Rice welcomes 2 new trustees

Alumni Gass and Whitehurst begin 4-year terms

Wanda Gass, an avid supporter of STEM education efforts, and Jim Whitehurst, a renowned technology executive, are the newest members of the Rice University Board of Trustees.

Both new trustees are Rice alumni. Their four-year terms began July 1.

Wanda Gass

Wanda Gass

Gass, a member of the Women in Technology Hall of Fame, is an active promoter of efforts to empower and encourage young women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). After more than 30 years as an electrical engineer with Texas Instruments, she is now the president of Design Connect Create, a nonprofit dedicated to conducting STEM summer camps in metropolitan areas across Texas, including at Rice.

Gass earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Rice in 1978 and a master’s in biomedical engineering from Duke University in 1980. At Texas Instruments she was a key member of the team which developed TI’s first programmable digital signal processor. She was elected a TI Fellow in 1999 and an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow in 2007.

Gass is a member of the George R. Brown School of Engineering Advisory Board and the first chair of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Association of Rice Alumni and the Rice Engineering Alumni of Dallas-Fort Worth. Gass is also on the board of directors of the Association of Rice Alumni.

Jim Whitehurst

Jim Whitehurst

Whitehurst is president and CEO of Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source technology solutions. Red Hat is the first open source software company to hit $3 billion in annual revenue and it is repeatedly named to Forbes’ list of “The World’s Most Innovative Companies.” In 2018, Barron’s named Whitehurst one of the world’s best CEOs.

Whitehurst previously served as chief operating officer of Delta Air Lines and served in several corporate development leadership roles at the Boston Consulting Group. He is also a board member of United Airlines Holdings, SecureWorks Corp., The Conservation Fund and Duke University Health System.

Whitehurst earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and computer science from Rice in 1989 and an MBA from Harvard University in 1994. He also attended the London School of Economics and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Erlangen, Germany. He is the author of “The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance,” which shows how open management principles based on transparency, participation and community can help organizations succeed.



About Doug Miller

Doug Miller is director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.