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High Five: Meet Beverly Magda, CTO For The Humane SocietyHigh Five: Meet Beverly Magda, CTO For The Humane Society

The last 11 years of Beverly Magda's 15-year tech career have been spent at nonprofit organizations, including Johns Hopkins University. But as CTO of animal-protection group the Humane Society, Magda, 37, says her career has come full circle. A vegetarian and member of the society since she was 18, Magda felt at home as soon as she started her current job. "It's a perfect fit," she says.

2 Min Read

Photograph by David Deal
Beverly Magda
CTO For The Humane Society
Interview by Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Beverly Magda, CTO For The Humane Society


Nonprofits deal with the same tech issues as for-profit businesses, especially security, Magda says. "We rely heavily on donations, and a lot of them are made online," she says. The Humane Society can't risk losing the public's trust, nor can it afford to pay fines related to data breaches.


Magda is particularly sensitive about online security because she's been the victim of a data breach: Her bank lost a laptop containing customer data. "I was so ticked, I closed my account," she says.


In the days after Hurricane Katrina, Humane Society field workers relied on handhelds for animal rescue efforts. Magda's own four cats include Fey, a shorthair rescued from Katrina-flooded public housing by the Army's 82nd Airborne Division. Fey is one charmed feline, and her name reflects that. It means "appearing as if under a spell. I believe its origin is Old English," Magda says.


Magda is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University and says teens today don't seem that interested in IT. "One in 30 will say they want to go into computers, and it's basically graphic design," she says. They think tech work "is too hard and has too many long hours, and they don't like to program."


Magda is pursuing a doctorate in engineering and tech management at George Washington University. She's doing doctoral research on mitigating technology change problems through therapy-based techniques. "People go through depression and a grieving process with change," Magda says. But, ultimately, "change is good."

About the Author(s)

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Senior Writer, InformationWeek

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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