Kapor Foundation Names Dr. Allison Scott as Chief Executive Officer

Scott Begins New Role by Leading Kapor Foundation’s 100 Days of Action for Racial Justice Campaign and Civic Engagement Activities Launching During National Voter Registration Week

Oakland – Kapor Foundation announced today that it has named Dr. Allison Scott as it’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Scott begins her tenure as former Chief Foundation Officer Cedric Brown departs to begin a fellowship in residence with the Obama Foundation.

Continuing Brown’s decades-long legacy of philanthropy, community, and civic engagement work, Scott will lead the Kapor Foundation into a new chapter as the Kapor Center family of organizations—Kapor Foundation, Kapor Capital, and SMASH—kick off the 100 Days of Action for Racial Justice campaign, a cross-organizational commitment to fight for racial justice in our political, economic, and educational systems.

“Allison brings a remarkable set of skills, traits and experiences to her new role as Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation. Having worked with her for more than a decade, I can attest to her brilliance, her kindness, and her ability to bring folks with different perspectives together to focus on practical solutions to real and pressing problems, especially those disproportionately impacting low-income communities of color,” said Freada Kapor Klein, co-chair of Kapor Center.

The Kapor Center family of organizations—Kapor Foundation, Kapor Capital, and SMASH—work together to holistically transform the tech and venture capital ecosystems by addressing multiple holes in the leaky tech talent pipeline. SMASH addresses entry into the tech pipeline by preparing young people of color with STEM skills, providing support and resources, and creating the next generation of tech employees, entrepreneurs, and investors. Kapor Capital addresses the entrepreneurship piece of the pipeline, funding gap-closing tech companies that are providing innovative solutions for low-income communities and communities of color. In the urgency of this moment, Kapor Foundation is doubling-down on efforts to dismantle educational inequity by focusing on closing the digital divide and increasing equity in computer science education; advancing economic justice by dismantling barriers to entry into the tech sector, and advocating for policy change at all levels.

“I am honored to represent the Kapor Foundation and eager to expand its rich history of addressing barriers for Black and Brown communities in education, in tech, and in society more broadly,” said Scott.  “I believe this is the moment for us to push for monumental, systemic change and I am excited to work in collaboration with colleagues committed to racial justice to create a more equitable future for communities of color.”

As part of Kapor Center’s 2020 civic engagement work, the organization will launch an extensive effort during National Voter Registration Week to mobilize voters of color and ensure communities of color can participate and have their voices heard in the upcoming election. Activities include:

  1. $1 Million in Grantmaking: Kapor Foundation has identified and selected 27 national civil rights and local grassroots organizations across the country that have specific, targeted initiatives to increase voter registration, education, and participation, among Black and Brown communities. Kapor will announce and award these grants, ranging from $15k – $100k, during National Voter Registration Week (September 21 – September 25). Kapor prioritized organizations led by people of color with a track record of engaging and mobilizing Black and Latinx communities. 
  2. Kapor Facility as Polling Station: In an effort to support local voter participation in the November election, Kapor Center has worked with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters to utilize Kapor’s facilities at 1901 Poplar Street in West Oakland as a polling location. With ample space to implement social-distancing protocols and increasing air circulation within the polling station, Kapor is working to ensure COVID-19 safety precautions help make voting as safe as possible.  
  3. Paid Voter Time Off (VTO): Kapor Foundation, Kapor Capital, and SMASH committed to providing all employees paid time off on November 3 to ensure participation and encourage volunteering. 22 of Kapor Capital’s portfolio companies are offering VTO for their employees in an attempt to encourage everyone to get out and vote. Every vote counts and the Kapor Center believes in the importance of giving employees the time to exercise their right.  
  4. Mobilization of Staff, Students, and Families: Kapor Center will also be launching an organization-wide effort to encourage individual and collective action to mobilize communities, provide education, and ensure individuals get to the polls, particularly at SMASH university partner locations in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. 

Dr.  Scott began her work with Kapor Center in 2009 as Director of Research with the Level Playing Field Institute, leading efforts to examine barriers to STEM education and expanding access to computer science education for students of color.  After taking a two-year hiatus to join the National Institutes of Health, she returned to Kapor Center as the Chief Research Officer in 2016. For the past four years, her research including, the Leaky Tech Pipeline, the Tech Leavers Study, Computer Science in California’s Schools, and Women of Color in Computing, has provided critical information about disparities across the computing pipeline.

She has also led numerous implementation projects to expand access to computer science education, including co-directing CSforCA—a coalition of educators, industry leaders, nonprofit organizations, and higher education institutions who advocate for high-quality computer science teaching and learning opportunities in K-12 public schools.

“Partnering with Allison as co-director of the CSforCA coalition has been truly remarkable. Allison’s passion for CSforCA’s mission to address the inequities in computer science education, along with her drive to make both short- and long-term impacts is both transparent and inspiring. The Kapor Foundation is lucky to have her as a leader,” said Julie Flapan, co-lead of the CSforCA Coalition and director of the Computer Science Equity Project at UCLA Center X.

The Kapor Foundation is thrilled to have Allison Scott’s leadership and is committed to addressing challenges faced by communities of color across our education and economic systems for decades to come.

About Kapor Center

Kapor Center aims to enhance diversity and inclusion in the technology and entrepreneurship ecosystem through increasing access to tech and STEM education programs, conducting research on access and opportunity in computing, investing in community organizations and gap-closing social ventures, and increasing access to capital among diverse entrepreneurs. Learn more about Kapor Center at: https://www.kaporcenter.org/