Ellison Anne Williams
Founder & CEO
Enveil

Why Nominated: Starting a company has been Ellison Anne’s dream since she was young and the success of Enveil shows her determination, technical expertise and innovation in securing data while it’s being used or processed.

She developed the core of the company’s technology while at the National Security Agency (NSA) and once entering the private sector, advanced the homomorphic encryption-powered solution into her company’s initial commercial solution. This groundbreaking capability closes the last gap in data security by ensuring sensitive data remains encrypted throughout the processing lifecycle, allowing enterprises to securely operate on data in the Cloud, on premise, or anywhere in between.

Profile:  As founder and CEO of Enveil, Ellison Anne Williams has pioneered protecting data in use. She developed the core of the company’s technology while at the National Security Agency (NSA) and after entering the private sector, advanced the homomorphic encryption-powered solution – often called cryptography’s Holy Grail – into Enveil’s initial commercial solution, closing the last gap in data security by ensuring sensitive data remains encrypted throughout the processing lifecycle. Previously homomorphic encryption had been considered computationally impractical for commercial use and in its initial form was slow, bulky and expensive to implement.

Williams has more than a decade of experience spearheading avant-garde efforts in the areas of large-scale analytics, information security and privacy, computer network exploitation, and network modeling at the NSA and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Williams is accomplished in the fields of distributed computing and algorithms, cryptographic applications, graph theory, combinatorics, machine learning, and data mining. She holds a Ph.D. in mathematics (algebraic combinatorics) as well as an M.S. in mathematics (set theoretic topology), and a M.S. in computer science (machine learning). After Williams made certification a priority, Enveil’s ZeroReveal solution achieved the international Common Criteria security certification.

What colleagues say: 

 “I was first introduced to Ellison Anne’s technical passion during a pitch meeting at DataTribe, our Maryland- based startup studio focused on building companies around technologies emerging from the U.S. Intelligence Community. The advances in homomorphic encryption she developed have the potential to substantially impact the data security market and, more broadly, consumer privacy by enabling the protections now demanded by regulations being implemented around the globe.

Ellison Anne’s ability to translate her technical prowess to a broader audience was put to the test just five months after the company’s formation when she was selected to participate the prestigious RSA Innovation Sandbox competition. Despite being the youngest company ever chosen to participate, I was honored to watch as Ellison Anne conveyed her vision and expertise to the crowd of security leaders with a confidence and clarity that escapes founders and technical researchers with years more experience under their belts. On the stage that day – and in every opportunity she has to speak about the technology she has so passionately advanced and commercialized – Ellison Anne is focused on presenting her expertise and the technology in the most effective way possible. Her strength is in her unique ability to translate intricate, technical information in a way that resonates no matter if the audience is comprised of security researchers, venture investors, or high school students. Ellison Anne is blazing the trail as the female founder and CEO of a disruptive cybersecurity company because she worked to develop a groundbreaking technology and deserves to be there.  She is that unique combination of technology visionary and innovator, effective business manager and inspiring entrepreneur and company leader. I am honored to support her efforts as an investor and board member of her company and I look forward to continuing to bear witness as she defines a market segment and expands use of the disruptive technology she developed for the benefit and security of society.” Robert Ackerman Jr., co-founder, DataTribe

Teri Robinson