Alya Adamany Woods, Executive Director, ChicagoNEXT: As executive director of ChicagoNEXT, Woods leads World Business Chicago’s dedicated effort to drive growth and opportunity for Chicago’s tech economy. Governed by a council of technology leaders, ChicagoNEXT’s strategic focus areas include capital, talent, industry and community. Her portfolio of programs includes the Chicago Venture Summit, ThinkChicago, and the Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge.
Woods previously was the managing director for innovation initiatives at the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition, a statewide advocacy group dedicated to cultivating technology-based economic development in Illinois. She co-founded and managed the Coalition’s award-winning Corporate-Startup Challenge, and was also the co-creator of the Illinois Innovation Index, a monthly publication developed in conjunction with World Business Chicago.