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avatar for David Harris

David Harris

City of Seattle
Startup Advocate
Greater Seattle Area
David is the Startup Advocate for the City of Seattle's Office of Economic Development where he supports tech startups through the StartupSeattle program. In his role, he also helps to lead the White House’s TechHire initiative for the Seattle region, which aims to connect women, people of color, and the formerly incarcerated with training and jobs in the tech industry.

Previously, David lead Technology Access Foundation's (TAF) efforts to engage students and teachers in interdisciplinary exploration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in the context of today’s social and global issues. During David's time at TAF, he helped to launch a makerspace, create a tech startup accelerator for Middle School students, led students on immersive learning trips across the world to places like Costa Rica, Silicon Valley, and Japan, and many other project-based learning STEM education experiences. Microsoft News featured his work with TAF in their #DoMore campaign.

Although David has worked at Microsoft as a Software Design Engineer in Test and at Apple as a Mac Genius, his passion is facilitating resource-constrained communities learning, creating, and sharing of knowledge, tools, and materials to create feasible, culturally relevant opportunities for upward economic mobility. In 2015, he received the “Making a Difference in Technology” Award from the University of Michigan Black Alumni. The same year, he was also a finalist for “Geek of the Year” at the Geekwire Awards in Seattle, amongst other notable finalist like Paul Allen. Hack the CD, a collective of self determined social innovators that David organized to focus on the creation of sustainable, equitable growth through design, entrepreneurship, and technology in the Central District of Seattle, won the 2015 “Best Tech Idea” from the Seattle Weekly. For his work with Hack the CD, David was also listed as “Seattle’s 51 Most Influential” by Seattle Magazine in 2014. The question that Hack the CD is focused on answering is “How might we create fertile ground for the African descent community in Seattle to grow with the city’s current tech boom?”

In addition to civic participation, David also is constantly working on personal and professional development. He is currently a graduate student in the University of Washington’s Human Centered Design and Engineering Master’s Program, a 2013 alumni of Leadership Tomorrow, and a 2016 alumni of Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders Program.