Sterling Gerdes

Sterling Gerdes

Sterling Gerdes (International Affairs and Modern Languages - French, 2008; Innovation Strategy Leader, Delta Global Innovation Center), who serves on the Atlanta Global Stufdies Center (AGSC) External Advisory Board, has received a 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award from Georgia Tech's Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. These awards are given to individuals who have achieved notable success in their profession and may have contributed significantly to the College, the Institute, or the public welfare.

Though the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Awards event was cancelled, as were most Georgia Tech sponsored spring events in accordance with the CDC guidelines, we celebrate Sterling’s success and would like to take this opportunity to also thank him for his contributions to the AGSC. Please join us in congratulating Sterling for his achievement.

"When I started at Georgia Tech I wanted to be an astronaut. I quickly learned that I loved math and science, but I didn’t want to continue with aerospace engineering. I triple majored and have found that my degree in Modern Languages has helped me develop a global mindset and desire to understand others. Seeking to understand what drives others to create something new, despite linguistic and cultural barriers, enables me to better understand new solutions and their potential to scale.

The core of designing something for people is understanding what problem people actually want solved, and then creating solutions they love. Without asking questions to flush out cultural nuances, you miss understanding a key part of creating a product or solution people from diverse backgrounds want. Now I lead a global team of innovation strategists, AI engineers, and designers. I’m able to foster a culture of empathy, diversity, and collaboration. These values enable us to bring the best solutions from global startups and innovators to life."

- Sterling Gerdes