Seaver College | 1992
Chief Information Security Officer, Omada Health, Inc.
William Dougherty has led the IT and security programs for Omada for four years. In that time, he's grown to serve a population of over 400,000 participants. In 2017, Omada became the first digital therapeutics company to achieve both a HITRUST and SOC 2 certification for their services.
What does being an honoree of the Outstanding Alumni in Healthcare campaign mean to you?
It's incredibly humbling. I've only been in healthcare for a short four years, and I don't have a medical background, but I'm proud of the work we've accomplished.
Describe your road to success.
My career has been a long and winding journey. I started out of school as a mortgage broker, moved into technology sales, and ended up in information technology and security. My success has been equal parts hard work, luck, and support from people who believed in me. Twice in my career, I approached my managers with crazy ideas to completely change career direction. In each case, the support and encouragement of those managers allowed me to pivot and achieve new success. I've always remembered the role they played, and have attempted to pay it forward supporting my teams.
Who has helped you achieve success in your career?
At each step of my career, I had strong managers and mentors who were willing to invest in me and allow me to pursue new opportunities. I'm thankful for each of them. But the single most important person in my career has been my wife of 25+ years, Kim Dougherty ('95). Her love and support through all my career highs and lows has never wavered.
Describe a lesson you've learned from a challenging time in your career or life.
Company mission and culture are the two most important elements of success. Strong cultures can overcome adversity and build great products. Toxic cultures can destroy the best products. When I joined Omada Health, I was specifically looking for a mission-driven company with a great culture. I've worked for some great companies, but prior to Omada, none of them had a truly world-changing mission. Omada was founded to tackle one of the biggest challenges in healthcare: the prevention and treatment of Type-2 diabetes. It's a population health problem that can only be addressed at scale by the types of digital health solutions we have built. Having a clear, meaningful mission and a strong, inclusive culture are core to our success and growth.
How do you prepare for a busy day?
Every day is busy. There's no such thing as a non-busy day. I start most days reading email and watching the news while walking on the treadmill. It gets my heart pumping and my head ready to tackle the day.
"Healthcare is the single most breached industry, and those lapses in security create a significant barrier to people receiving the best care possible. The entire industry needs to do better. I intend to be a part of the solution."
William Dougherty ('92)
What's next for you?
Digital healthcare is still in its infancy. I intend to continue focusing on digital health, and specifically working with my company and our partners to fundamentally improve how health information is protected. Healthcare is the single most breached industry, and those lapses in security create a significant barrier to people receiving the best care possible. The entire industry needs to do better. I intend to be a part of the solution.
What is your mantra or favorite quote?
"Aut inveniam viam aut faciam." I shall find a way or make one. It speaks to an attitude to accomplish the mission, no matter what. And recognizes that sometimes, the way forward isn't clear, and you'll need to choose a path.