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Headshot of William A. Adams, an African American man with short gray hair who is smiling at the camera and wearing thin-framed glasses and a white shirt.
Guest Speaker

William A. Adams

Technical Advisor at Microsoft, Technologist

William A. Adams is an award-winning D&I innovator, engineering trailblazer, and philanthropist. He was named the first Technical Advisor to Microsoft’s CTO, Kevin Scott.

As co-founder of the LEAP apprenticeship program – Microsoft’s D&I Program of the Year in 2020 – he helped launch the training of more than 26 cohorts around the world. His most recent collaboration with the U.S. Virgin Islands aims to train technical talent and build critical technical infrastructure.

Early in his 30-year career, William was one of the first Black entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. He developed mission-critical custom enterprise apps for NeXT computers and pioneered an instant messaging service purchased by the CIA.

Today, in addition to his role as Technical Advisor at Microsoft, William is the philanthropic founder of The Event, a collaborative, community-based hackathon. When he’s not tinkering with code, the husband and father of three builds cabinets, knits, and rides a motorcycle.