Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degrees

Kim Polese
  • Kim Polese
Kim Polese

Civic/Business Leader

California State University, East Bay

Kim Polese is an influential and innovative business and civic leader whose distinguished professional achievements in internet technology continue to redefine the nature and scope of communications in today's world.

A leading Silicon Valley entrepreneur and innovator, Ms. Polese has more than 26 years of executive experience creating and leading a number of notable technology companies. She currently serves as chairman of Internet consumer finance startup ClearStreet Inc. Prior to ClearStreet, she served in various leadership roles including CEO of SpikeSource Inc., which pioneered the automation of open source software management, and co-founder, president and CEO of Marimba Inc., which introduced the first generation of systems management software for the Internet age. In 1995 at Sun Microsystems, Ms. Polese led the launch of Java as the product's founding manager. Prior to joining Sun, she worked on expert systems at IntelliCorp.

Ms. Polese earned her bachelor's degree in biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley and studied computer science at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is a fellow at Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Engineered Innovation. This year she co-authored a white paper with California State University, East Bay President Mohammad Qayoumi titled The Open Learning Ecosystem: Transforming Education Through the Virtual STEM University.

An engaged citizen, TIME magazine identified Ms. Polese as one of the top 25 most influential Americans in 1997. She has received numerous awards in recognition of her outstanding contributions and professional achievements in technology and software advancement. She is an Aspen Institute Crown Fellow, and serves on a number of boards and advisory committees including the executive council of TechNet; Silicon Valley Leadership Group; the University of California President's Board on Science and Innovation; UC Berkeley's College of Engineering; the Long Now Foundation; and the Global Security Institute. A strong advocate for education, and especially higher education, Ms. Polese has focused her efforts on encouraging students, especially young women, to pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. She is both an outstanding role model and inspiration to those she comes in contact with.

In recognition of her support for higher education, and her civic and professional accomplishments as a community and business leader, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, East Bay are proud to confer upon Kim Polese the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.