Loretta Cheeks

President and CEO of Strong TIES and DS Innovation.

Arizona State University, Ph.D.

Dr. Loretta H. Cheeks is an Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) expert, research scholar, consultant, and President and CEO of Strong TIES and DS Innovation. During her tenure, she has helped organizations gain dynamic data insights serving enterprises, governments, and nonprofits.
Dr. Cheeks is on a mission to create a better world with technology. Before earning a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Arizona State University, the STEAM advocate was developing, deploying, and leading various teams within the communications, avionics, instrumentation & control, and chemical industries for Fortune 500 corporations. She is the first to identify a computational approach for the discovery of news frames in unstructured text (e.g., online news articles) and a computational methodology to explore news use of frames for shifting attitudes, beliefs, and values over time. She has demonstrated a unique ability to integrate communication theory and computer science methods to inform the fields of machine learning, psychology, and mass communication. She is the President of DS Innovation, an independent research and consulting Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning organization. But this Doctor of Philosophy isn’t just paving the way for up-and-coming engineers, Dr. Cheeks is also committed to improving higher education for underserved and underrepresented communities to follow in her scientific footsteps. To do that, Dr. Cheeks created “Strong TIES,” a non- profit. She is listed among 10 Incredible Black Women in STEM, a founding member of National Science and Technology Medals Foundation Expert Connect, featured guest on Karen Hunter Show, featured by Verizon on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, recognized as a Change Maker at the White House, and NASA Datanauts. She regularly appears among thought leaders in conferences, peer-review publications, workshops, podcast and speaking engagements in the world. Dr. Cheeks holds a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Computer Science, Master in Technology
Management, and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Computer Science.


What are you most proud of in your work or life?

I am most proud to be in a position to experience a level of freedom where my talents and expertise can be of service to humanity.


What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I really enjoy time spent with beautiful (inner) women. A time where we laugh, reflect, and love on each other. This feeds my soul and brings balance to my life.I really enjoy time spent with beautiful (inner) women. A time where we laugh, reflect, and love on each other. This feeds my soul and brings balance to my life.


An embarrassing moment or moment of failure in your STEM career or academic experience?

I will take you back, way back to the mid-1980s. I recall my first computer science job. During this time, the computer analysts at my place of employment used the Time Sharing Operating (TSO) environment and code was written using the COBOL programming language. Jobs were submitted on punch cards to a computer operator who would run our batch jobs (or code), usually overnight. I remember submitting my first job, leaving for the night, and returning to large sheets of paper with my code, errors and job status. My job status was a failure. I went to the computer operator to inquire what happened. He asked, where is your Job Control Language (JCL). At this point, I looked at him like Scooby-Doo; “what is JCL?”. During this time, I was an undergraduate computer science student and working part-time, who had not gained exposure to JCL in school as this was done for the student. Of course, this didn’t happen again as I learned the function of JCL as it relates to COBOL. I learned a life lesson, which is to make sure I count the cost for completing the job and make sure I understand the process. I apply this life lesson in my work now.


Do you have a personal motto or other words to live by?

The way you do anything is the way you do everything. Meaning, the patterns that weave through our lives show up in other ways beyond the immediate task.


Favorite snack food?



What advice would you give your younger self?

When you speak with others, PAUSE and allow the silence to land. Then listen.