Dear Executive Women in Government,
I am humbled and honored to have accepted the role as your newest President. Thank you to everyone who participated in our Installation Ceremony. Most especially, thank you to Past President Shoshana Grove for swearing us in as well as introducing me to all of you whom I haven’t yet met. It was so nice to come together (even if virtually) and see both old and new friends joined together in our common passion for EWG and all it stands for each of us. I look forward to a year of new friends, learning together, serving our communities, and, most importantly, supporting women in seeking and succeeding in senior leadership positions in the Federal Government.
The mission of EWG has been my focus for my entire career. Even without knowing it, we have been bonded together for years working toward the same visions and goals for each other and those we know in the workplace. Advocating for the advancement of women in senior leadership positions in the Federal Government by preparing, promoting, supporting, and mentoring women is one of the many reasons why this newest assignment for me is so heartfelt. By all of us continuing to build this powerful network to share experiences, enhance professional relationships, and motivate other women leaders within the Federal Government, we are building the network of today and tomorrow’s accomplished women professionals. As we move forward, supporting each other, the government will only grow stronger with the increased presence of professional accomplished women.
In addition to my newest responsibilities as EWG President, I currently serve as the Executive Director of the Office of Naval Research. I’m responsible for the coordination, execution, investment, and promotion of science and technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps. One of the most exciting aspects of this role since moving over 24 months ago has been the discovery that the Office of Naval Research is the Hub for all Naval STEM (or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) initiatives, enabling me to fully support and contribute to one of my passions: the advancement and education of our Kindergarteners through 12th Graders, and even longer-term into the College arena furthering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics graduates. This is an area where many of you are well familiar that the United States lags globally, especially when it comes to women and other underrepresented minorities.
Over the course of my 30-year government career, I have been blessed with the guidance of wonderful mentors, but there were, unfortunately, fewer women by my side and even fewer female mentors whose footsteps I could follow. As I began to progress in my career, one of my primary goals was to develop and recruit women and other underrepresented minorities for service within their respective fields. This is the heart of the reason why I was so eager to be considered for President of the EWG, an opportunity to work alongside women of similar mindsets across all of Government, either desiring change and actively working toward those goals and objectives or desiring to benefit from the knowledge, skills, and abilities this terrific group of individuals demonstrates daily.
I would be remiss if I did not give a special thank you to our Past President Ellen McClain and Vice President Debbie Leben specifically for their guidance and leadership. Despite the complications and challenges you faced last year because of COVID-19 and a shutdown, you successfully were able to host meaningful events and mentor 16 protégés! Quite an accomplishment… but that comes as no surprise as you both are extremely special women and leaders.
I plan to continue the legacy of President’s past through my vision and goals for this following year, which include:
* Building a robust program of events for the year, continuing traditions, and incorporating new events wherever possible.
* Holding our Annual Leadership Summit.
* Holding special events highlighting Women’s History Month. This year is particularly important as it marks a major turning point for females in our history. 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote!
* Holding and arranging engagements with Industry and other Associations. Where appropriate, I hope to incorporate some of our outreach programs to increase female presence in STEM.
* Increasing our membership base through outreach and partnerships. I look forward to brainstorming some fun events, whether virtually or in person, with everyone to recruit as many talented females as possible.
* Highlighting Leaders in our Government. I look forward to inviting and hearing from many distinguished females currently serving our Government. We would love to implement a distinguished speaker series.
* Supporting the next up and coming generation of women leaders. We will hold several workshops and events throughout the year to build skills, network, and provide career guidance.
* And, most definitely continuing and growing our mentor program.
For over 47 years, EWG has carried our mission forward. I think you would all agree that we are well positioned to carry it forward for many more years. We have another extremely talented group of Elected Officers year and I am excited and honored to work alongside each of them: Dr. Anna Calcagno, Vice President; Emily Anderson, Treasurer; and Stephanie Brinley, Secretary. If any of you would like to be more involved, please let one of us know. We are looking forward to great ideas for the future events and for spending time with everyone throughout the year.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you as President. I look forward to connecting with you all together and individually in the days and months to come.
Very Respectfully and Warmest Regards,