Kathy Pham

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Kathy Pham
Stofan pham (cropped).jpg
Pham in 2015
Board member ofAnita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, Make the Breast Pump Not Suck, Civic Signals

Kathy Pham is a Vietnamese American computer scientist and product management executive. She has held roles in leadership, engineering, product management, and data science at Google, IBM, the Georgia Tech Research Institute, Harris Healthcare,[1][2][3] and served as a founding product and engineering member of the United States Digital Service (USDS) in the Executive Office of the President of the United States at The White House. In 2021, Pham was named the Deputy Chief Technology Officer of the Federal Trade Commission.[4]

Pham is a Fellow and Faculty member at the Harvard Kennedy School where she created and teaches Product Management and Society. She has held positions as Fellow at Mozilla, Fellow at the Rita Allen Foundation, and Fellow at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center where she co-founded the Ethical Tech Group and was part of the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fellows in partnership with the MIT Media Lab.[5][6][7][8] At Mozilla, Pham co-leads the Responsible Computer Science Challenge and co-founded the Mozilla Fix the Internet Incubator.[9] Pham founded Product and Society, which focuses on product management, ethics, and the public interest.[10] Pham has been part of a championship StarCraft II team,[11] and placed 1st the Imagine Cup competition, representing the United States with a sentiment analysis (EmotionAI) engine.[12]

Early life and education[edit]

Pham’s parents were Vietnamese boat people, who spent several years in refugee camps before immigrating to the United States. Her brother, United States Marine Corps Major David Pham, was presented the Purple Heart medal during combat operations in Afghanistan.[13][14]

Pham attended Windsor Forest High School in Savannah, Georgia where she was a member of the volleyball team and graduated as Salutatorian of her graduating class.[15][16]

Pham earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She also holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from both the Georgia Institute of Technology and Supélec, specializing in cryptography and human computer interaction.[17] While in university, Pham was the chair of Georgia Tech's Women in Computing,[18] director of technology at Phi Mu fraternity, researcher in the Bio-Medical Informatics and Bio-Imaging Lab,[19] and founded the southeast chapter of United for Sight.[20]


Pham began her career as a software engineer building flights simulation and healthcare interoperability software at the Georgia Tech Research Institute and Harris Healthcare. She then was a consultant and data scientist at IBM who focused on healthcare analytics. There, she also led IBM’s Employee Charitable Contribution Campaign[21] and founded the After Hours Gaming League for StarCraft II with a team that made it to the league gaming finals.[22][23] At Google, she held roles in product management, technical program management, and data science on Google Health, Google People Operations, and Google Search. She founded Google’s first Business Intelligence Summit, called SELECT*.[24]

Pham left Google in 2014 to join and build the United States Digital Service, where she led and contributed to public services across the Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Precision Medicine Initiative, and Cancer Moonshot, spanning engineering, product management, and people operations.[25] Pham was a guest speaker to the White House State of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (SoSTEM), following the State of the Union address in 2015.[26]

Pham was a 2017-2019 Fellow, and now Affiliate, at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, where her research spans technology, policy, healthcare, artificial intelligence, and the social responsibility and ethics of the tech industry.[27][28] As a member of the 2018 MIT Media Lab and Berkman Klein Center Assembly, Pham's work addressed the ethics and governance of Artificial Intelligence with a focus on community involvement and community voices,[29] and she co-founded ai-in-the-loop. Pham teaches Product Management and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School of government.

From 2018 to 2021, at Mozilla, Pham was a Fellow and Co-Director of the Responsible Computer Science Challenge, where she also co-edited the Teaching Responsible Computing Playbook along with Atri Rudra.[30][31] In 2020, Pham co-founded the Fix the Internet Incubator at Mozilla,[32] supporting 50 teams and start-ups world-wide in the first year.[16]

In 2021, Pham was named Deputy Chief Technology Officer of the Federal Trade Commission.[4]

Pham is active with outreach and activism,[33][34][35][36] and has been notable for bringing her infant daughter along for a keynote address prompting the hashtag #LittleKeynoteSpeaker.[37] She works closely with immigrant communities to help navigate government services.[38] Pham has served as an advisory board member of the Anita Borg Institute[39] and the Make the Breast Pump Not Suck Initiative.[40][41]

Pham is the founder and executive director of the Cancer Sidekick Foundation and the founder of the Boston Chapter of Women in Product.[42] She coined the term Cancer Patient Sidekick.[43]

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden greet Kathy Pham
(2015) First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden greet Kathy Pham, First Lady's State of the Union box guest, and brother Captain David Pham in the Blue Room of the White House.


Kathy Pham and Megan Smith interviewed at State of STEM at the White House
  • Inducted into the Computing Hall of Fame at the Georgia Institute of Technology (2021)[44]
  • Inaugural 40 under 40, Georgia Institute of Technology (2020)[45]
  • Invited to give Commencement Class Day Farewell Lecturer, Harvard Kennedy School (2020)[46]
  • Invited to give Commencement Speaker, Harvard University, Extension School (2019)
  • One of the youngest members to be inducted in the Georgia Tech Greek Hall of Fame. (2017)[47]
  • First Lady Michelle Obama’s Guest to the 2015 State of the Union[48]
  • Nguoi Viet’s 40 under 40[49]
  • First Place, representing the United States in the international Imagine Cup “Olympics for Technology” competition with over 300,000 competitors.[50][51][52]
  • Georgia Tech College of Computing’s Most Outstanding Junior[53]
  • Finalist for the Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship[54]
  • Salutatorian of Windsor Forest High School graduating class[55]


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  2. ^ "Uncle Sam Needs More Geeks – TechCrunch". techcrunch.com. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  3. ^ Service, The U. S. Digital (2015-01-28). "Why I Joined the U.S. Digital Service". The U.S. Digital Service. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  4. ^ a b "Mozilla Congratulates Kathy Pham on Federal Trade Commission Deputy Chief Technology Role". Mozilla Foundation. 2021-10-28. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  5. ^ "Mozilla Announces 26 New Fellows in Openness, Science, and Tech Policy – The Mozilla Blog". The Mozilla Blog. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  6. ^ Weber, Eva (2018-08-21). "Meet Senior Fellow Kathy Pham". digital HKS. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  7. ^ "Honoring All Expertise: Social Responsibility and Ethics in Tech". Berkman Klein Center. 2018-07-06. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  8. ^ "Group People ‹ Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence". MIT Media Lab. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  9. ^ "Announcing a Competition for Ethics in Computer Science, with up to $3.5 Million in Prizes – The Mozilla Blog". The Mozilla Blog. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  10. ^ "Product and Society". Product and Society. Retrieved 2020-07-24.
  11. ^ "IBM vs Epic - After Hours Gaming League Finals - Apr 25, 2012 - Starcraft 2 VOD - Best of 7 from After Hours Gaming League Finals". sc2casts.com. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  12. ^ "Imagine Cup Winners 'MashUp' UN Millennium Goals | hg.gatech.edu". hg.gatech.edu. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  13. ^ "Government & Community Relations | Georgia Institute of Technology | Atlanta, GA". gov.gatech.edu. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  14. ^ "Vibrant Voice – Kathy Pham". A Vibrant View. 2015-08-07. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  15. ^ "Savannah woman selected to attend the State of the Union Address". Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  16. ^ a b "Mozilla goes full incubator with 'Fix The Internet' startup lab and early-stage investments". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  17. ^ "Georgia Tech grad among White House guests for State of the Union". news.gatech.edu. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  18. ^ "Compiler - November 2008". cc.gatech.edu. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  19. ^ "Summer 2006 Workshop - OpenWetWare". openwetware.org. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  20. ^ km78 (2015-06-24). "Entrepreneurial Upstarts". College of Engineering. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  21. ^ "Finding Time to Participate in IBM's Culture of Service - Citizen IBM Blog". Citizen IBM Blog. 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  22. ^ "IBM vs Epic - After Hours Gaming League Finals - Apr 25, 2012 - Starcraft 2 VOD - All Starcraft 2 video-cast matches / VODs in one place !". sc2casts.com. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  23. ^ Day9TV (2012-04-23), AHGL IBM vs Epic Award Ceremony - Season 2 Grand Finals - Starcraft 2, retrieved 2018-07-09
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  28. ^ "Berkman Klein Center Announces 2017-2018 Community | Berkman Klein Center". cyber.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  29. ^ "Assembly". bkmla.org. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  30. ^ "Teaching Responsible Computing Playbook – Explore AI Ethics". exploreaiethics.com. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  31. ^ "Teaching Responsible Computing Playbook". Mozilla Foundation. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  32. ^ "Mozilla Builders Incubator". mozilla.org. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  33. ^ AnitaB_org (2015-11-30), Megan Smith - Importance of Diverse Ideas in Gov't GHC15, retrieved 2018-07-09
  34. ^ "Moms Can: CODE". facebook.com. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  35. ^ wogrammer (2016-03-01). "Kathy Pham". wogrammer. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  36. ^ Kramer, Beth Cone (2015-08-26). "Inspiring Girls in the Tech Space: 100 Girls To Code". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  37. ^ "#LittleKeynoteSpeaker". linkedin.com. Retrieved 2018-07-09.[dead link]
  38. ^ Pahlka, Jennifer (2016-01-21). "Government for the People". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  39. ^ "Netflix hosts ABI.Silicon Valley event". 2017-05-31. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  40. ^ ""Look Within, Reach Across, Anchor Down:" Reflections on white privilege, changemaking, and moral courage in the "age of magic and loss"". Kate Krontiris. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  41. ^ "Leadership Team & Advisory Board". "Make the Breast Pump Not Suck!" Hackathon. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  42. ^ Neill, Stephanie J. (2018-04-06). "Building Women in Product DC". Stephanie J. Neill. Retrieved 2018-04-30.
  43. ^ Lead, Stephen (14 July 2016). "IgniteTalks.io | Life as a Patient Sidekick by Kathy Pham". ignitetalks.io. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  44. ^ "Hall of Fame Inductees Recognized for Impact on College Community | College of Computing". www.cc.gatech.edu. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  45. ^ "Kathy Pham, CS 07, MS CS 09". gtalumni.org. Retrieved 2020-07-24.
  46. ^ "Class Day Awards". www.hks.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  47. ^ "Greek Hall of Fame | Greek Affairs". greek.gatech.edu (in Afrikaans). Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  48. ^ "Meet Kathy Pham, a Guest of the First Lady at the State of the Union". whitehouse.gov. 2015-01-19. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  49. ^ "Người Việt tiêu biểu dưới 40 tuổi: Kathy Phạm". Nguoi Viet Online. 2015-03-18. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  50. ^ "Ga. Tech Team Receives Top Honors in 2009 Imagine Cup". news.gatech.edu. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  51. ^ "US Students Win in Egypt at Imagine Cup 2009 Worldwide Finals". Education Insights. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  52. ^ Jones, Jamie. ""Team Curious" featuring former Dalton resident prevails in Microsoft competition". The Daily Citizen. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  53. ^ "Annual Awards and Honors - Past Recipients | College of Computing". cc.gatech.edu. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  54. ^ "Congratulations to our U.S. and Canadian Anita Borg Scholars". Official Google Blog. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  55. ^ "Savannah woman selected to attend the State of the Union address". wtoc.com. Retrieved 2019-06-20.

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