Vibrant Voice – Kathy Pham

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden greet Kathy Pham, First Lady's State of the Union box guest, and brother Captain David Pham in the Blue Room of the White House, Jan. 20, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden greet Kathy Pham, First Lady's State of the Union box guest, and brother Captain David Pham in the Blue Room of the White House, Jan. 20, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden greet Kathy Pham, First Lady’s State of the Union box guest, and brother Captain David Pham in the Blue Room of the White House, Jan. 20, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson.)

Kathy Pham

*Theta Zeta Chapter – Initiated 2003
*Bachelors and Masters in Computer Science, Georgia Tech
*Lives in Santa Clara, California

Kathy, a computer scientist, has used technology throughout her career to tackle pressing challenges. From Harris Healthcare Solutions to Google to IBM, she has designed health care interoperability software, studied disease trends with data analytics, and built data warehouses for hospital. Now, she’s a part of the U.S. Digital Service, a startup inside government, where her technology background unites with her passion for public service. This passion and commitment is rooted in her family’s story: Kathy’s parents came to America in pursuit of a better life. Her mother received the critical cancer treatment that she needed as she moved between states. Her brother earned the Purple Heart for his service with the US Marine Corps in Afghanistan. As a member of the U.S. Digital Service, she’s working to improve health technology for more Americans, expand veterans’ access to benefits, and transform how government provides services. She attended the State of the Union Address this year as the First Lady’s guest

I am most proud of…
The ability to be both an effective engineer and effective patient advocate for my mom who is battling Leukemia, sharing our story with others, and helping them through their battles too.  I am grateful everyday that I have found a career flexible enough to allow me to take my mom to doctors’ appointments when needed, and to squat in any corner of the hospital to do work while I wait on 4 hour transfusions.

The best advice I ever received was…
Have a healthy disregard for the impossible.

Phi Mu taught me…
How to work with people from all different backgrounds and empathize with many different life situations.

My fondest Phi Mu memory…
1. Having my Big Sister, Emily Piper, pull me out of the College of Computing building often, and telling me that my school work can wait because it was more important to spend time with friends. 🙂 She was right.

2. My wedding day with my Phi Mu sisters

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Three light-hearted things I can’t live without…. (excluding family & friends)
I can’t think of anything besides family and friends!

I wish I had more time to…
See all family and friends far and near around the world

Future aspirations/goals…
1. Beat Leukemia!
2. Bring better access to care and health data to all people.
3. Advance Precision Medicine to bring better, targeted care to all people.

Written by: Beth Denney Ward, Director of Marketing