From the earliest days of her career working as a female engineer supporting critical, and often classified, missions, Kate Maxwell was usually the only woman in the room. She was also one of the smartest people in the room if her meteoric career rise is any indication.

Rather than focus solely on her own ambition, she has tirelessly advocated to bring more women and other underrepresented people into those rooms where important work and innovation was happening.

“As we look to celebrate this tech and innovation award for the 25th year, we could not think of a better tech and community leader who has driven tech innovation in multiple advanced industries, who is community-oriented and who represents an important part of Indiana tech’s future,” said TechPoint President and CEO Ting Gootee.

Maxwell grew up in Pennsylvania and relocated to Indiana in 2019 when she moved to become and Engineering Lead and later Chief Engineer, Product Support Portfolio at the company then known as Raytheon, now RTX.

Nationally known as a Digital Transformation expert, Maxwell now serves as the Industry Executive for Worldwide Education at Microsoft where she leads a global team responsible for defining and executing industry and technology strategy, the corporation’s go-to-market plan and field sales enablement in the more than $4 billion education industry covering K-12, higher education and research segments.

Maxwell is acutely aware of the power of her platform and privilege, and is committed to using it for good. She speaks on keynote stages all over the world on topics like inclusivity and belonging; mental health; workplace culture; progress over perfection; bravery as a life and career differentiator; and elevating women in all places where decisions are made.

In addition to her work at Microsoft, Maxwell owns a public speaking business, and she shares her inspirational message with organizations all over the world, including keynoting the Society of Women Engineers conference to an audience of more than 20,000 female engineers and allies.

For Kate, success isn’t measured by headlines or accolades. It’s measured by impact. In fact, in the Public Sector arena, many times the biggest successes are the ones that don’t make the news cycle — which only further reflects her dedication to service. Kate is committed to being an agent of change, and she demonstrates that every single one of us has the power to make a difference in the world.

Maxwell is an active board member and volunteer with TechPoint Foundation for Youth. She regularly gives of her time and resources to many non-profits and STEM outreach initiatives, and she personally mentors a number of diverse engineers and leaders across a variety of demographics (women, people of color, veterans and non-binary). She is active in the local political scene, regularly participates in Indiana Statehouse rallies and initiatives to support the causes she believes in, and contributes thought pieces to Indiana publications on topics such as women and LGBTQ+ rights, Indiana state talent initiatives, and the importance of reproductive healthcare and abortion access.

“Kate is a leader in every sense; a trailblazer in tech, the global public sector and the state of Indiana,” Gootee said. “She demonstrates on a daily basis that she is committed to leaving this world a better place than she found it.”

Maxwell has successfully demonstrated her ability to translate digital transformation into public sector mission outcomes, and she influences on a global scale through thought pieces, keynotes, blogs and industry events hosted around the world. She has counseled customers across allied Ministries of Defense, The Five Eyes, an Anglosphere intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which are parties to the multilateral UK-USA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence. NATO member states, and ministries of education in all corners of the globe. Her work has been published in periodicals and online journals. She was a key member of the Aerospace Industries Association Digital Transformation Council where she helped influence and shape the digital transformation journey of some of the largest aerospace and defense contractors in the world.

Maxwell is also a wife and mother, and she regularly shares the joys and the challenges of being a working parent, helping normalize the journey, the struggle, and the importance of workplace benefits and flexible, hybrid work policies for all employees.

“Kate has earned the respect of anyone who’s ever worked with her, including the Trailblazer panel,” said TechPoint Board Chair Sherry Aaholm, who led the panel. “When you pair that with her professional impact and her unwavering efforts to help bring underrepresented groups into those important rooms, she was a clear choice for the TechPoint Trailblazer award.”

Maxwell has enjoyed an extraordinary career in engineering and technology, with quite a lot of runway in front of her. She began her career in 2004 as a software engineer supporting the United States Defense and Intelligence community and excelling at a variety of roles of increasing technology, strategy, business and people leadership ever since. She holds two patents in the Unmanned Systems domain.

Prior to taking her global role at Microsoft, Maxwell was the Chief Technology Officer for the Worldwide Defense and Intelligence industry at Microsoft and one the few female CTOs in that arena. In that role, she led a global Solutions Team and was responsible for driving technology strategy and field enablement to position Microsoft as a leading cloud provider and mission partner in the global Defense and Intelligence market. Under her leadership, Maxwell’s team supported countless U.S. and allied defense and intelligence organizations in digitally transformation, ultimately, helping to achieve critical mission outcomes in the face of a rapidly-evolving threat landscape. Her team attained the largest Azure Consumed Revenue growth percentage of any industry in Microsoft in 2023 and a near-perfect cultural score on the Microsoft employee survey – demonstrating that business success and inclusive leadership go hand-in-hand.

Maxwell was recognized as the sole Microsoft Pinnacle winner for her organization in 2023 – the company’s top award celebrating exceptional impact across its more than 60,000-person organization. She was also named the No. 1 woman in technology in the world by Technology Magazine in 2023; was named to the 2023 Indiana 250 list, which celebrates the most influential business leaders in the state; and was the Indianapolis Business Journal Tech Executive of the Year in the public company category in 2022.

Maxwell’s award was announced at the 25th annual TechPoint Mira Awards gala on April 26, 2024, at the Old National Centre in Indianapolis.

Previous winners of the Trailblazer Award include Rupal Thanawala, Bill Oesterle, Justin Christian, Kristian Andersen, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, John Wechsler, Angie Hicks, Scott McCorkle, Chris Baggott, Bobby Schnabel, Don Brown, Scott Dorsey, Bill Godfrey, Robert Compton, Jo Ann Gora, Scott Webber, Wil Davis, Michael McRobbie, Mark Hill, Scott Jones, David Becker, State Senator David Ford, State Representative Brian Hasler, Lilly Endowment Inc. and Martin Jischke.