Keynote - rhonda childress

IBM Fellow and Vice President - GTS Data Security and Privacy Officer

Keynote - Rhonda Childress

Keynote - Rhonda Childress

Rhonda Childress is an IBM Fellow Vice President - GTS Data Security and Privacy Officer. As one of only 25 female IBM Fellows in IBM's history, Ms. Childress has created many firsts in her 25-year IBM Career, including: first IBM Service’s female Master Inventor, first IBM Security Fellow, and first IBM Fellow from a Historically Black College or University. As an IBM Master Inventor, Ms. Childress has over 180 patent applications, resulting in 120 issued patents. Her patent ideas range from security, system management, IoT, mobile, aircraft, and various other topics. In 2014, she was honored by the State Bar of Texas IP Law as Co-Inventor of the Year. 

Ms. Childress is a dedicated global champion for the advancement of women and other underrepresented minorities across the industry; coaching and mentoring many at multiple stages in their careers from children at school, to adults joining the workforce, to those pushing their careers to heights not thought possible previously. As a STEM (STEAM) advocate, Ms. Childress is passionate about engaging young women in this movement by demonstrating through technology outcomes. The annual IBM Academy of Technology STEM program is but one outreach program Ms. Childress spearheads. She was recognized by The Society of Women Engineers in 2016 with the Spark Award which honors an individual who has contributed to the advancement of women by mentoring those around them. 

Ms. Childress graduated Magna Cum Laude from Kentucky State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. When not tinkering with electrical components, doing home improvement, designing and sewing quilts to be auctioned for charities, she can be found trying to perfect her competition chili recipe.

Keynote Title: Data Security and Privacy in an Interconnected World


The world is changing, and all of our devices are becoming more and more interconnected and some devices are even intertwined.  Creation of IoT devices will continue for the foreseeable future – and finding skills that can create IoT devices and architectures that are secure and protect data privacy will be difficult to find.   Now is the time to start teaching the necessary critical thinking skills and coding techniques required to develop IoT devices/architedtures that are secure and private in addition to the cool IoT features and functions.   We designed and will feature an IoT device and discuss the various design decisions in creation of the device with the consideration of data security and privacy.   It’s easier than you think (at times).