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Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao Is Returning to Venture Capital

January 11, 2017

Ex-Kleiner VC Ellen Pao Introduces Diversity InitiativeEx-Kleiner VC Ellen Pao Introduces Diversity Initiative
Ellen Pao, former venture capitalist at Keiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and former interim chief executive officer of RedditPhotograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Ellen Pao, whose 2012 gender discrimination lawsuit against the venture firm fueled a debate over tech industry diversity, has joined Oakland-based Kapor Center for Social Impact as an investor and diversity advocate, Kapor announced Tuesday.

Pao, also a former chief executive officer of the social network Reddit, was named Chief Diversity and Inclusion officer for the non-profit founded by Mitch Kapor, creator of the pioneering Lotus spreadsheet software, and his wife Freada Kapor Klein.

Pao will also be a Venture Partner at Kapor Capital, which invests in startups that solve problems for under-served people.


Pao pointed to an effort she has spearheaded called Project Include, aimed at gathering diversity research and providing tools for companies, as an example of the initiatives she would pursue.

“My work with Project Include was about calling out specific comprehensive solutions, and as I approach my role at the Kapor Center it will be about implementing these types of solutions at scale,” Pao said in an interview.

Pao lost her sex-discrimination lawsuit in 2015 against Kleiner Perkins, but the case drew attention to the comparative lack of diversity at many technology companies and tech investment firms.