Introduction

Hi, I’m Grace Esi Andrews, from the class of 2009. I’m an avid storyteller and entrepreneur who’s worked in technology for over a decade and brings a cross-cultural focus and experience managing, facilitating, and executing technical and entrepreneurial training around the globe.

I have a Master’s degree in Public Administration focused on business in the emerging market economies and economic access for indigenous and native communities. My passion and expertise range from digital anthropology to technical enablement, specializing in making technical concepts more applicable to any audience. I specialize in creating narrative-based content that bridges knowledge divides.

My personal belief is that when we know who we are, we can add immediate value to our personal lives and our professional outputs.

The voice I can bring to the board

The voice I bring is one of deep empathy. I have always prided myself on listening closely, asking compassionate questions, and leading with vulnerability. I represent many intersections of life at W&L. I bring my humor and honesty, always with a dose of directness that is both probing and sincere while inviting genuine responses.

My service to the University community

I have served as the Oregon Chapter President from 2014 till 2020, and I am currently a Young Alumni Board Member. I participated in student interviews and am always eager to talk to prospective students about life at W&L and my time there.

While I was at W&L, I was a Bonner Leader Scholar and did various volunteer engagements during my time as a Shepherd Poverty Program participant. I served in leadership roles in KEWL (Knowledge Empowering Women Leaders), SAIL (Student Association for International Learning), and Delta Sigma Theta (DST) Sorority, Inc. (a historically Black Greek Letter organization). Our tri-campus chapter of DST did volunteer work in Roanoke and Lexington, such as doing taxes for low-income families in the Rockbridge Area.

Other community service

I currently sit on the board for iUrban Teen and have been with the org as an advisory board member, virtual class teacher, general volunteer, and national board member.

I also tutor math and science to children on the developmental and/or autistic spectrum in my free time. When I can, I love to attend any community projects that focus on animals and have volunteered with a local rescue in Oregon.

Relevant personal and professional experience

My past experiences on boards and my time working with seed funds and VCs provide me with a unique ability to work under pressure for lofty goals and be creative in my problem solving. Working in tech is a fast-paced field that requires dexterity in multiple modalities. After years of working with high-profile customers on complex (and sometimes simple) technical infrastructure and management issues, I feel prepared and comfortable dealing with unknowns.

Accomplishments

I believe that my professional or personal accomplishments would be considered a credit to the school. For instance, in 2014, I was recognized by the University and received The W&L Distinguished Young Alumni Award (2014). During this time, I was also the co-founder of a data visualization startup from 2012-2015, which led to my public speaking opportunities. In 2019, I spoke at AWS re:Invent, Amazon’s international Tech conference, and am now working in a leadership role at CIVIC Software Foundation to transform how we view data by re-framing storytelling as a collection method.

Other things to know about me

I’m honored to be in consideration for the opportunity to serve on the board. I am grateful for the experience of doing so.