Dr. Fay Cobb Payton is currently the Chief Programs Officer at the Kapor Center. In this senior leadership role, she develops strategy to drive an agenda for an equitable tech ecosystem for underrepresented groups across Kapor Capital, Kapor Foundation, Kapor Enterprises and SMASH. This includes integrating programs with input from other C-suite leaders and collaboration with community, industry, higher education, other foundations, thought leaders and strategic partners.
Prior to joining the Kapor Center, Dr. Payton was a Program Director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Division of Computer and Network Systems. At the NSF, she initiated with the CISE Minority-Serving Institutions Research Expansion Program (CISE-MSI Program) along with the Access to Cloud Computing Resources. At NSF, she was involved several initiatives, including Smart Health and Biomedical Research in the Era of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Data Science (SCH), Artificial Intelligence-FEAT, Computing In Undergraduate Education, Broadening Participating Alliances in Computing and a number of other cross-directorate programs (INCLUDES, ADVANCE, HBCU Excellence in Research and NSF Research Traineeship). She (along with a group of colleagues) received the 2020 NSF Director’s Award.
Dr. Payton is also Professor Emerita and was a Full Professor (with Tenure) of Information Technology/Analytics at NC State University. At NC State, she was named a University Faculty Scholar for her leadership in turning research into solutions to society’s most pressing issues.