VP of Policy, Strategic Engagement & Impact, LendUp
Jotaka L. Eaddy is a dedicated and seasoned strategist with more than 18 years of experience in policy, organizing, and movement building. Recently described as the “Olivia Pope of Silicon Valley” by Tech Crunch, Jotaka is a leading voice in social impact tech and pivotal force in connecting Silicon Valley and Washington DC.
Jotaka currently serves as Vice President of Policy, Strategic Engagement & Impact for LendUp, a Silicon Valley based, mission driven financial technology company.
Within her capacity, Eaddy is a member of LendUp’s Executive Management team and represents LendUp’s regulatory, legislative, and social impact initiatives at the federal and state level. Eaddy’s team is responsible for measuring how LendUp’s products benefit consumers, such as saving customers more than $130 million in fees and interest to-date, and creating a series of financial education courses that have been viewed more than 1.6 million times. Additionally, Ms. Eaddy’s portfolio includes strategic partnerships with elected officials, consumer advocates, and other key stakeholders.
Eaddy has led major initiatives aimed at bridging the gap between Washington DC and Silicon Valley, including fostering major partnerships between Silicon Valley based companies and the government/ non profit sector at the federal, state, and local level. These partnerships have resulted in education and social impact initiatives that have reached more than 2 million consumers served by the tech industry.
As one of the few black women in the C-Suite of a Silicon Valley based company, Jotaka is a passionate advocate for increased diversity and impact metrics in the tech sector.
Committed to social impact and social justice; Jotaka serves as a board advisor to several tech start-ups including Maker’s Row, Inc.; Gauge, Inc., and Hustle, Inc.
Eaddy is founding Board Member of The Nate Parker Foundation and member of the University of South Carolina Alumni Association Board of Governors.
From 2009-2014, Eaddy served as Senior Advisor to the President and CEO and Senior Director for Voting Rights for the NAACP. Within that capacity she directed external affairs and strategic initiatives on behalf of the Office of the President and CEO and led the NAACP’s strategy to defend and expand access to the ballot box.
Ms. Eaddy has traveled extensively, serving as a guest lecturer and strategist on human rights and progressive policy reform at various institutions and universities covering 49 states and 25 countries. She has lobbied within various international forums including the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Organization of American States, and Council of Europe, among others.
In 2004 she directed the national lobby and international advocacy campaign against the juvenile death penalty in the United States. Those efforts contributed to the 2005 landmark US Supreme Court decision Roper v. Simmons which abolished the juvenile death penalty in the United States.
As a student at the University of South Carolina, Ms. Eaddy served in a number of leadership capacities, including tenure as student representative on the University’s Board of Trustees. As a student senator, she authored legislation and coordinated strategies that resulted in the passage of the University of South Carolina’s student resolution calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House Dome. Most notably, Ms. Eaddy was elected Student Body President, becoming the first black woman to be elected to the position in the University of South Carolina’s 213-year history.
Eaddy is the receipt of several honors and awards including: Root 100 Most influential African Americans, Essence Magazine Woman to Watch, My Carolina Association Outstanding Black Alumni, Midwest Academy Heather Award, Empower Magazine Political Rising Star, 40 under 40 Silicon Valley Tech Diversity, University of South Carolina College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Young Alumni, among others.
Jotaka’s work has been highlighted in several publications including: TechCrunch, Inc. Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, Root 100 Most Influential African Americans, Politics365.com, MSNBC, CNN, Al Jazeera America, Aspire Network, Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, BET, The Nation Magazine, Democracy Now, the Art of Activism, Black America Web.com, Essence Magazine, the American Prospect, among others. Follow her on Twitter @JotakaEaddy