Lee Congdon is responsible for Red Hat’s global information systems, including the technology strategy, enterprise architecture, information technology governance, solutions delivery, and systems operations supporting the company. His role includes enabling Red Hat’s business through services such as technology-enabled collaboration, knowledge management, technology innovation and process improvement. Under Lee’s leadership, the Red Hat IT team uses many Red Hat and open source products and shares associated use cases with Red Hat customers. He also frequently speaks at conferences on business-driven IT, the evolving role of CIOs and how they can maximize their impact on the business.
Congdon has extensive experience as an IT leader. Prior to joining Red Hat® he was managing vice president, Information Technology, at Capital One where he developed and delivered IT solutions for the firm’s corporate functions and Global Financial Services group.
Before Capital One, Congdon was senior vice president, Strategic Initiatives, at Nasdaq, where he led the organization’s efforts to identify, implement, and operate technology solutions for Nasdaq Japan, Nasdaq Europe, and other strategic global ventures.
Earlier, at Citicorp, Congdon led multiple global technology initiatives for the private bank and the corporate bank. Congdon began his career at IBM as an operating system developer and held several technology and technical marketing positions of increasing responsibility with that firm.
Congdon holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in computer science from Purdue University and an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.
As a leading tech company, Red Hat knows that developing the technology workforce is critically important for our future. Contributing to STEM programs is one of the key ways that companies like Red Hat can help develop both current and future technology workers and leaders. At Red Hat, we focus on community-powered innovation — the idea that when we learn something, we want to share it. That thinking drives our contributions to STEM programs in the communities where we live and work.
Red Hat supports STEM programs as a way of ensuring that we contribute to building the future workforce and equip future technology workers with the skills and broad thinking required to drive open source projects and the technologies they develop. In a March 2014 article in the Triangle Business Journal, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst emphasized the importance of encouraging schools to add computer sciences classes to their curricula. “Even giving high school kids access to Advanced Placement computer science classes and exams would be a nice start. I think it’s (also) important to urge our states to recognize computer science as more than just an elective. Only nine states, including North Carolina, count computer science courses as a math or science high school graduation requirement. While that says a lot about the path N.C. is on, we still have work to do.”
One of the ways Red Hat associates contribute to STEM initiatives is through volunteer efforts in their local communities. Cross-functional teams and individual contributors donate their time to leading STEM program activities, speaking in area classrooms, and taking part in STEM workshops and conferences. From individual contributors who volunteer to work one-on-one with students to managers who lead YMCA STEM-based initiatives to our CIO and other senior-level leaders, who speak about careers in technology throughout the year, Red Hatters are investing their time and talents to STEM programs. Through these efforts, we hope to encourage students to consider careers that have foundations in STEM.
As part of Red Hat’s STEM efforts, we are also ensuring that the programs where we participate serve diverse groups of students. A group of IT team members at the Red Hat Raleigh, NC headquarters volunteer with one of the local YMCAs, which focuses its STEM program on at-risk young people and provides the program at no cost to students or their families. The YMCA program is affiliated with St. Augustine’s College, a nearby historically black school. Through this program and others, Red Hatters have seen first-hand that sharing STEM programs with diverse groups of students inspires them to think more broadly about the school work they do today and their opportunities for tomorrow.
Supporting STEM programs not only helps Red Hat support the communities where their associates live and work, it also gives those associates leadership and development opportunities that provide real benefits for Red Hat as well as for the students served by the STEM programs. Red Hat CIO Lee Congdon highlights the importance of these opportunities for associates in his organization. “Taking part in STEM programs is an excellent way for Red Hat to give back to our local communities, but the benefits don’t end there. Our associates who take part in these programs gain experience in public speaking, sharpen their critical thinking skills, and are often reminded why they chose careers in the technology field. I hear from our STEM volunteers on a regular basis that they enjoy spending time with students and that they learn perhaps as much as the students they are serving. Participating in STEM programs is more than a pet project for Red Hat — it represents a very real opportunity to cultivate our future workforce while enabling current Red Hat associates to share thought leadership and gain valuable skills that benefit our organization today.”
Red Hat has built our business model on a different approach to developing technology — one that encourages open and diverse thinking and recognizes contributions from across the community. Red Hat’s focus on community-powered innovation is at the foundation of what we do each day. Our continued support of STEM programs in the communities where we live is an example of that kind of innovation. We believe that the work we do in STEM programs is very well-aligned with open source thinking. When we support these programs, we enable students to think in a variety of ways and be creative in their approach to problem-solving, both inside and outside the classroom. We also give our associates a wealth of opportunities to serve and to develop their own skills and leadership abilities. For Red Hat, supporting STEM programs will continue to be a priority, and we look forward to seeing new generations of students join these programs, and someday be part of the future technology workforce.
Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, and open source communities, Red Hat helps create relevant, innovative technologies that liberate resources for growth and prepare customers for the future of IT. Learn more at http://www.redhat.com.
At Red Hat, we believe in preparing the next generation of professionals to contribute to the future of technology. Red Hat leaders and associates volunteer at STEM expos in their local areas, speak in schools on careers in IT, and contribute community relations funding STEM programs.