Jessica Szmajda

Jessica Szmajda


Jess is the CTO at Axios, where she is the first female CTO of a major media property. Prior to Axios, Jess was the CTO at Optoro, where she built systems that revolutionized how retailers handle returns and grew the team from 8 to 250 in 9 years.

Jess has over 20 years of experience in tech; from IT support, operations, development, to leadership. She contributes to the tech community by organizing and DC-area meetups, as well as mentoring individuals and contributing to open source.

When she unplugs, Jess can be found playing original music at open-mics, cooking, and spending time with her son.

Diverse representation is a priority for us. We're proud to say that our Summit speakers are 80% queer women, 50% women of color, 25% Black & Latinx, and 15% transgender and gender nonconforming.