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Laura Quintana

VP & General Manager, Networking Academy

Corporate Affairs

Laura Quintana joined Cisco in 1999 and is currently Vice President of Corporate Affairs and General Manager of Networking Academy, Cisco’s largest and longest-running Corporate Social Responsibility program. She leads a global organization and has grown the Networking Academy to reach more than 3 million students annually (15.1 million since inception) in 180 countries with an annual in-kind contribution valued at over $367 million USD. Laura and her team drive partnerships with governments, academic institutions, and nonprofits to prepare students to participate in today’s digital workforce and to connect them to career opportunities. She and her team are further expanding Networking Academy’s reach with SkillsforAll.com, a mobile first, self-paced, and gamified experience available direct to learner and via academies. Since its launch in July 2021, more than 200,000 learners have joined Skills for All. Through Laura’s leadership, Networking Academy has become a critical part of country digital readiness, working with ministries of education around the world to further national digital agendas and develop the human capital necessary to support country transformation. Laura holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University. She is a co-executive sponsor of the Cisco Conexión Latinx network. She serves as a member of the SER Jobs for Progress National, Inc. Board of Directors, the Economic and Workforce Development Advisory Committee for California’s Community College Chancellor’s Office, and the Love Never Fails Advisory Board. She was recognized by the Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) as one of the top 100 most influential and notable Hispanic Professionals in the Information Technology Industry (2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2021-2022). She is fluent in Spanish and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their three children.

Articles

Cisco Networking Academy Strives for Gender Inclusivity in IT

For International Girls in ICT Day on April 28, Cisco Networking Academy's Women Rock-IT program focused on esports.

Cisco Networking Academy Expands ‘Skills for All’ with Entry-Level Certification for Cybersecurity Learning Pathway

Through our "Skills for All" program, Cisco Networking Academy takes another step forward to empower all people with career possibilities.

Cisco Networking Academy Launches Free IT Education to Empower All People with Career Possibilities

Skills for All is a free, mobile-first program that delivers leading-edge adaptive and gamified learning experiences, including self-paced courses, interactive tools, and career resources that are designed by industry experts.

Cisco Networking Academy recognizes top partners and instructors

Cisco Networking Academy presented awards to acknowledge outstanding contributions in educating technology professionals of the future. 

Opening a window of opportunity to bring more women into the tech workforce

The pandemic has shown that it can deepen inequities — and create opportunities. Women are disproportionately affected by many of the cultural, economic, and technological shifts that the pandemic is accelerating. But even as many women navigate their new roles as full-time caregivers, ad hoc teachers, and bread winners, digitization is providing a unique opportunity for women to rise.

Empowering and reskilling our workforce for an inclusive future

Cisco Networking Academy is the world’s largest and longest-running corporate social responsibility program, training 12.6 million people in digital skills over 23 years in 180 countries. During this past year, 2.3 million students participated in Cisco Networking Academy, bringing our total since inception in 1997 to 12.6 million students.

New Cisco Networking Academy CCNA curriculum accelerates path to job readiness for students around the globe

To help meet the need for skilled IT talent and ensure a more inclusive future for all people, I’m excited to announce that Cisco Networking Academy has advanced its Cisco Certificated Network Associate (CCNA) curriculum to prepare job seekers, from anywhere and from any background, with the skills they need for a successful career in the ever-changing IT field. The new curriculum will be integrated into most of Networking Academy’s 12,000+ academies around the world to prepare students to earn the new CCNA certification, which is available on February 24, 2020.

The Cybersecurity Talent Shortfall: How the Cisco Networking Academy is Meeting the Demand

According to the FBI’s annual Internet Crime Report, in the United States alone, cybercrime cost organizations $2.7 billion in 2018. These costs not only include service disruption, but loss of productivity, reputation damage, and other business impacts. There are many cybersecurity education programs available, but are they effectively preparing students to join the workforce?

Implementing a Successful Public-Private Partnership: Leveraging Technology and Innovation

This is the final article in a five-part series on how a company or organization can develop, implement, and sustain successful public-private partnerships (PPP) that achieve large-scale impact.