Jess Erickson

Minneapolis ✈ Madison ✈ Seoul ✈ London ✈ NYC ✈ Berlin ✈ San Francisco ✈ Los Angeles ✈ San Francisco 

Photo cred: Darley Shen/Reuters

My name is Jess Erickson. I’m the Diversity Program Manager at Facebook focused on programs to improve the retention of academic women in computer science and engineering.  I'm also busy building Geekettes, a global organization offering help to aspiring and current women innovators in technology.

I was born in Minnesota to parents of Norwegian and Korean heritage (I call myself Korwegian). I studied International Relations and wrote for an underground indie music magazine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and later dived into state politics as a Legislative intern for Governor Jim Doyle. After completing my bachelor’s degree I moved to Seoul, South Korea to discover my mother’s old stomping grounds. While in Seoul, I studied the Korean language and global studies at Ewha Womans University and became a champion of North Korean Human Rights through my NGO work.

During that time I traveled throughout East Asia, which triggered a growing curiosity in global media and later led to a period of masters level studies in Media & Communications at the London School of Economics. Inspired by the late BBC DJ John Peel, I formatted and hosted two student radio shows and traveled throughout Europe on my free time.

As I bridged the gap between old and new worlds, I began building friendships with a new generation of young entrepreneurs, artists and students around the globe. After graduation, I moved back to the US and set up shop in Brooklyn, New York. I then worked for major and minor music labels until I decided to take on a new challenge. I moved on to pursue a position at Speaklike, a Manhattan-based tech startup. For me, the startup scene was love at first sight. 

I moved to Berlin for 4 years and founded Geekettes with the aim of changing the ratio in tech across Europe and selected cities in the United States. I also had the amazing opportunity of interacting with some of the smartest entrepreneurs, hackers and designers while building General Assembly. In my spare time, I mentored with three accelerator programs hub:raumStartupbootcamp and Microsoft Ventures.  When I wasn't busy 'teching', I was 'technoing' by hosting a monthly radio show with Berlin’s only electronic music station TwenFM

After my time in Europe, I relocated to San Francisco and Los Angeles to join the family at 500 Startups where I supported startup founders in their PR, growth marketing and diversity focused recruiting. 

I now permanently reside in San Francisco, you can follow me on Twitter at @jessjerickson and Instagram @jessjerickson