Vanessa Colella is Visa’s Head of Innovation and Digital Partnerships. In her role, Vanessa leads the development and commercialization of Visa products and solutions for Big Tech, Fintech, and Platform Partners. Colella also leads Visa’s global network of Innovation Centers. She joined Visa in 2022.
Before joining Visa, she served as the Chief Innovation Officer at Citi and as the lead for Citi Ventures and Citi Productivity. Prior to this role, she ran marketing for Citi’s North America Consumer Bank. Previously, Vanessa held roles with U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), Yahoo, McKinsey & Company, and was teacher and charter corps member of Teach For America.
She has been consistently recognized as a leader in innovation, fintech and venture capital investing. She was named a BIG Innovation Award Winner in 2021 and 2022 by the Business Intelligence Group and one of the “Most Influential Innovators” in 2021 by Innovation Leader. In 2020, Colella received a Silver Stevie Award for her work as a champion of innovation. She has also been recognized as part of the Global Corporate Venturing Powerlist from 2017 to at Citi her work launching CitiBike won Advertising Age’s 2013 Creativity Award and the Gold Pencil award in 2014.
Vanessa is currently a board member of the National Venture Capital Association and serves on the Corporation’s Visiting Committee for the M.I.T. Media Lab. She holds a Ph.D. from M.I.T.’s Media Lab and masters’ degrees from M.I.T and Columbia University. She earned an S.B. in molecular biology from M.I.T.
She is a published author and served previously as a research fellow at Rockefeller University
and a lecturer at the Santa Fe Institute.