CEO, Last Mile Education Fund
Ruthe Farmer is a talent entrepreneur laser-focused on inclusion and leveraging existing infrastructures to scale change. She is the founder and CEO of the Last Mile Education Fund and most recently was chief evangelist at CSforALL. Focusing her efforts on systems-level change for tech inclusion since 2001, she served as senior policy advisor for tech inclusion at the White House Offce of Science & Technology Policy where she led implementation of President Obama’s call to action for Computer Science for All (CSforAll) U.S. students and advised on national tech inclusion policy. While at the White House, Farmer launched the Summit on Computer Science for All and persuaded more than 500 community partners to make public commitments to advance and support computer science for students.
Prior to joining the White House, Farmer served as chief strategy and growth offcer at the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and director of the NCWIT K-12 Alliance. For eight years at NCWIT, she led strategy and development of national initiatives to increase the participation of women and girls in computing and IT felds. She launched and scaled the successful Aspirations in Computing talent development initiative for young women in computing, expanding the program nationally in just three years. Aspirations in Computing is now available to all girls and young women in the U.S. and territories. It includes the AspireIT near-peer outreach program for K-12 girls, the Award for Aspirations in Computing for technically inclined high school young women, the NCWIT Collegiate Award recognizing the technical contributions of college women, and a national Aspirations in Computing community of program alumnae.
Farmer created the TECHNOLOchicas campaign for Latinas, a bilingual media campaign produced in partnership with the Televisa Foundation and distributed by Univision. She also helped expand the NCWIT Student Seed Fund and leadership of the NCWIT K-12 Alliance, which reaches 100% of U.S. girls through its broad network of partners.
She served as the 2012 chair of Computer Science Education Week and was named a White House Champion of Change for Technology Inclusion in 2013. She received the Anita Borg Institute Award for Social Impact in 2014 and the Education UK Alumni Award for Social Impact in 2015.
Well known as an advocate for equity and inclusion in technology, Farmer has been invited to speak at the United Nations, the European Parliament, the White House, the Washington Post, TEDxBeaconStreet, Oxford University, the Federal Reserve, the US Patent and Trademark Offce, and many universities and colleges. She has been an advisor to PBS SciGirls Latina and SciGirls Code, RoadTrip Nation, the Girls Choice Awards, and has served on the high-level advisory board of the European Centre for Women in Technology. She currently serves in an advisory capacity for Girls Computing League, Project CS Girls, Reinvented Magazine, E4USA, the Day One Project, and Schmidt Futures.
Farmer has been a guest contributor to TechCrunch and the Shriver Report, and has been featured in Forbes, The Financial Times, TechRepublic and EdScoop. She holds a BA in Communications and German from Lewis & Clark College and an MBA focused on Social Entrepreneurship and Marketing from the University of Oxford Said Business School. She is passionate about integrating innovative business strategies into social change efforts.