Founder and CEO of Fly Sci Enterprise - President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)
Knatokie Ford Bio
Knatokie Ford, PhD is Founder and CEO of Fly Sci® Enterprise, an education and media consulting organization focused on leveraging the power of storytelling to promote social change, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. A dynamic and inspiring speaker, Dr. Ford is an international advocate for equity and inclusion in education, media, and STEM careers. She has shared her work and powerful story throughout the United States and around the world—notably, she was selected by the U.S. State Department for a speaking tour where she traveled throughout two countries in Africa (Namibia and eSwatini) to speak to students and educators.
As a biomedical scientist and social entrepreneur, she has worked with a number of leading organizations. She served as a science consultant on Netflix’s Emmy-winning series Ada Twist, Scientist, where she also inspired the creation of a Knatokie character modeled in her childhood likeness with her signature snazzy eyeglasses. She also consulted on the development of Eureka! on Disney Junior. Dr. Ford oversaw development of YouTube’s first-ever “Creating Inclusive Content” course and Inclusion Driver. She built upon that work to create YouTube’s series of equity in learning content strategy guides that span primary to postsecondary education and have been translated in over 20 languages. In addition, she served as an Executive Advisor for the Association of National Advertisers’ SeeHer movement where she spearheaded the launch of #WriteHerRight, which provides resources to support storytellers’ efforts to integrate more authentic depictions of women into their work. In this capacity, she co-led SeeHer’s efforts to collaborate with major television networks, including the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and NBCUniversal Telemundo, to build intersectional tools to mitigate gender bias in media and highlight best practices in order to drive positive change. In partnership with PBS Digital Studios, she is working on a National Science Foundation-funded project to illuminate best practices for increasing engagement of underrepresented groups in STEM with science media through a novel research-practice content creation model.
Dr. Ford previously served as a Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) during the Obama Administration. In this role, she oversaw development and implementation of the “Image of STEM” project. Listed in the top 100 S&T accomplishments of the Obama Administration, the Image of STEM project was a national initiative designed to raise visibility and improve the image of STEM fields and careers in order to help promote diversity in the STEM workforce. From 2012-2014, Dr. Ford served as a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at OSTP with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). In this capacity, she managed concurrent projects on education technology and improving the nation’s healthcare system, in addition to working with OSTP’s STEM inclusion team.
Prior to working in the Obama Administration, Dr. Ford was a postdoctoral fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. She also spent time in Los Angeles where she had the opportunity to work in the entertainment industry and serve as a middle school teacher in an underserved community.
Dr. Ford has served on the Barbie Global Advisory Council, YouTube Kids Global Advisory Committee, and the Toy Association’s STEM/STEAM Strategic Leadership Committee. She was a nominee in the “Shero” category of the inaugural Women’s Choice Awards and is featured in the “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!” book by Beverly Bond. Dr. Ford received her PhD in Experimental Pathology from Harvard University and her BS/MS in Chemistry/Biological Chemistry from Clark Atlanta University. Regis College awarded Dr. Ford an honorary doctorate of science.