Last year's #LEADLIKEAGIRL speakers

Dr. Ellen Stofan

Chief Scientist
NASA

Dr. Ellen Stofan was appointed NASA chief scientist on August 25, 2013, serving as principal advisor to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the agency's science programs and science-related strategic planning and investments.

Prior to her appointment, Stofan was vice president of Proxemy Research in Laytonsville, Md., and honorary professor in the department of Earth sciences at University College London in England. Her research has focused on the geology of Venus, Mars, Saturn's moon Titan, and Earth.

Her appointment as chief scientist marks a return to NASA for Dr. Stofan. From 1991 through 2000, she held a number of senior scientist positions at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., including chief scientist for NASA's New Millennium Program, deputy project scientist for the Magellan Mission to Venus, and experiment scientist for SIR-C, an instrument that provided radar images of Earth on two shuttle flights in 1994.

Debbie Sterling

Founder and CEO
GoldieBlox

Debbie Sterling is the Founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, the award-winning children’s multimedia company disrupting the pink aisle in toy stores globally and challenging gender stereotypes with the world’s first girl engineer character.

Debbie is an engineer, entrepreneur, and one of the leaders in the movement toward empowering girls to build their confidence, dreams and ultimately, their futures. She was named TIME’s "Person of the Moment,” honored by the National Retail Foundation as one of 25 “People Shaping Retail’s Future,” and was recently added to Fortune Magazine’s prestigious “40 Under 40” list.

In 2015, Debbie was inducted as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship and honored by the National Women’s History Museum with a “Living Legacy” Award for her work to empower girls around the world. Debbie received her degree in Engineering at Stanford University in 2005.

Rakia Reynolds

Founder of
Skai Blue Media

Rakia Reynolds is the founder of Skai Blue Media, a multimedia public relations agency with an all-star roster of lifestyle, technology, non-profit and fashion clients. As a leader in the industry, she is highly sought after by companies to provide expertise in creative development, branding, marketing and business communications.

Her path to entrepreneurship started with numerous creative ventures, including producing shows for MTV, TLC and Discovery Health Channel. She was a business major turned TV producer turned PR pro, and the twists and turns have made her into the media mogul and unstoppable trailblazer that she is today. She launched Skai Blue Media in 2008 with one employee, one client and the driving desire to form a PR agency that would break the mold and represent the future of public relations in the digital age. That firm has since grown tremendously to fourteen employees and more than thirty prominent clients.

Joanna Vargas

Founder
Joanna Vargas Skincare

Since the beginning, Joanna Vargas has been focused on one thing: beautiful skin. Combining her commitment to plant-based ingredients and her passion for science, Joanna’s nature-meets-technology approach has made her one of the most sought out estheticians and experts in the beauty industry today. Bringing her background in photography and women’s studies into the beauty industry, Joanna navigated her way through her early days as a facialist at one of New York City’s first organic spas and a specialist at a top celebrity dermatologist’s office before striking out on her own. In creating her signature services, she combined all natural skincare products with proven techniques including microcurrent, microdermabrasion, oxygen infusions, and LED light therapy to deliver immediate results. As her practice evolved and expanded to both coasts, Joanna was inspired to apply her philosophy to a namesake skincare collection, making it possible for clients and fans everywhere to maintain their skin at home.

Jihane Fazio

Associate Vice President
AECOM

Ms. Jihane Fazio is an Associate Vice President with AECOM, a Fortune 500 company, ranked No. 1 Global Design Firm by ENR, where she is the delivery manager overseeing the US Northeast region. Jihane’s engineering career spans over 20 years, during which she has managed large complex multimillion dollar infrastructure projects. She holds a degree in civil engineering from Drexel University which she began when she was just 16 years old. A champion for women in the industry, Jihane is involved in many societies, including the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. At AECOM, she co-founded Women’s LEAD whose mission is to advance women to leadership positions. She was selected by ENR’s Mid-Atlantic Top 20 under 40 in 2015 for her expertise in managing high profile transportation projects, and received the 2014 diversity award from WTS for her Women’s LEAD group. Jihane lives in Bucks County, PA with her husband and two daughters.


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#LEADLIKEAGIRL is presented by:

The National Center for Girls' Leadership at Stuart

Special thanks to The Edward E. Ford Foundation, The Harris B. Siegel Fund, and to our early sponsors:
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