Tech investor and activist Ellen Pao is the former CEO of reddit and the co-founder and CEO of the award-winning diversity, equity, and inclusion nonprofit Project Include. A long-time entrepreneur and investor, she is the former Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Kapor Center and a former venture capitalist for Kleiner Perkins and Kapor Capital. Her 2017 memoir, Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change, was shortlisted for the Financial Times and Mckinsey Business Book Of The Year.
With over two decades in the tech industry, Pao is a frequent advisor to tech leaders and keynote speaker at women’s and tech conferences. She draws from her own gender discrimination suit to offer practical and effective solutions to promote diversity and inclusion.
Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change follows Pao’s workplace discrimination suit against a powerhouse Silicon Valley venture capital firm. For the toxic culture and homogeneity she exposed, Pao was hailed as “the face of change” by TIME. Named Best Fall Book by both Elle and Bustle, Reset “has blown open a conversation about the status of women” according to the New York Times.
Following her departure from reddit in 2015, Pao went on to found Project Include with seven other women from the tech industry. Aimed primarily at startups, Project Include uses data and advocacy to accelerate diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.
Pao joined reddit in 2013 as the head of business development and strategic partnerships, running its mobile, growth, and business development efforts. She went on to become the interim CEO, where she made notable changes to the site and company structure to address harassment and protect privacy. Pao was the first head of a major social media platform to ban revenge porn, unauthorized nude photos, and harassment.
Before moving into tech, Pao practiced corporate law in New York and Hong Kong for Cravath, Swaine & Moore. She received an MBA from Harvard Business School, a JD from Harvard Law School, and a BSE in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University, where she also received a certificate in public policy.
She serves as a board member of Expensify and is an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow.
Her writing has appeared in WIRED, The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Lenny, and Recode.