Featured keynote speakers

Announcing our first roundup of keynote speakers at Red Hat Summit. Check back here in a few weeks for more updates to the lineup.

Jim Whitehurst

Red Hat

Jim Whitehurst

President and chief executive officer, Red Hat

Jim Whitehurst is president and chief executive officer of Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source enterprise IT products and services. Whitehurst is an avid advocate for open software as a catalyst for business innovation. With a background in business development, finance, and global operations, Whitehurst has proven expertise in helping companies flourish—even in the most challenging economic and business environments. Since joining in January 2008, he has more than doubled the company’s revenue. Under his leadership, Red Hat was named to Forbes’ list of “The World’s Most Innovative Companies” in 2015, 2014, and 2012.

DeLisa Alexander

Red Hat

DeLisa Alexander

Executive vice president and chief people officer, Red Hat

DeLisa Alexander leads the department responsible for global human resources, including Red Hat University. The department's mission is to be a strategic partner to the business in acquiring, developing, and retaining talent and to enhance the Red Hat culture and talent brand. During Alexander's tenure, Red Hat has grown from 1,100 to more than 8,000 associates and is now recognized by multiple publications as one of the best places to work in the world.

Alexander is the founder of the Women's Leadership community at Red Hat. She serves on the executive committee for the Council for Entrepreneurial Development; the board of directors for Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and Innovate Raleigh; and the board of advisers for the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, Bull City Ventures, North Carolina State University Poole College of Management, and SoarTriangle. Prior to joining Red Hat, Alexander was associated with Kilpatrick Stockton where she focused on mergers, acquisitions, venture capital, and intellectual property licensing.

Michael Cawood

Lockheed Martin

Michael Cawood

Vice president, Product Development, Lockheed Martin

Michael (Mike) D. Cawood is vice president, Product Development, F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group, Aeronautics Company for Lockheed Martin Corporation. He provides overall leadership to an industry team of partners focused on enhancing the Viper’s and the Raptor’s future capabilities and maintaining affordable sustainment of the platforms.

Mr. Cawood was the vice president, NextGen Aero, Aeronautics Company for Lockheed Martin Corporation. He previously served as vice president and deputy general manager, F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group, Aeronautics Company for Lockheed Martin Corporation. Mr. Cawood has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee, a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California at San Diego. He currently serves on the Advanced Military Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Center Board of Directors, on the Lockheed Martin Employee Political Action Committee Board of Directors, is a member of the Cockrell School Dean’s Engineering Advisory Board at the University of Texas at Austin, is the President of the Longhorn Council for the Boy Scouts of America, and is the chair of Southwest Christian School Board of Trustees.

Stefanie Chiras

Red Hat

Stefanie Chiras

Vice president and general manager, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Business Unit, Red Hat

Dr. Stefanie Chiras is the vice president and general manager of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Business Unit at Red Hat. She joined Red Hat in July 2018 and has worldwide business responsibility for the successful definition, execution, and delivery of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux product line. Prior to this role she was the vice president of offering management for IBM Cognitive Systems. As part of the Cognitive Systems brand team, she led the worldwide business for the systems portfolio, AIX, IBM i, Linux, the system software portfolio, and the cloud stack. Within that responsibility she drove the strategic implementation of transforming the portfolio to support both enterprise workloads as well as AI, ML and DL and ensuring the portfolio delivered leadership in both. Stefanie comes to Red Hat with a breadth of technical and business experiences. Her technical roles span silicon technology to system architecture, both Power Systems and System z processor design, and she has been a member in IBM’s Research Division, IBM Systems and Technology Group Development, and the Power Systems Brand.

Dr. Chiras obtained her Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Harvard University and then went to the University of California,Santa Barbara for her Masters and Doctorate in Materials Science. Upon completion of her degrees she joined the Princeton Materials Institute of Princeton University in a research post-doctoral capacity collaborating with the Mechanical and Aerospace Department.

Paul Cormier

Red Hat

Paul Cormier

Executive vice president and president, Products and Technologies, Red Hat

Paul Cormier leads Red Hat's Products and Technology organizations, including Engineering, Product Management, and Product Marketing for Red Hat technologies. He joined Red Hat in May 2001 as executive vice president of Engineering. Before Red Hat, Cormier served as senior vice president of Research and Development at BindView, helping the company achieve market leadership in 2000.

Dr. Alexander Lenk

BMW Group

Dr. Alexander Lenk

Project lead and specialist for cloud-native connected cars and cloud evangelist/lead architect, BMW Group

Dr. Alexander Lenk is the lead architect for Cloud-Native Connected Cars at BMW Group. Almost all cars the BMW Group ships are delivered with BMW ConnectedDrive, the company’s digital product that connects the driver and vehicle with a range of services and apps that provide the driver with vehicle-related information, assistance, and entertainment during journeys or allows them to remotely access the vehicle. Alexander has written more than 20 scientific publications with over a thousand citations in the fields of cloud computing and smart data, which are available on Google Scholar.

Rahul Samant

Delta Air Lines

Rahul Samant

Executive vice president and chief information officer, Delta Air Lines

Rahul Samant is executve vice president and chief information officer responsible for the airline’s information technology strategy, applications, cybersecurity and infrastructure, which are a vital part of nearly every aspect of the customer experience. Rahul joined Delta in February 2016 from AIG, a multinational insurance corporation with more than 88 million customers in 130 countries. At AIG, Rahul was Chief Digital Officer, responsible for internal- and external-facing web, mobile, and social assets, and harmonizing efforts across contact centers, social media, web, and the company’s intranet. Rahul also led AIG’s captive IT unit in Manila and managed the company’s use of vendor resources overseas. Prior to joining AIG, Rahul held various roles at Bank of America for 20 years, most recently leading the Global Supply Chain Management organization. Rahul’s other leadership roles included Consumer Channel Technology CIO, CIO for Global Wealth Investment Management and managing director for the Bank’s extensive global delivery organization.