Level Playing Field Institute Welcomes New Board Members, Ellen Pao and Steven Wolfe Pereira


March 30, 2017

Contact: Ashleigh Richelle, (408-387-4353), ashleigh@www.smash.org

Level Playing Field Institute Welcomes New Board Members,

Ellen Pao and Steven Wolfe Pereira

Oakland, CA (March 30, 2017) – The Level Playing Field Institute (LPFI) announced today that Ellen Pao, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at the Kapor Center for Social Impact and Venture Partner at Kapor Capital, and Steven Wolfe Pereira, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Neustar, Inc. have joined its Board of Directors.

“Ellen and Steven have demonstrated a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout their careers in Silicon Valley,” said Eli Kennedy, CEO of Level Playing Field Institute. “They understand the importance of early investment in and advocacy for underrepresented talent. We’re thrilled to bring their expertise and their passion to the board as our expansion campaign to bring SMASH Academy to communities across the nation gains momentum.”

Level Playing Field Institute is an Oakland-based nonprofit that provides resources and support to ensure that underrepresented and low income students of color can overcome barriers to their success and thrive in STEM fields of study, from K-12 through higher education. LPFI achieves its mission through rigorous research-based education programming. Its signature program, the Summer Math and Science Honors (SMASH) Academy is a free-of-cost, STEM-intensive residential college preparatory program targeting 9th grade high school students from traditionally underrepresented communities interested in pursuing STEM careers.

Ellen Pao
“We need to invest in programs like SMASH Academy if we want a more diverse and inclusive tech pipeline in Silicon Valley and beyond,” said Pao. “I am excited to  help scale LPFI and further advance the founding mission Freada Kapor Klein set forth in 2001.”

Ellen Pao is a well-known diversity advocate and former interim CEO of social media company reddit. She co-founded Project Include, a non-profit advocating solutions for diversity and inclusion in tech. Before reddit, Pao was an investing partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. She has served on the board of directors of tech companies Flipboard, Datameer and Lehigh Technologies and non-profit Apollo Alliance.


Steven Wolfe Pereira

“I have experienced first hand the transformational impact that career development programs for underserved communities like LPFI can have on one’s life, both personally and professionally. I see myself in these SMASH scholars and I understand the value of LPFI’s work and more importantly how meaningful the LPFI people are in their lives,” said Wolfe Pereira. “My investment in LPFI as a member of their board is my investment in ensuring that STEM reflects the multicultural nation that we are.”

Named by Adweek as one of the “50 Most Indispensable Executives in Marketing, Media and Tech,” Steven Wolfe Pereira has more than two decades of experience at the intersection of technology, entertainment, advertising, media and marketing. He has been an active champion of multicultural inclusion and STEM education throughout his career, inspired by his first job experience as a Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) intern in investment banking. Prior to Neustar, Wolfe Pereira was the Vice President of Brand Strategy & Marketing Solutions at the Oracle Data Cloud (ODC). He joined Oracle through the acquisition of Datalogix, where he served as Chief Marketing Officer. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Ad Council, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF)


Founded in 2001 by Freada Kapor Klein, Level Playing Field Institute (https://www.smash.org) is committed to eliminating the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and fostering their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation.