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A commitment to innovation and producing leading-edge open source solutions for enterprises is what makes us Red Hat. 2017 marks our fifthimage appearance on the Forbes’ World’s Most Innovative Companies list. We have a long-standing commitment to promoting innovation and encouraging the growth of the technology sector in North Carolina and beyond, including initiatives like CO.LAB, the Innovators Program Raleigh, and much more.

With this history, it was no surprise to us that North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper recently appointed Michael Cunningham, Red Hat’s executive vice president and general counsel as the Chair of the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology, and Innovation. The Board has an important mission:

[T]he North Carolina Board of Science, Technology & Innovation encourages, promotes, and supports scientific, engineering, and industrial research applications in North Carolina. Its mission is to improve the economic well‐being and quality of life of all North Carolinians through advancing science, technology, and innovation.

The Board is focused on accelerating North Carolina's next generation of technology and technology companies.

The Board works to investigate new areas of emerging science and technology and conducts studies on the competitiveness of North Carolina industry and research institutions in these fields.

Michael joined Red Hat in 2004, and since that time has led innovation efforts as well as the company’s global public policy and legal teams. At Red Hat, Michael and his team are responsible for managing corporate governance, intellectual property development and protection, commercial transactions, regulatory issues, compliance and ethics, equity plan administration, government affairs, and more. In the last few months, Michael sponsored efforts to broadly expand Red Hat’s progressive open source Patent Promise and to bring a group of industry leaders, including Red Hat, together to increase predictability in open source licensing.

He’s also active outside of Red Hat in roles aimed at helping to foster future business and open source software innovation. Michael is board chair for the Open Invention Network, a community of software companies and other organizations committed to protecting Linux and creating an environment that supports open source software innovation; serves as the board chair for the LOT Network, a nonprofit organization that was formed to combat patent assertion entities; and is chair of the National Association of Corporate Directors’ Raleigh Triangle Chapter, where he works to help board directors strengthen their leadership to enhance shareholder value and advance dialogue on board governance issues, and to help educate the community on related topics.

We congratulate Michael on his appointment to the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology, and Innovation.


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Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies.

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