About Vanessa Colella
Vanessa Colella is Visa’s Head of Innovation and Digital Partnerships, leading the development and commercialization of Visa products and solutions for big tech, fintech and platform partnerships, as well as leading Visa’s global network of Innovation Centers.
Before joining Visa, Vanessa was Citi’s Chief Innovation Officer, Head of Citi Ventures and Head of Productivity, and previously ran marketing for Citi’s North American Consumer Bank. She joined Citi in 2010 from U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), where she was an entrepreneur-in-residence. Prior to USVP, Vanessa was Head of NA Marketing and then SVP of Insights at Yahoo. She was a Partner at McKinsey & Company and a junior high and high school science teacher.
In 2021, Vanessa was honored as a “standout” on American Banker’s Most Powerful Women list, was named a BIG Innovation Award Winner, and was recognized by Innovation Leader as one of the “Most Influential Innovators.” She received a Silver Stevie Award in 2020 for her work as a champion of innovation, has been recognized on Global Corporate Venturing’s Powerlist from 2017 to 2019, and was named to Institutional Investor’s Fintech Finance list from 2015 to 2018. Her work conceiving and launching CitiBike led Citi to win Advertising Age’s 2013 Creativity Award and the Gold Pencil in 2014.
Vanessa sits on the Board of the National Venture Capital Association and serves as a member of the Corporation’s Visiting Committee for the M.I.T. Media Lab. She is also a Board Member for the La Scuola International School in San Francisco.
Vanessa received her Ph.D. from M.I.T.’s Media Lab as well masters’ degrees from both Columbia University and M.I.T and an S.B. degree in molecular biology from M.I.T. A charter member of Teach for America, she is a published author and lecturer, has taught courses at the Santa Fe Institute, and served as a research fellow at Rockefeller University. She resides in San Francisco with her husband and son.