Denise Young Smith

Cornell Tech Executive in Residence

Known as one of the most powerful black women in Silicon Valley, Denise Young Smith recently closed a brilliant two-decade career with Apple and is currently serving as only the second executive-in-residence at the new Cornell Tech graduate school campus in Manhattan. At Cornell Tech, Denise will be visiting scholar and a key cultural influencer at this unique institution, on the imperative of true diversity, inclusion, and humanity in technology...drawing on her passion to positively impact the next generation of business and tech leaders and entrepreneurs.

Denise held a variety of executive roles at Apple, including building much of the company’s retail store initiative, taking the chain to over 400 stores globally before being promoted to the chief HR role, reporting to Apple CEO, Tim Cook. She served as Apple’s first ever vice president of inclusion and diversity, leading the company’s efforts to see its full ecosystem become as inclusive as possible. Denise has been named a “Most Powerful Woman” by Ebony Magazine and Black Enterprise, has been named one of “100 Most Influential in Silicon Valley” by Business Insider, and has been featured in Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women” issue. Truly living at the intersection of technology, humanity and art, Denise is an accomplished soprano who has graced local and international recital halls—including Carnegie and SFJazz.