Meet An African-American Woman “Pathmaker”

Adriane Brown
Adriane Brown

At Pacific Science Center we believe that science needs diversity. We prioritize inclusion, diversity, equity and access in order to strengthen our organization and our community. And there is no greater champion of that than Adriane Brown who chairs our board of directors, a woman who spent many years in corporate America before coming to the Northwest.

Adriane Brown is retired executive and Independent Board Director at eBay, Raytheon, Allergan & Washington Research Foundation. Brown has worked in a number of technology-driven industries, from hands-on roles in operations to leading global businesses. She is currently a Venture Partner at Flying Fish Venture Partners – focused on supporting early stage startups in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

“Back in the 80s when I started out in corporate America there weren’t that many people like me,” she says. “An African-American woman who was a pathmaker, if you will, in the corporate environment.”

Fast forward a few decades and she’s now very active in the investment community where she finds plenty of talent of all shapes, sizes, colors and genders. But when it comes to diversity, she says there’s still room for improvement.

“We just don’t see the representation. We don’t see the access to capital and so we’ve got a ways to go. That’s why I currently serve as a venture partner with Flying Fish Venture Fund that focuses on young companies that are using AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning in new and innovative ways as the core of new ideas that are turning into products.”

And she brings that passion for diversity to Pacific Science Center where we are fully committed to this notion of inclusion, of diversity. We know that exposure has a huge impact on how people make life choices. She says it’s because we know it is not only in our best interests but society’s as well.

“By exposing women and underserved communities to science and curiosity and just tapping into critical thinking skills and bringing this to our community helps us have a better society.”

She says study after study shows that when we bring diverse ideas together we come up with better solutions. She points out some of the country’s most prominent companies and organizations are now building it into how they operate. But she contends even individuals can help by simply becoming advocates. If we see or hear something that isn’t right, we need to speak up, to act. That, she says, will make a difference.

“I think that sort of personal accountability will help all of us make progress.”

To hear more of what this important community leader has to say, we encourage you to listen to the short podcast embedded below. Then, as we celebrate Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March, we invite you to join us to help further this important cause. It can be as simple as stopping by for a visit to our Tropical Butterfly House, to take in a movie or laser show, to becoming a member for an entire year of discovery. If you can’t do that then follow the lead of this important community leader and become an advocate for this cause that will help us all.