klawe took over as president of Harvey Mudd College 13 years ago. Today, half of the college's graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are women.

Credit: Krista Kennell/Fortune Magazine

In the 13 years since Maria Klawe took over as president of Harvey Mudd College, she has surprised skeptics and achieved a milestone that has confounded most institutions of higher education.

Today, 50% of Harvey Mudd graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are women, and students of color are on the rise at the elite technical college.

The shift is no accident; Klawe made diversity her top priority when she took the helm at Harvey Mudd, in Claremont, Calif. And while she's made strides, she's also faced big challenges during what she describes as the most difficult years of her professional career.

Klawe is a noted computer scientist and academic and a former Microsoft board member. Before becoming the first woman to lead Harvey Mudd, she served as dean of engineering at Princeton University and dean of science at the University of British Columbia. Klawe will share insights from her journey as a leader in computer science and champion for diversity when delivering the 2019 commencement address for the University of Washington's Paul G. Allen School for Computer Science & Engineering this Friday, June 14.

We caught up with Klawe for a preview of her remarks and a broader discussion of the opportunities and challenges facing the technology industry. Listen to the podcast below, subscribe to the GeekWire Podcast in your favorite podcast app, and continue reading for highlights from the conversation.

 

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