Adriane Brown - Intellectual Ventures
President and CEO
Adriane brings 30 years of leadership experience to Intellectual Ventures where her management and business acumen serve as the cornerstone for IV’s strong, global performance and continued success. Previously, Adriane served as President and CEO of Honeywell Transportation Systems. Adriane is recognized for mentoring women in STEM and developing leaders. She serves on the Board of Directors of Pacific Science Center and Jobs forAmerica’s Graduates. She has a BS in Environmental Health and a PhD from Old Dominion University, and is a Sloan Fellow with an SM, Management from MIT.
Why do you believe STEM Education and Workforce are important to our nation?
Invention and technology are the drivers of progress and economic growth. Scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians lead the process of research, discovery, and application that make progress possible in our technology-driven world. Study after study has demonstrated that diverse teams almost invariably come up with better solutions than teams that are alike. As a nation, it’s important that we encourage and foster STEM careers for both girls and boys. Success here allows us to reap the biggest rewards and economic gains.
What traits do senior leaders need to effectively support and advance STEM today?
Senior leaders have an important responsibility to mentor, coach, and encourage the next levels in their organization and for generations to come. They are the ones who can unleash the full brainpower of the people they work with and mentor. They must ask tough questions and sometimes even advocate for the advancement of those outside the mainstream. As senior leaders, we have to watch for that spark in people and nurture and mentor it when we see it.
What principles do you, as a leader; apply to your professional and personal life to advance the STEM cause?
My motto and what I tell young people is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I have discovered that the biggest changes and the biggest rewards come when I step outside of my comfort zone and push my limits. If we go through life being comfortable, we can’t expect big things to happen. If we continually ask to work on hard problems or put ourselves in situations that are a stretch, we have the opportunity to make big gains.
What about STEM gives you passion?
I am passionate about finding the best solutions to the world’s big problems and to do that, we need participation from both men and women. Since I graduated from college, we have made great strides in changing the face of our workforce, but we shouldn’t confuse improvement with success. The truth is – women are still woefully underrepresented among the ranks of mathematicians, computer scientists, and engineers. As President of Intellectual Ventures, a company that brings the world’s brightest minds together to solve tough problems, I am acutely aware of how the shortage of women in these fields limits our progress. If we can’t embrace the most basic level of diversity, then we’ve squandered half of the brain power available to us to make the world a better place.
Of what one initiative are you most proud?
I support the universal advancement of STEM initiatives; however, girls and women in STEM are disparately underrepresented. I have had the privilege of working with Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) and I have admiration for the incredible work EYH does to open young women’s minds to the power of math and science, and to help them see the wonderful opportunities that these fields offer.