My Life as a Hidden Figure

ACM-W Distinguished Speaker
Speaker Name
Sandra K. Johnson
Date and Time
Bryan Research 103
Lunch served at 11:45. Seminar will be followed by a student Q&A session in the same location. Afterwards, Dr. Johnson will have a book signing event from 2-3pm in the lobby of the Teer building.

Dr. Sandra K. Johnson is a global technology leader with many firsts as an African-American woman, including the first African-American woman to receive a PhD in Electrical Engineering with a focus on Computer Engineering in the United States. This talk discusses the open doors, obstacles, and self-direction she experienced and encountered throughout her journey to current success. This includes mentors and others who assisted with her professional development, as well as those who sought her derailment. It is an inspirational and encouraging story of purpose-driven direction, confidence, competence and ordered steps.

NOTE:  The room location has moved from the original event publicity.


Short Biography

Sandra K. Johnson is the Founder, CEO & CTO, Global Mobile Finance, Inc., a fintech startup company based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. It is developing geeRemit, a relationship-driven global remittance mobile app based on blockchain technology and leveraging mobile money. She is also the CEO, SKJ Visioneering, LLC a technology consulting company. Dr. Johnson has over 35 years of experience in computing. Her previous roles include CTO, IBM Central, East and West Africa, Business Development Executive and Senior Technical Staff Member, IBM Middle East and Africa, CTO, IBM Global Small and Medium Business, the Linux Performance Architect, and managing the Linux Performance, WebSphere Database Development, and Java Server Performance teams within IBM R&D. She was also a Research Staff Member at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. 

She has a high-performance computing background and has conducted research in sever- al computer performance related areas. Dr. Johnson was a member of the IBM Academy of Technology, which consists of the top 1% of IBM’s over 250K technical professionals. She was part of the IBM research design team that created the prototype for Deep Blue, IBM’s world-famous chess machine. Dr. Johnson has received numerous technical and professional awards and is a Master Inventor with 40 issued and pending patents. She has authored and co-authored over 80 publications and is Editor-in-Chief of the book Performance Tuning for Linux Servers. In addition, she has authored Inspirational Nuggets, Inspirational Nuggets Too, and GREGORY: The Life of a Lupus Warrior. She has an expert certification in Security+ from CompTIA.

Dr. Johnson earned B.S. (summa cum laude), M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, all in electrical engineering, from Southern University, Stanford University, and Rice University, respectively, becoming one of the first African-American women to earn a Ph.D. in this field.

She is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). She is also an IEEE Fellow and an ACM Distinguished Engineer. 

For more information visit:

ACM-W and the Pratt Office of Diversity and Inclusion