Meet Anita Lynch, One of the First African American Women Working as a Chief Data Officer for a Public Company

Photo Credit: Anita Lynch

Anita Lynch was far from your typical tween during her upbringing. At just the age of 10, she fell in love with technology because at the time her father worked at Hewlett-Packard (HP). Although he was in the sales department, he was encouraged by sales engineers to buy her a computer to learn how to code. Lynch was given a Radio Shack TRS-80, which resembles an electric typewriter, along with a book of programs to build her own creations.

“That was my first real introduction to having independent thought and creativity,” Lynch shared with AfroTech. “‘Because I could change the color, the position, and make them walk out a certain way. It was just fascinating to me that I had the ability to do this on my own.”

And the rest is history.

A Look Into Anita Lynch’s Career Timeline

Becoming tech-savvy as an adolescent opened the door to her love for software — ultimately leading her to become a software developer for the first 10 years of her career. What’s more, her work includes leading big brands such as Disney, Apple, Amazon, and Yahoo!

In 2021, Lynch became the first Chief Data Officer at New Relic — marking her as one of the first African American women to serve in the position for a public company. The exec revealed to us that being one of the first made her appalled and happy, and aware that “it also means that we still have so much work to do.”

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SOURCE: Afrotech, Ngozi Nwanji

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