Introducing iLead’s Newest Members

Maia Johnston - June 27, 2024

Welcoming Ovetta Sampson and Kanitha Sar to the INFO College's Advisory Council

Hornbake Library, home to the UMD INFO College

The College of Information (INFO) is assisted in its work by the INFO College Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Advocacy and Development (iLEAD) Council, made up of distinguished professionals in the information science field. iLead provides a variety of ideas, perspectives, and resources that support the INFO College’s educational, research, and philanthropic goals. The INFO College announced this week the addition of two esteemed members to the iLead Council: Ovetta Sampson, Director of UX AI/ML at Google, and Kanitha Sar, Managing Director of the Cybersecurity Practice of Ernst & Young (EY).

Ovetta Sampson

Ovetta Sampson

Ovetta Sampson is a tech industry professional who strives to amplify the beauty of humanity with design while avoiding practices that exploit its fragility. She has worked in multiple industries designing with various technologies, including machine learning and artificial intelligence, IoT and AR/VR. Named one of the Top 15 People in Enterprise Artificial Intelligence by Business Insider in 2023, Sampson  has been designing and creating enterprise software solutions for companies all over the globe for more than a decade.

A design executive who has led several multidisciplinary teams and organizations at global companies such as IDEO, Microsoft, and Google, Sampson’s sweet spot is taking the deep expertise of engineering, product management, and design and creating transdisciplinary practices, policies, and teams that produce better, more human-centered products, platforms, and services. She has a background in journalism, psychology, history, and anthropology and, of course, equity and social justice and uses this foundation in her design practice. She currently is the director of UX, Core ML at Google LLC. 

Combining her M.S. in Computer Science (HCI) with her BA in Communications, Sampson spends most of her time helping people visualize humanity’s future and how to ethically and with compassion serve people through digital and intelligent products, platforms, and services. When she’s not working or teaching graduate school at DePaul University, she’s swimming, biking, and running in exotic locales, and occasionally, doing these races called Ironmans. 

Kanitha Sar

Kanitha Sar

Kanitha Sar is a managing director in the cybersecurity practice of Ernst & Young LLP and has 20 years of professional services experience in cybersecurity. Sar is passionate about strategically leveraging EY’s alliance and vendor ecosystem to help clients optimize technology investments and solve complex cyber challenges to accelerate their cyber maturity. Her experience includes threat detection, cyber strategy and risk mitigation, and cyber managed services. Prior to joining EY, Sarled strategic cyber programs across a host of Federal clients including United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Department of State, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. She is passionate about diversity and mentoring teams, particularly women in cyber. 

Sar earned a Bachelor of Science in Decision and Information Technology and an Executive Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Maryland.

The INFO College looks forward to their strategic insights, interactions with students, and ongoing collaboration.