Kim Polese, prominent Silicon Valley executive and innovative Internet industry entrepreneur, will be awarded an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters by California State University, East Bay, Saturday, June 11, during commencement ceremonies for the university’s College of Business and Economics.
Polese, currently chairman of Internet consumer finance startup ClearStreet Inc., has 26 years of senior executive experience in creating and leading notable technology companies in the Silicon Valley area. She formerly was chief executive officer of SpikeSource, where Polese was responsible for guiding the company’s vision and business model from the management of open source solutions to pioneering the industry’s first self-service automated application validation platform.
She made Time Magazine’s list of “The 25 Most Influential Americans” in 1997 after she had co-founded Marimba, a Java-based business, in 1996. As CEO, Polese led that company to profitability and a successful public offering. Marimba was acquired by BMC Corp. in 2004 for $239 million.
“Kim Polese is one of Silicon Valley’s and the technology industry’s most innovative and visionary thinkers and leaders,” said Mohammad H. Qayoumi, president of Cal State East Bay. “A strong advocate for education – especially higher education – Ms. Polese has focused her efforts on encouraging young women to pursue degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.”
Before founding Marimba, Polese – a fellow at Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Engineered Innovation – served a stint at Intellicorp and then more than seven years with Sun Microsystems, where she was the original Java product manager, leading its launch in 1995.
She earned her BA in biophysics in 1984 from the University of California, Berkeley, and studied computer science at the University of Washington.
Polese, an Aspen Institute crown fellow, serves on the boards of the Global Security Institute, the Long Now Foundation, the University of California President’s Board on Science and Innovation, and UC Berkeley’s Engineering Advisory Board. She also is a member of the executive council of TechNet, a bipartisan network of executives that promotes the growth of the technology economy, the Oxford University Said Business School Advisory Forum, and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.