Frances West is an IT executive well known globally for her work in accessibility, emerging market and business transformation. She was IBM’s first Chief Accessibility Officer and worked to establish IT accessibility standards, governance as well as to develop human-centric technology and solutions in an enterprise setting across all industries.
During her 30+ year IBM career, Frances held a wide range of executive positions and managed many strategic client, business and research initiatives. Key accomplishments include: selling and implementing a nationwide payment system for the Chinese Central Bank, creating and executing IBM insurance industry emerging market strategy worldwide, managing collaboration software business partner channel marketing for Lotus and leading the formulation of IBM Research’s Global Technology Outlook agenda on cognitive computing impact on Aging and Accessibility.
Frances is a globally sought-after authority on ICT accessibility. She, for example, testified in front of the US Senate in Washington DC, keynoted at the US Business Leadership Network in Orlando, led panel discussions at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and hosted the Accessible Financial Services Forum in Beijing and Paris.
She is currently the Chair of the Strategy and Development Committee of G3ict, a UN affiliated organization focused on promoting IT inclusion. She is also a board member of the World Institute on Disability, the National Business Disability Council and the National Braille Press.
Frances was born in Taiwan and attended universities in Hong Kong and the US. In 2011, she received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in recognition for her contributions to the field of IT accessibility.
In addition to her professional work, Frances is also passionate about women’s leadership advancement in the IT industry and has spoken at numerous Women in Technology conferences and mentored many women executives.
She currently works and resides in Newton, Massachusetts, USA.