Episode 204: Combining a Love for People and Problem-Solving Through Technology w/ Kelly Dowdy

kelly dowdy is featured on something extra episode 204

Kelly Dowdy, Vice President of Global Digital Technology at Yum! Brands, caught the bug for technology as a freshman in high school during her first computer programming class. Since then, she hasn’t looked back as she orchestrates digital solutions to help people live better lives. Join us this week as Kelly and Lisa discuss the importance of championing women in tech, maintaining your curiosity, and creating a work culture that engages the hearts and minds of your team.

Bio: Kelly Dowdy is an experienced Technology Executive focused on business transformation through innovative technology solutions and continuous improvement. With deep technical knowledge and a Fortune 50 industry background, she’s held leadership roles in the commercial, defense and intelligence sectors of The Boeing Company and within Express Scripts.

Currently, Kelly serves as Vice President of Global Digital Technology at Yum! Brands. Previously, she held the position of Senior Director of Digital Software Engineering at Express Scripts, responsible for developing core products that support 83 million members and 1,000 clients. Additionally, she is leading efforts within the technology transformation including transitioning to a business product model, agile development life cycle, and key cultural changes that will result in better product delivery for the business. In the past year, her teams have delivered over $10M in business value through strategic investments in Express Scripts digital products.

Prior to this, Kelly spent 11 years at The Boeing Company, most recently holding the position of Executive Technology Director responsible for the architecture strategy, portfolio investment planning, and 24×7 operations of The Boeing Company’s Finance, Human Resources, Shared Services, Communications, Legal and Supply Chain Systems. In this role, she successfully transformed the organization into a shared service structure, driving out $30M of operational costs.

Kelly has served in multiple strategic roles including the Chief of Staff for the Chief Information Officer at the Boeing Company. During her time in this role, Kelly spearheaded creation of three-year strategic technology road map, serving as foundation to the investment strategy for the $2.6B IT portfolio.

Kelly is a versatile leader, having the ability to leverage her core skills to take on challenges outside of technology. Kelly demonstrated this when she was selected by Boeing’s Executive Council for a 12-month high potential leadership rotation and assigned as program manager to the St Louis based 777X airplane program office. In that position, she successfully developed and implemented a strategy to reduce airplane development costs by $1M, allowing for more competitive pricing on the airplane.

Kelly has strong technical acumen leading agile teams in providing mission critical products and services to the United States Intelligence Community. She transformed engineering teams from traditional waterfall methods into modern practices such as agile development, continuous integration and delivery, pair programming and test-driven development which rapidly delivered high value solutions to her customers. Kelly earned a government award for successfully leading the team on a high-profile customer request to build and deploy new systems within 8 weeks.

Kelly’s high-energy charismatic style allows her to effectively lead human capital development and implement business transformations. She engages the hearts and minds of her team, which builds trusting relationships between technology and the lines of business.

Kelly earned a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and a Master of Science in Information Technology from Carnegie Mellon University.

Kelly’s Something Extra: Connecting hearts and the minds to the bigger picture

Guest Links:


– Lisa Nichols, Host
– Scott Crosby, Executive Producer