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Maria Klawe, new Microsoft board member, on Pacific Northwest innovation

Maria KlaweXconomy interviews Maria Klawe, a new addition to the Board of Directors of Microsoft Corporation.

Klawe, the President of Harvey Mudd College, is a computer scientist who was previously Dean of Engineering at Princeton University, Vice President and CS head at the University of British Columbia, and a group leader at IBM Research.

Klawe makes a number of interesting comments on innovation in the Pacific Northwest.  “I had an interesting conversation with Google.  Google wanted to invest more in the Northwest corridor because they were getting better work out of that area than any other site around the world.  It’s partly the presence of really good universities, like UW and UBC.”

She also comments on UW CSE’s role in helping to strengthen UBC’s computer science program.  “UW and UBC both deliberately built a culture of support.  Take any faculty member there, and you’ll get a good human being.”

UW CSE’s Ed Lazowska is quoted:  “‘She’s impatient and persistent in the best sense – she wants things to be done right, and she wants them to be done right now.  She’s very strong on gender equity, which will be good medicine for Microsoft — although she’s by no means a one-issue person.  Her only idiosyncrasy is that she paints watercolors during meetings.'”