Frances West is an IT executive well known globally for her work in accessibility/digital inclusion, emerging market development and industry business solutions. She was IBM’s first Chief Accessibility Officer and worked to establish IT accessibility standards as well as human-centric technology and solutions across all industries.
During her 30+ year career at IBM, Frances held a wide range of executive positions and managed many strategic client, business and research initiatives. Key accomplishments include: selling and implementing a nationwide payment system for the Chinese Central Bank, creating and executing IBM insurance industry emerging market strategy, managing Lotus software business partner channel marketing worldwide and leading the formulation of IBM Research’s Global Technology Outlook agenda on Aging and Accessibility.
Frances is a globally sought-after authority on ICT accessibility. She, for example, testified before the U.S. Senate in Washington DC, keynoted at the U.S. Business Leadership Network in Orlando, led panel discussions at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and hosted the Accessible Financial Services Forum in Beijing and Paris.
She is a principal with FrancesWestCo, a consulting firm she founded that works with governments and companies around the world on digital accessibility strategy. She is also Chair of the Strategy and Development Committee of G3ict, a UN affiliated organization focused on promoting IT inclusion. She recently became an affiliate of Mercator XXI, a DC based professional services firm helping clients to engage global economic growth through IT innovation.
She currently serves on the board of the World Institute on Disability, the National Business Disability Council and the National Braille Press.
Frances was born in Taiwan and attended universities in Hong Kong and the U.S. In 2011, she received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in recognition of her contributions to the field of IT accessibility. In addition to her professional work, Frances is also passionate about women’s leadership advancement in the IT industry and recently was inducted into the International Women Forum as one of the top women leaders in technology in the world. She is married with two sons and resides in Newton, Massachusetts, USA.