Conquering the Final Frontier

by Savoy Staff

Merline Saintil, Lead Director at Rocket Lab and Board Director at Evolv Technology, GitLab, Lightspeed Commerce, Alkami Technology, Banner Corporation

Merline Saintil has always gone where few women have gone before. Her career of firsts – as a successful female technology executive in Silicon Valley with iconic companies such as Intuit, Yahoo!, PayPal, and Adobe – has prepared her to continue to test and push the boundaries. Today, she is looking to the stars for answers, this time in the burgeoning and highly topical space industry.

She recently joined the board of Rocket Lab as a Lead Independent Director and Chair of the Compensation Committee. This appointment makes her the first African American on the board of this space company. The company is focused on unlocking the potential of space to help make a tangible difference to life on earth.

Rocket Lab’s vision is to transform the way we use and access space by delivering end-to-end solutions across the launch and space systems markets. The company is motivated by the impact we can have on earth by making it easier to get to space and use it as a platform for innovation, exploration and infrastructure.

With more than 20 years in the technology industry, Saintil is uniquely qualified to advise the company as it looks to expand its product offerings. “Having served in senior leadership roles at some of the world’s most innovative technology companies, Merline brings an incredible wealth of knowledge to the Rocket Lab team,” says Peter Beck, Rocket Lab founder and CEO. “She is an outstanding addition to our board of directors and her deep tech experience and insights serve to strengthen our team at a pivotal time for the company.”

Saintil is widely respected for building global award-winning products in Fortune 500 and privately held companies. She currently serves on the boards of several prominent technology boards, including Evolv Technology, a leader in AI touchless security screening, and GitLab Inc., a DevOps platform built from the ground up as a single application for all stages of the DevOps lifecycle, to name a few.

Saintil has been recognized for her industry expertise and has won numerous awards, including being named in 2019 by Women’s Inc., as the Most influential Corporate Board Director, a Woman of Influence in 2017 by Silicon Valley Business Journal, and one of the 22 Most Powerful Women Engineers in the World by Business Insider. She has also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Girls in Tech.

Her decades spent in Silicon Valley, the epicenter for innovation, have enabled her to garner insights on how to successfully navigate this unique ecosystem. She is passionate about coaching emerging leaders and supporting youth in leadership and technology. Not one to rest on her laurels, Saintil recently launched MerlineX, a platform for accelerating outcomes for professionals. Her work to improve society continues – whether it is in the boardroom or through her mentorships – to send the elevator back down.

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