By Wayne Gillam | UW ECE News
The University of Washington Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering is proud to announce UW ECE alumna Diane Jurgens (BSEE ‘85, MSEE ‘86), as guest speaker for the Department’s 2022 graduation ceremony. Jurgens has over three decades of experience as an international business and technology leader, and she is currently Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at the Walt Disney Company. The graduation ceremony will take place in the Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion on Wednesday, June 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. The event will include 2022, 2021 and 2020 graduating classes and will be presided over by UW ECE Professor and Chair Eric Klavins.
“We are thrilled to have Diane as guest speaker for graduation this year,” Klavins said. “She has had an impressive number of achievements over her career and her leadership in technology and innovation has had significant global impact. She truly is one of our most outstanding alumni, demonstrating how a person can achieve their dreams with a degree from our Department serving as their foundation.”
At Disney, Jurgens oversees the company’s global Enterprise Technology team whose purpose is to connect, empower and protect the Disney magic. Her organization includes digital transformation, user experience, core platforms, networking, and cloud computing — ensuring strategic relevance and operational effectiveness. She is also responsible for Global Information Security across the Company.
Before joining Disney in October 2020, Jurgens was based in Singapore as Chief Technology Officer for BHP, a multinational mining, metals and petroleum company. There, she was responsible for the technology strategy and transformation to enable BHP’s vision to bring people and resources together to build a better world. Her leadership at BHP was recognized in 2018 by AFR Magazine, which named her as one of Australia’s top five technology influencers for turning BHP from a ‘fast follower’ into a digital leader.
Over her career, Jurgens has held senior executive positions and led technology teams in 25 different countries — driving innovation on a worldwide scale. Her roles prior to BHP include 10 years in China as President and Managing Director of Shanghai OnStar Telematics and Chief Information Officer for General Motors’ International Operations. Early in her career, she held a number of executive leadership and engineering roles at Boeing. She has received numerous awards recognizing her leadership abilities, including a 2013 Magnolia Award from the Shanghai Government Office of Foreign Affairs for making a significant contribution to the city’s economy, business environment, international relations, community development and management standards. Most recently, Jurgens was named one of the top 10 women in technology in the U.S. by Technology Magazine.
In addition to her long list of accomplishments, Jurgens has deep expertise in telematics, intelligent transportation systems, cybersecurity, data science, robotics, machine learning, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), advanced sensors and artificial intelligence. She is also an advocate for STEM education and neurodiversity programs. Those attending this year’s graduation ceremony can look forward to hearing from an exceptionally accomplished alum who has a wealth of knowledge and leadership experience to share from a global perspective.