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.
She is a full member of Sigma Xi, and serves in the following capacities:
- Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Education Advisory Board and co-chair of its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), consensus studies on Women of Color in Tech and Anti-Racism in STEM
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Science and Technology Fellows Selection Committee
- Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers, Health Systems and Diversity-Equity-Inclusion Committees
- American Council on Education, Council of Fellows Board
Dr. Payton has received the North Carolina Technology Association Tech Educator of the Year, PhD Project Hall of Fame and National Coalition of Women in Information Technology Undergraduate Mentoring Awards. She was named SAS Institute Fellow for her work in analytics and teaching in the IT classroom, and received two NC State University Alumni Extension Awards. She is a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Fellow where she worked on data management, technology and communications strategies for a health disparities study. As an American Council on Education Fellow, she worked on issues of public-private partnerships, interdisciplinary graduate research and education, and institutional economic and community impact.
Her research interests include healthcare tech; bias in algorithmic bias; data quality & curation; access and participation in STEM and tech innovation & entrepreneurship. She has published over 120 peer-reviewed journal articles, conference publications and book chapters. Her research has been published in the MIT Tech Review, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Issues in Science and Technology, Communications of the ACM, European Journal of Information Systems, Journal of Medical Internet Research, IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering, Information Systems Journal, Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, Health Care Management Science, Telemedicine and eHealth, just to name a few. The National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, AT&T, Kenan Institute and others have supported Dr. Payton’s research and teaching.
She serves on several local and national boards and has been recognized in NC State and other media outlets for research and mentoring work. She has presented her research at national and international conferences and symposia in China, Nigeria, Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Greece, Ireland, UK, Ghana, just to name a few. Dr. Payton has worked in an advisory and/or volunteer capacity with the YMCA, YWCA, Wake County Public School Systems and the City of Raleigh. She is often the speaker or panelist for corporate career development and leadership programs, and serves as a consultant for leadership development programs for current mid-level corporate African Americans in tech careers.