Digital Leadership, Social Impact, Tech Innovation
Toni Townes-Whitley is a global technology leader who currently serves on the boards of Nasdaq, PNC Financial Services, Empowerment Inclusion Capital, United Way Worldwide, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the Partnership for Public Service and the Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative.
As former president of U.S. regulated industries, Townes-Whitley led Microsoft’s business with public sector and commercial regulated industries (education, financial services, government and healthcare). Responsible for more than 5,200 employees and a budget of approximately $16 billion, she was one of the top women leaders at Microsoft and in the technology industry, with a track record of accelerating and sustaining profitable business and building high-performance teams.
In addition to leading a sales organization, Townes-Whitley helped steer the company’s work to address systemic racial injustice. The company focused internally on representation and inclusion and externally on using technology to tackle prevailing societal challenges. She also focused on applying technology innovations to create social impact and is a frequent speaker on the topic.
Townes-Whitley helped launch new initiatives at Microsoft, including building the ethics framework for AI and emerging technologies, establishing the carbon-negative initiative and sponsoring the Blacks & Africans (BAM) employee resource group. She partnered with the Athena Alliance, which prepares women for corporate board roles. She also worked with Gender Fair, which rates companies on their fairness practices for leadership, employee policies, advertising and philanthropy.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Townes-Whitley was president of CGI Federal and served in senior management roles at Unisys Corporation.
In addition to her board service, Townes-Whitley is an advisor to the Women’s Center of Northern Virginia and a past president and chair of Women in Technology. She continues to support the U.S. Peace Corps, for which she volunteered for three years as a village teacher in Gabon. She is the recipient of numerous technology and leadership awards. She earned her B.A. in public policy and economics from Princeton University and received certifications from Wharton Executive Education, New York University and the Performance Management Institute.