EECS Notable Women: Melody Ivory
Melody Ivory (M.S. ’96/Ph.D. ’01)
The first Black woman to earn a doctorate in Computer Science from Berkeley
Entrepreneur, founder of Thrivafy
Melody Ivory is the first Black woman to earn a PhD in computer science from UC Berkeley in 2001. In addition to this degree, she holds an MBA from Wharton Business School. In 1993, she graduated with a BS in computer science and math with honors Purdue University. She was awarded an inaugural Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship as an undergraduate student. She has been a Google innovation facilitator and product manager for consumer electronics and software. She has two decades of experience in data science and ethics, software technology, and tech education across industries and organizations such as GE and Microsoft. She also taught computer science as an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington.
At the company she founded, Thrivafy, Melody Ivory is disrupting the status quo for marginalized communities with smart solutions to inspire, enlighten, and empower all to stop settling in life, at work, and with technology. Having struggled with health conditions and imposter syndrome, she overcame institutional barriers to act as a voice for her community. She has written a new book to be published in 2021, titled “Why Tech Sucks (and How Sustainable Disruption Can Make It Suck Less).” In her own words, “Melody Ivory is here to elevate her life. More than anything, she wants you to be a Thriving Warrior.” The 5th annual Women in Tech Symposium, sponsored by CITRIS, will feature a closing keynote speech by Dr. Ivory titled, “Sustainable Disruption: Ensuring an #InclusiveHCI Future Is Not Enough.”
—Contributed by Sheila Humphreys