Women Tech Leaders

Women Tech Leaders

 
Women Tech Leaders
Women Tech Leaders
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Virtual Event

Throughout the federal government, women are advancing major IT initiatives and recruitment efforts around health care, cybersecurity, national security and more. These women leaders have made a career of public service and are strongly shaping the next generation of federal technologists.

Date
July 22, 2021
Time
10:30 am - 2:00 pm ET
Where
Virtual event
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Women Tech Leaders

Video Replay

Dr.  Carolyn Clancy, Department of Veterans Affairs

Women make up less than one-third of all STEM-related jobs. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security estimates there are at least 500,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions, which the agency deems a risk to national security. These cyber leaders are encouraging and educating women to help fill the cybersecurity workforce gap and the gender STEM gap at the same time.

  • Clara Conti, General Manager, Presidio Federal
  • Brig. Gen. Stephanie Ahern, Director of Concepts, Army Futures Command
  • Moderator: Amy Kluber, Editorial Director, GovernmentCIO Media & Research

Increasing women’s participation in the U.S. armed forces has been met by a growing culture of women’s leadership in agencies focused on national security. Hear from women tech leaders who have dedicated their careers to advancing the frontiers of intelligence and defense preparedness on how to improve gender diversity across the national security field.

  • Cynthia Bedell, Director, Computational & Information Sciences Directorate, Army Research Laboratory
  • Monica Farah-Stapleton, Technical Director, FEHRM
  • Katie Olson, Acting…

Women are leading various IT efforts across federal agencies. This panel of CIOs will discuss their top modernization priorities at their organizations and how offering diverse representation at the CIO level could impact agencies well into the future.

  • Dorothy Aronson, CIO, National Science Foundation
  • Helen Jang, Senior Director, AI and Technology Initiatives, RTI International
  • Moderator: Melissa Harris, Staff Writer/Researcher, GovernmentCIO Media & Research
  • Dr. Marie Bernard, Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity, NIH
  • Moderator: Megha Chokshi, Senior Vice President, GovernmentCIO
  • Kathy McNeill, Chief Strategist, Office of the CIO, DOL
  • Moderator: Kate Macri, Staff Writer/Researcher, GovernmentCIO Media & Research

Related Coverage

Agencies must bridge technologists and business leaders to drive successful data strategies.
The agency wants its workforce to be ready and trained as it integrates new technology.
Women are shaping AI advancement in federal IT and helping to remove biases in data sets.
A key leader in the agency's diversity office shares how NIH is committing to improving equity and inclusion.
Hiring for a variety of skills and backgrounds will ensure the defense community has the scope of talent necessary to fully modernize and maintain its strategic edge.
Agency leaders encourage more women to join the technical workforce.

Graphics Cam

Illustrator Wade Forbes joined our event to visualize our panelists' conversations and insights. Learn more about Wade Forbes at Redtale.com

Sponsors

Okta
 
RTI
 
Presidio Federal

Speakers

 

Brigadier General Stephanie Ahern, U.S. Army, is the director of concepts for the Futures and Concepts Center at the U.S. Army Futures Command in Austin, Texas. As the Director of Concepts, Ahern has the responsibility for the U.S. Army to develop its vision of future conflict and leads concept development and assessment in order to provide the foundation for the design and development of the Army’s future force.

Commissioned as an engineer officer from the U.S. Military Academy in 1995, Ahern has served in strategic to tactical level command and staff positions around the world in combat and garrison environments. Following her time as an engineer officer, Ahern transitioned to becoming an Army strategist. As an Army strategist, she has been instrumental in developing our nation’s National Security Strategy in 2017 to 2019, and is the author of the Army Campaign Plan, advising the Under Secretary of Defense on Strategy & Force Development. In addition to supporting the Defense Department, Ahern has worked hand in hand with other government agencies, including the Army Corps of Engineers, the State Department and the Treasury Department.

Ahern has a Bachelor of Science in engineering management from the U.S. Military Academy, a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, and a master's and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Notre Dame. 

Director of Concepts, Army Futures Command

Dorothy Aronson is NSF's Chief Information Officer (CIO). She is the principal advisor to the agency's Director and other senior management on all matters involving information technology (IT). Ms. Aronson oversees policy and governance for the efficient, effective use of IT resources to accomplish the Foundation's mission.

CIO, National Science Foundation

As the director for the U. S. Army Research Lab (ARL) Computational & Information Sciences Directorate, Cynthia Bedell is responsible for basic and applied research Network and Information Sciences, Cyber Defense, High Performance Computing, and Battlefield Environments. She has technical oversight of the state-of-the art high performance computing assets, computational capabilities, and wide area networking methodologies for ARL, the Department of the Army, and the Department of Defense. ARL is the U.S. Army’s corporate laboratory, strategically placed within the Army Futures Command (AFC). ARL’s mission is to “Discover, innovate, and transition science and technology to ensure dominant strategic land power”.

Previously, as the Regional Lead for ARL West, Cindy Bedell established the first extended campus for the US Army Research Lab to make ARL and its researchers more accessible to academics as well as business research leaders on the west coast. The drive is to establish mutually beneficial S&T collaborations particularly in the field of Human Information Interaction. While serving as acting Director, Computational and Information Sciences Directorate, she focused on guiding scientific discovery, technological innovation, and transition of knowledge products within the research areas of network, computational, information, and meteorological sciences especially as it impacts the Army’s future mission capabilities. When she joined CISD in 2014, Ms. Bedell served as the Associate Directorate for Science and Technology as well as the collaborative alliance manager for the Multi-scale Materials Enterprise.

Cindy Bedell brings with her 30 years of military experience. Prior to her military retirement, Colonel Bedell led the US Army RDECOM Forward Element Command – Atlantic in searching across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, for applicable technologies to support current and future warfighters. She also served as the Director of Science and Technology Support for Current Operations for the System of Systems Integration Office, U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM). In this role, she helped develop science and technology strategies to allow the Army to address technology shortfalls in current and future war-fighting systems. As Product Manager, Sensors and Lasers, Colonel Bedell was responsible for the Soldier-borne night vision devices, thermal sensors and sights, and laser pointers, rangefinders and designators. She accelerated the engineering design cycles for a number of systems; to include the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle and the 25 micron Vanadium Oxide based Thermal Weapons Sight.

She earned both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She served as Assistant Professor in the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department at the United States Military Academy. She attended the University of Texas, as an Army Senior Service College Fellow. She holds United States Patent 5,413,649, with Dr. David Dunand for a method to enhance superplasticity for ease in forming complex composites in materials that undergo phase transformation.

Director, Computational & Information Sciences Directorate, Army Research Laboratory

Marie A. Bernard, M.D., serves as Deputy Director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health. As NIA’s senior geriatrician, she is the principal advisor to the NIA director. She additionally serves as the acting NIH Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity.

For the Department of Health and Human Services, she has co-chaired two Healthy People 2020/2030 objectives: 1) Older Adults and 2) Dementias, including Alzheimer’s Disease. Within NIH she co-chairs the Inclusion Governance Committee that oversees inclusion in clinical research by sex/gender, race/ethnicity, and age — inclusive of pediatric and older adult subjects. She chairs the Women of Color Committee of the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers. She also serves on the Diversity Working Group and was a founding member of the NIH Equity Committee. She has been recognized for her leadership by receipt of the Clark Tibbitts Award from the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (2013), the Donald P Kent Award from the Gerontological Society of America (2014), and NIH Director’s Awards in 2018 and 2019. She is the 2020 recipient of the NIH Director’s Award for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Until October 2008 she was the endowed professor and founding chairman of the Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, and Associate Chief of Staff for Geriatrics and Extended Care at the Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She has held numerous national leadership roles, including serving on the National Institute on Aging Advisory Council, during which she chaired the Council’s Task Force on Minority Aging Research; chair of the Clinical Medicine Section of the Gerontological Society of America; chair of the Department of Veterans Affairs National Research Advisory Committee; board member of the American Geriatrics Society; president of the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education; and president of the Association of Directors of Geriatric Academic Programs. She has lectured and published widely in her area of research, nutrition and function in older populations with special focus on underrepresented minorities, as well as related to geriatric education.

She received her undergraduate education at Bryn Mawr College and her MD from University of Pennsylvania. She trained in internal medicine at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, where she also served as chief resident. She has received additional training through the Association of American Medical Colleges Health Services Research Institute, the Geriatric Education Center of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School Executive Development program.

Deputy Director, National Institute on Aging, NIH

Dr. Carolyn Clancy has served as Acting Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs since January 20, 2021. Previously she served as the Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Discovery, Education and Affiliate Networks. She has also served as the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Executive in Charge. Dr. Clancy also served as the Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Organizational Excellence overseeing VHA’s performance, quality, safety, risk management, systems engineering, auditing, oversight, ethics and accreditation programs, as well as ten years as the Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In 2015, Dr. Clancy was selected as the Outstanding Federal Executive of the Year by Disabled American Veterans.

Dr. Clancy, a general internist and health services researcher, is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She holds an academic appointment at George Washington University School of Medicine and serves as Senior Associate Editor, Health Services Research. Dr. Clancy has contributed to eight academic textbooks and authored, co-authored and provided invited commentary in more than 225 scholarly journal articles. She served as member of the National Quality Forum, Board of Directors, as the Chair of the AQA Alliance and served on the Board of Governors, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. An elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Clancy was most recently presented with the 2014 Quality Champion Award, National Committee for Quality Assurance and was also named as Honorary Fellow, American Academy of Nursing.

Department of Veterans Affairs

Clara Conti joined Presidio in 2020 to lead the strategy, business operations, and formation of Presidio Federal. As a former CEO of several companies, Clara has more than 25 years leading entrepreneurial startups, mid-size and global corporations to substantial market growth. She came to Presidio Federal following her executive role within IBM’s Global Business Services Public Sector.

General Manager, Presidio Federal

With over 25 years of experience, Jothi Dugar is a leading cybersecurity executive who knows what it’s like to be the only female executive in the room. She is a catalyst for change, inspiring transformational leadership as a holistic wellness specialist and coach, author, international public speaker, and a mom of three. She is passionate about empowering women to take charge of their lives and break through the glass ceiling. Jothi leverages her expertise to serve as Chief Information Security Officer at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s Center for Information Technology (CIT) and raises the bar on cybersecurity every day using her holistic and forward-thinking mindset to provide innovative thought leadership.

Before joining CIT, Jothi served as the CISO at the NIH Clinical Center for eight years. During her tenure there, she developed and led the Information Security Office. In this role, she was responsible for securing Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) systems that store sensitive information, including one of NIH’s High Value Assets, several thousand workstations and servers, numerous medical instruments, mobile devices, portable media, third-party systems, and other IT systems.

Prior to her time at the Clinical Center, Jothi held numerous positions outside of NIH, including project manager at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Information Systems Security Officer (ISSO) at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and several senior information assurance, program management, and management consultant positions at a variety of private sector firms.

Jothi holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland.

CISO, Center for Information Technology, NIH

Monica Farah-Stapleton, Ph.D., serves as Technical Director for the Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) program office. In this role, Dr. Farah-Stapleton is responsible for executive oversight and technical orchestration of all engineering and cybersecurity activities impacting the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) common electronic health record (EHR) and the exchange of health data between the federal EHR and private sector partners. 

Before joining the FEHRM leadership team, Dr. Farah-Stapleton served as Chief Engineer for the DOD Healthcare Management System Modernization program management office. She has several decades of information technology experience, including executive strategy and direct management and oversight of complex, sociotechnical system-of-systems projects.

Dr. Farah-Stapleton is a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School with a doctorate in software engineering. She has an executive master’s degree in technology management from University of Pennsylvania (School of Engineering and Applied Science and Wharton School) and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Rutgers University. Dr. Farah-Stapleton holds Acquisition Professional Level III certifications in program management and systems engineering.
 

Technical Director, Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM)

Helen Jang serves as Senior Director for AI and Technology Initiatives at RTI International. In her role, she leads a multi-year internal investment to advance emerging technologies across RTI’s diverse project portfolio to support its clients. With more than 20 years of experience, her expertise in digital innovation and artificial intelligence allows her to direct the creation of solutions that highlight the intersection of research and technology to continue advancing social science.

Ms. Jang led the creation of RTI Merge, an integration platform supporting data acquisition and ingestion, data analytics, knowledge curation, computing, and modeling and simulations. She leads a multidisciplinary team of experts on developing and implementing strategies for innovation and digital transformation, the development of business models, and how to pilot and scale the roll-out of technologies, such as RTI SynthPop and MLOps, across RTI to deliver better research faster. Her work has also been crucial in building awareness of capabilities across the institute and encouraging the development of new skillsets among team members. 

Ms. Jang previously served as director for RTI’s Center for Digital Innovation in Education and Workforce Development (CDI), which focuses on combining diverse data and cutting-edge digital technologies informed by elegant design to transform education research to practice, improving the outcomes of children and adults. CDI’s portfolio includes data analysis and reporting systems that provide access to data for stakeholders at all levels using innovative and compelling visual presentations that communicate research findings to a broad audience."

Senior Director, AI and Technology Initiatives, RTI
Chief Strategist, Office of the CIO, Department of Labor

Katie Olson is the Acting Director of the Defense Digital Service (DDS). DDS is a SWAT team of nerds based at the Pentagon tasked with solving the DoD's most pressing problems leveraging the best in modern technology.

Prior to DDS, Olson led the launch of the City Tech Collaborative in Chicago, a tech organization that remakes essential city services and infrastructure using advanced technology, in partnership with corporations, philanthropies and universities.

Olson holds a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Political Science and Interdisciplinary Studies from American University in Washington, D.C. From 2008-2010, she served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi.

Acting Director, Defense Digital Service

Danielle Santos is the Manager of Communications and Operations and Lead for International Engagement for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Prior to her role at NIST, Danielle served as the Program Manager for cybersecurity formal education programs including National Centers of Academic Excellence and the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Danielle holds a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Cybersecurity as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from California State University, San Bernardino. As a recipient of the SFS scholarship herself, Danielle has fulfilled her commitment to serve in the US Federal government and continues to have a passion for public service.

Communications Manager, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), NIST

Michelle Tuggle has served as an Information Technology (IT) / cyber security professional for within the Intelligence Community, DoD and the federal government for over 20 years.

A graduate of the George Mason University Volgenau School of Engineering, Wayland Baptist University, Strayer University and Defense Information School of Broadcast and Print Journalism, Michelle has developed a unique business model and brand within the disciplines of information security and information assurance.

Michelle has successfully grown and shared her expertise globally within the following organizations: Okta, Inc, National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPSOIG), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Virtustream, Inc (Commercial Cloud).

A Certified Chief Information Security Officer (C|CISO) since 2014, and EC-Council C|CISO active board member, Michelle works tirelessly to mentor the next generation of “Cyber Guardians” across multiple facets of the industry.  Michelle is a proud, 12-year Navy veteran, where she served as a firefighter and later public affairs officer. Her hobbies include: numismatic collection and trade, pet rescue & care, historical research, travel, holistic fitness / nutrition, grilling and smoking meat, and fast cars! 

Principal Security Analyst, Security & Compliance, Okta

Meg Vorland is the Chief Strategy Officer for Dcode. She is a passionate advocate for startups and small businesses, and has helped to develop and expand several companies, focusing on preparing businesses for funding, entering new markets, forecasting, and scaling general operations and project management. Meg served in the Obama Administration as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), where she advised and provided project management support on high-priority internal operations, provided policy recommendations to the Administrator of the SBA, and helped to implement policy decisions affecting small businesses.

Chief Strategy Officer, Dcode

Agenda

 
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Opening Remarks

  • Amy Kluber, Editorial Director, GovernmentCIO Media & Research
-

Fireside Chat: Veterans Health Care Leadership

  • Dr. Carolyn Clancy, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Moderator: Kristin Gill, COO, GovernmentCIO
-

Addressing the Cybersecurity Workforce Shortage

Women make up less than one-third of all STEM-related jobs. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security estimates there are at least 500,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions, which the agency deems a risk to national security. These cyber leaders are encouraging and educating women to help fill the cybersecurity workforce gap and the gender STEM gap at the same time.

  • Jothi Dugar, CISO, Center for Information Technology, NIH
  • Danielle Santos, Communications Manager, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, NIST
  • Michelle Tuggle, Principal Security Analyst, Security & Compliance, Okta
  • Moderator: Jackie Medina, Director, GovernmentCIO
-

Industry Perspective

  • Clara Conti, General Manager, Presidio Federal
-

Fireside Chat: Blueprints for Army Innovation

  • Brig. Gen. Stephanie Ahern, Director of Concepts, Army Futures Command
  • Moderator: Amy Kluber, Editorial Director, GovernmentCIO Media & Research
-

Leadership in Defense and National Security

Increasing women’s participation in the U.S. armed forces has been met by a growing culture of women’s leadership in agencies focused on national security. Hear from women tech leaders who have dedicated their careers to advancing the frontiers of intelligence and defense preparedness on how to improve gender diversity across the national security field.

  • Cynthia Bedell, Director, Computational & Information Sciences Directorate, Army Research Laboratory
  • Monica Farah-Stapleton, Technical Director, FEHRM
  • Katie Olson, Acting Director, Defense Digital Service
  • Meg Vorland, Chief Strategy Officer, Dcode
  • Moderator: Jenn Morris, General Counsel, GovernmentCIO
-

CIO Spotlight: Leading Tech Modernization

Women are leading various IT efforts across federal agencies. This panel of CIOs will discuss their top modernization priorities at their organizations and how offering diverse representation at the CIO level could impact agencies well into the future.

  • Dorothy Aronson, CIO, National Science Foundation
  • Helen Jang, Senior Director, AI and Technology Initiatives, RTI International
  • Moderator: Melissa Harris, Staff Writer/Researcher, GovernmentCIO Media & Research
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Fireside Chat: The Role of Diversity in Improving Women’s Health Outcomes

  • Dr. Marie Bernard, Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity, NIH
  • Moderator: Megha Chokshi, Senior Vice President, GovernmentCIO
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Fireside Chat: The Future of AI is Female

  • Kathy McNeill, Chief Strategist, Office of the CIO, DOL
  • Moderator: Kate Macri, Staff Writer/Researcher, GovernmentCIO Media & Research
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Closing Remarks

  • Amy Kluber, Editorial Director, GovernmentCIO Media & Research