WiE Panel: The World Beyond College: What it's Really Like to be a Female Engineer

Panel Discussion, Q&A and Reception/Mixer
Wed, 19 February, 2020 11:00pm
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You’re avidly pursuing an engineering career and working hard to make good grades in college – but what is it really like to be a female engineer once you graduate? You’ll have a wonderful opportunity to learn all about it from our panel of experts, who will describe the challenges and opportunities in their careers, as well as a personal reflection on what it takes to succeed. Come and enjoy an engaging discussion with plenty of time allowed for your own questions and a networking reception following the one-hour panel discussion. Our star panel includes:

  • Kristy Ortiz, Director, U.S. Marketing - Utilities, CGI (Moderator); BS '00 (CEE); MS '01 (EMSE)
  • Alissa "Dr Jay" Abdullah, PhD, Deputy Chief Security Officer; SVP, Emerging Corporate Security Solutions, Mastercard; MS '98 (Telecommunications and Computers)
  • Ann Kim, Deputy CIO, U.S. Department of Education; BS '96
  • Mojolaoluwa (Demi) Ladipo-Obasa, PhD Candidate, B.S. Civil & Environmental Engineering, The George Washington University

PLEASE RSVP through Eventbrite at this link.

Contact [email protected] if you have any questions!

About the speakers:

Kristy OrtizKristy McDonnell Ortiz, Moderator
Director, U.S. Marketing - Utilities

Kristy McDonnell Ortiz has more than 15 years of professional experience in the energy and management consulting fields. Ms. Ortiz currently serves as the Utilities Strategy & Marketing Lead for CGI, a global IT & Business consulting firm.  Prior to CGI, Ms. Ortiz has held strategy, consulting and engineering positions with Siemens, the Boston Consulting Group, Pace Global Energy Services and Black & Veatch.  Ms. Ortiz graduated cum laude from GW in 1999 with a B.S. in Civil/Environmental Engineering and went on to complete her M.S. in Engineering Management from SEAS in 2001 and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 2007. 

Ms. Ortiz is a dedicated member of the GW community and has served the University in many facets.  Ms. Ortiz was elected to the GW Board of Trustees where she served as the Recent Alumni Trustee from 2004-2008.  In addition, she has previously served on the Engineering Alumni Association and the GW Alumni Association.  Currently, Ms. Ortiz serves as a Board Member for GW’s Environmental and Energy Management Institute.

Ms. Ortiz lives in Northern Virginia with her husband Dan, a GW-Law alumni and Circuit Court Judge for Fairfax County, VA and their 2 children, Adam – age 11 and Eleanor – age 8.

Dr. Alissa Abdullah (Dr. Jay)Dr. Alissa Abdullah (Dr. Jay)
Senior Vice President, Deputy Chief Security Officer 
Mastercard Operations & Technology

As Mastercard's deputy chief security officer, Dr. Alissa Abdullah leads the Emerging Corporate Security Solutions team and is responsible for protecting Mastercard’s information assets as well as driving the future of security.

Prior to Mastercard, Dr. Abdullah was the chief information security officer of Xerox where she established and led a corporate-wide information risk management program. Dr. Abdullah also served as the deputy chief information officer of the White House where she helped modernize the Executive Office of the President's IT systems with cloud services and virtualization.

Dr. Abdullah holds a PhD in Information Technology Management from Capella University, a master’s degree in Telecommunications and Computer Networks from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Savannah State University.

Ann KimAnn Kim
Deputy Chief Information Officer (CIO) and
Senior Agency Official for Privacy (SAOP)
U.S. Department of Education

Ann currently serves as the Deputy Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Senior Agency Official for Privacy (SAOP) at the US Department of Education (ED). ED is a cabinet level agency with over 4,400 employees – geographically dispersed between Headquarters and 10 regional offices, ~$70B budget, and ~130 information systems that process over $1.0T in federal student aid and grants.  In concert with the CIO, Ann oversees a ~$750M information technology (IT) portfolio.  In her role, she serves as a principal advisor to the CIO, Assistant Secretaries, Deputy Secretary, and Secretary with respect to the use of IT to support and enable the Department’s mission and business processes.  Ann assists the CIO with the day-to-day coordination and management of the various functions within the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), and advises ED leadership regarding IT, information management, and information assurance.

Ann previously served as ED’s acting Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Director of Information Assurance Services (IAS) with responsibility for providing oversight of information assurance and cybersecurity.  And, prior to that, Ann served as ED’s Chief of Security Architecture and Engineering for 6 years with responsibility for defining ED’s enterprise security architecture.  In her information assurance and cybersecurity roles, Ann was responsible for ensuring compliance with and implementation of the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) and E-Government Act, to protect the information systems that enable ED’s business processes and ensure the confidentiality, privacy, integrity, and availability of our customer’s information. 

Prior to joining ED, Ann worked at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) as the Chief of the NetOps Division, responsible for programmatic and technical oversight of all DISA NetOps programs to provide responsive, secure, and interoperable net-centric solutions necessary to operate and assure the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Global Information Grid (GIG) and DISA’s Enterprise Infrastructure in support of the Secretary of Defense, Combatant Commanders, Joint/combined task forces, Services, and Agencies.

Throughout Ann’s career she has provided leadership across very diverse teams to solve unique retail, financial, defense, and public sector challenges.  Her experience ranges from the strategic and organizational policy level, to the more tactical implementation, operations and maintenance.

Mojolaoluwa (Demi) Ladipo-ObasaMojolaoluwa (Demi) Ladipo-Obasa
PhD Candidate, B.S. Civil & Environmental Engineering
The George Washington University

Mojolaoluwa Ladipo-Obasa is a PhD student at The George Washington University, and a research associate for DC Water. As a global nomad, she hopes to maintain harmony between the natural and man-made world and ensure that people thrive with the best environmental services.

Taly Walsh
[email protected]

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