Citi’s Chief Innovation Officer Named Executive Fellow

Debby Hopkins, Citi’s chief innovation officer and CEO of Citi Ventures, has been named a new Berkeley-Haas executive fellow.

The Berkeley-Haas executive fellow is a part-time, professional faculty position. It was created in 2007 for respected executives and thought leaders to serve as advisers to the dean, faculty, and staff, and to expose Berkeley-Haas students to executive fellows’ expertise and trailblazing ideas.

“Debby is a trailblazer, continuing to question the status quo in her industry,” says Haas School Dean Rich Lyons. “Her views on innovative leadership and social enterprise deeply resonate with our school’s identity — we’re thrilled to welcome her back.”

Hopkins, who spoke at Haas as part of the Dean’s Speaker Series in 2012, said that she’s looking forward to spending time at Haas.

“I look forward to building strong ties with the Haas community and thinking together about the evolving nature of innovation and entrepreneurship in this time of incredible disruption and speed, when business as we know it is being reimagined in dramatically new ways,” says Hopkins, who started her career in Ford Finance.

Prior to joining Citi in 2003 as head of strategy, Hopkins held senior positions at Boeing, Lucent, and General Motors. She became Citi’s first chief innovation officer in 2008.

Based in Palo Alto, Hopkins says she and her team are focused on accelerating innovation at scale by leveraging the best entrepreneurial approach to drive growth at Citi and transform the future of financial services. “We are deeply invested in the Silicon Valley ecosystem, so we’re able to see critical innovation patterns in markets early,” she says. “The speed of technological change demands a different operating model, and connections to the startup world are critical to bringing that speed to Citi.”

Hopkins says she is happy she has two Haas alumni on her team: Ian Lee, MBA 05, a senior vice president, and Tanya Shadoan, MBA 95, director of marketing and communications.

Twice named by Fortune magazine as one of the most powerful women in American business, Hopkins has been named to Institutional Investor’s Tech 50 list every year since 2011.

As an executive fellow, Hopkins joins an elite group, including Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter; John Hanke, co-founder of the product now known as Google Earth and vice president of product at Niantic Labs at Google; Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist at Canva and formerly of Apple; Tom Kelley, general manager at IDEO in Palo Alto; and Paul Rice, founder, president and CEO at Fair Trade USA.