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We are thrilled to announce that Leona Thomas has joined our team as BDT’s new Chief Technology Officer. Leona is a technology executive with over 25 years of experience integrating business strategy, operations, and technology to enable for- and nonprofits to achieve their goals. We sat down with Leona – remotely – to learn a bit more about her.
What drew you to BDT?
“I actually wasn’t looking for a new opportunity when I heard about this position, but the more that I learned, the more that I realized that this was it – this was the job for me.”
When did you first start your journey in the data and tech space?
“I learned programming in junior high and then studied electronics in high school, which eventually led to an opportunity with Digital Equipment Corporation through one of its engineering scholarship and trainee programs."
Beyond your impressive professional endeavors, do you participate in any community-based activities?
“I’m a huge proponent for fostering community, so I’ve been a long-standing board member and co-chair of Strategic Planning for the William Way Community Center. I’m currently a member of SIM Women, an organization focused on bringing together and developing executive women in technology, as well as a current member of the DiverseForce On Boards community, a board training and matching program for emerging and senior leaders of color.”
As we continue to expand our impact across the country, we are honored to welcome new board members to BDT who will undoubtedly help us to break new ground. This year, we welcome Julius Green and Zia Khan to our board.
Julius Green is a retired tax partner and regional tax leader for the Philadelphia tax services group at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP. With nearly thirty years of experience working with tax-exempt organizations, Julius provides consultation on tax compliance and consulting matters that impact the firm’s not-for-profit, healthcare, senior living, higher education, membership organization, social clubs, and private foundation clients. Julius earned his BA in Accounting and a Finance Concentration MBA from the University of Baltimore, and holds a JD from The George Washington University Law School. He serves on the Finance and Audit sub-committee at Benefits Data Trust.
As Senior Vice President for Innovation, Zia currently oversees The Rockefeller Foundation’s approach to developing solutions that can have transformative impact on people’s lives. In his role, he partners with various initiative teams to incorporate innovation into their strategies. He also leads programmatic work to develop new tools, fields, and movements to improve the social impact of innovations, particularly those related to data and technology. Additionally, he advises a number of partners and grantees on strategy and leadership. Zia Khan serves on the Strategy and Risk sub-committee at Benefits Data Trust. He holds a BS from Cornell University and MS and PhD from Stanford University.
Julius and Zia join our illustrious team of leaders and experts, including Margaret Berger Bradley and Vikki Wachino, both of whom joined our board in 2019.
As the health, economic, and civil crises of 2020 have brought new challenges, they have also heightened demand for essential benefits. During this time of unprecedented, widespread need, we are uncovering new ways to make accessing public benefits easier for everyone. Our latest self-screening tool, Benefits Launch Express, explores how to connect people to assistance in the ways that work best for them.
We continue to hire and are conducting interviews remotely. We have open positions at all levels of experience and encourage you to share the openings with your network.