Mary Lou Jepsen

CEO & Founder, Openwater

Dr. Mary Lou Jepsen is the founder and CEO of Openwater, whose goal is to put the functionality of MRI imaging into a consumer electronics wearable at comparable resolution. Implications are broad for detection and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease, internal bleeding, mental disease, neurodegenerative disease, and beyond—for communication via thought.

She was previously the executive director of engineering at Facebook. There she led various efforts in consumer electronic and software systems including a continued transformation of the virtual reality experience at Oculus. Prior to that she was director of engineering at Google X, where she founded and led two "moonshot" programs for Google co-founder Sergey Brin. She was also previously the CTO of the display division at Intel. She has also founded or co-founded four startups, including One Laptop per Child where she was CTO and chief architect of the $100 laptop. She has worked extensively with the Asian manufacturing hubs in Taiwan, China, Japan, and Korea, living in Taiwan for six years. Her startup CEO experience includes leading the world’s only fabless display screen company which was based in Taipei. She has previously been a professor at both MITs—at the MIT Media Lab (in Cambridge) and at RMIT (in Australia) on the Computer Science faculty. She earned a PhD in optical physics and a BS in electrical engineering both from Brown University and an ScM in computational holography from the MIT Media Lab. She is also known for her work as a multimedia artist, primarily in large-scale holography and Moon-TV. She is an inventor on well over 100 published or issued patents. She has been recognized with many honors, including the TIME 100 Most Influential People and The CNN 10: Thinkers, and has received major awards from the various professional societies in her fields.


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