Michele Kang - Cognosante
Founder and CEO
Michele Kang is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cognosante. She is a visionary in health information technology and applies her experience to grow companies, promote entrepreneurship and achieve operational excellence for Cognosante. Prior to founding Cognosante in 2008, Kang led the growth of Northrop Grumman’s Health Solutions business. Kang was a management consultant and turned around underperforming businesses and executed profitable growth strategies for Fortune 500 companies. She received a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management.
Why do you believe STEM Education and Workforce are important to our nation?
While young girls and boys use technology every day to communicate, play video games, download and listen to music, their interest in majoring in STEM - science, technology, engineering and mathematics – has steadily declined over the past decade. Fewer students are enrolling in computer science and graduating with computer science degrees. If this trend continues, the technology industry will only be able to fill half its available jobs with candidates with computer science bachelor’s degrees from U.S. universities, according to the National Center for Women in Technology.
What about STEM gives you passion?
As the founder and CEO of Cognosante, a dynamic and growing health IT company headquartered in McLean, VA, I am passionate about technology and am grateful for the opportunities I have been afforded by pursuing a career in a STEM field. In order for Cognosante and other companies in the health IT field to grow and be successful, we need more ‘minds on health’ and more students to pursue a STEM education to help address some of the major challenges facing the health services industry.
What principles do you, as a leader, apply to your professional and personal life to advance the STEM cause?
One of my most important roles as CEO is to motivate employees and to provide opportunities to help them find new and exciting ways to contribute to the business. I work to ensure everyone knows the unique work and life experiences they bring to the company are valued and are making a difference. I believe it is critical for employees to know they are accomplishing something exciting and meaningful and to understand the important role they play every day in helping our customers overcome their challenges, solve their problems and fulfill their missions.