Akil Word-Daniels *18, ECE

Program Manager and Risk Analyst, Microsoft
Mentor, GradFUTURES Mentorship Program
GradFUTURES Forum Speaker

Akil Word-Daniels has held several strategic leadership positions in business, technology, and academia. He is a long-term strategist who is people-focused and data-driven. He is currently a Program Manager and Risk Analyst at Microsoft for Cloud Security. Previously he worked as an Offering Manager for IBM, where he was responsible for taking products from IBM incubation potentially beneficial for Watson Commerce and Marketing, defining the potential, and then running all facets of the business to bring in revenue. Akil holds a BS in physics from Morehouse College, an MS in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a Ph.D. in both electrical engineering and material science from Princeton University (where he was the first African American male to graduate with a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Princeton and the first black person to graduate with a Ph.D. in Material Science at Princeton). He has also worked in various other roles for entities, including the United States Army Research Laboratory, Corning Incorporated, and Alabama Power Company.

"I am a GradFUTURES mentor and my philosophy to mentorship is, 'if I don't help you get on track to accomplish your vision then I failed as mentor.' As a graduate alum, you are expected to think critically, so listen carefully, question everything until you feel comfortable, and question your own thoughts until you are uncomfortable. If you think there's a problem, build your vision of a solution. Work to understand all aspects of the problem and align your vision with others. Make concrete goals and execute."

Yes, I am open to being contacted by a Princeton Graduate Student for an informational interview!

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