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WITI Women | Ellen Braun

Ellen BraunEllen Braun
Senior Manager
Cap Gemini Ernst & Young US

Ellen Braun is a senior manager in the Critical Technologies practice of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young US (CGEYUS). Cap Gemini Ernst & Young US is the US entity resulting from the acquisition of E&Y Consulting Services by the public French firm, Cap Gemini.

Braun leads efforts to develop corporate Information Technology (IT) strategies and technology architectures, usually for Fortune 500 firms. Her role is not entirely technical; at times it is to act as a bridge between business and technical constituencies of client firms. Typically, this puts Braun in the position of communicating with corporate CFOs, CIOs, IT Directors, and division heads to agree on the principles that guide technology investment decisions, then working with IT managers, technologists, and business/technical liaisons to develop consensus around the set of technology products and standards that support the IT and business strategy. Not every consulting assignment is oriented around architecture. Braun recently served as the acting director of technology research for an east coast financial firm.

Before joining E&Y, Braun worked as the IT director for a publishing and printing firm. She has a technical degree and an MBA.

She is also co-chair of the Business Council of the Human Rights Campaign (www.hrc.org). The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian and gay political organization, with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that lesbian and gay Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community. The goals of the Business Council encompass corporate outreach on issues ranging from fair employment practices to corporate endorsements of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Braun's experience working with IT leadership of client firms to develop and execute strategies within complex and dynamic business environments, gain consensus around detailed plans, and link strategic directions to business results has translated to similar capabilities for developing strategies for driving change in the workplace.

Ellen Braun answers these questions:
1. What was your first job in technology?
2. Who has been your most significant mentor? Why?
3. What has been your greatest challenge and what strategies did you use to overcome obstacles?
4. Who has been the most influential person in your life? Why?
5. What lessons have you learned that would be valuable to women beginning their careers in technology?
6. What new technology do you believe will have the most positive impact on the world in the next 20 years? The most negative impact?

On the lighter side:
1. If you could have dinner with any 2 people (living or not), who would they be?
2. What was the last book you read? What books do you love to recommend?
3. What is your definition of success?

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