Rashida Hodge is a technologist and executive leader at the forefront of AI and emerging technologies that are changing how businesses operate.
She leads technology innovation strategy, develops diverse teams, and orchestrates global technology transformations.
Rashida honed her leadership over 18 years at IBM, where she influenced the creation, development and scale of IBM’s most significant technologies and rose to be the highest-ranking African American woman executive in a Fortune 100 company. She currently leads platform modernization and digital transformation consultation for IBM’s key North America clients.
Dubbed the “Superhero of IBM Watson AI,” Rashida led the commercialization and global launch of IBM Watson. She designed an entirely new world-class AI professional services organization from the ground up and ushered in custom AI applications for IBM clients. Most notably, she led the implementation of IBM’s first major Watson AI engagements and delivered first-of-a-kind projects with prominent clients such as Banco de Bradesco (Brazil), Woodside Oil and Gas (Australia), Lotte (South Korea), Hyundai (South Korea) and GEICO (US). Her collaborative approach cemented IBM’s global thought leadership in AI and she was the go-to executive leader for more than 70% of IBM Watson’s AI revenue.
Recognizing the need to expand and grow market share, Rashida championed a new go-to-market strategy to enable a broader software ecosystem of partners to embed Watson AI within their platforms, which led to the creation of critical partnerships with industry staples including Salesforce, Box and Workday. Her affinity with client needs and challenges influenced the product direction and evolution of the IBM Watson platform that exists today.
Originally from St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, her Caribbean upbringing gave her respect for strong communities, mentorship and the power of diversity. Knowing “we all stand on the shoulders of giants,” she is firmly committed to developing next-generation leaders and creating opportunities for women and minorities in engineering. In 2012, she founded the Real Hope for NextGen Engineers Endowment at her alma mater North Carolina State University. In 2020, she became founding partner of the How Women Invest VC Fund, focused on investing in and amplifying female-led and female-majority-owned companies.
Rashida earned a BS and MS in Industrial Engineering at North Carolina State University and an MBA from Duke University Fuqua School of Business. She was named to Fortune 40 Under 40 in Technology in 2020. Rashida sits on the Boards of Misty Robotics; Girls Inc.; Duke University Fuqua School of Business Minority Advisory Board; and North Carolina University College of Engineering Foundation.