Association for Women in Science Elects New Board Members to Focus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in STEM

August 1, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC, Tuesday, August 1, 2017 – The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) announced Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia as a new addition to its board, along with three other councilors and the election of Councilor Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D. as President-Elect. The new board members' exerptise and experience complement the organization’s strategic focus on innovation and entrepreneurship for women in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and will support the pilot of its new accelerator, STEM to Market (S2M). These new board appointees will join the existing 12 members to guide the organization’s programs and partnerships to accelerate positive system transformation needed to achieve equity and parity in STEM.


As the leading organization that advocates on behalf of women in STEM, AWIS has helped guide Congress, the United Nations, and pharmaceutical, biotech, and other professional organizations on decisions and best practices to achieve gender diversity related to business growth, social change, and innovation in the field. “We’re thrilled to have these dynamic and accomplished women in STEM join our board. Through their experience, education and expertise, they bring tremendous value to AWIS partners and members, especially as we foster the next generation of STEM entrepreneurs,” said AWIS President and Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca and head of MedImmune, Bahija Jallal, Ph.D. “Our research shows that women face barriers to inclusion throughout the entrepreneurial ecosystem and only multifaceted interventions, like the S2M accelerator, can address these complex challenges and foster inclusion and real system change.”


The AWIS Board will work closely with the newly launched S2M accelerator, which represents a continuation of the Association’s nearly 50-year commitment to women in STEM. S2M is funded by an Ewing Marion Kauffman Inclusion Challenge Grant, which is made to support organizations to expand their services to empower more female entrepreneurs and engineers of color and help them succeed. The pilot program will offer cohorts of STEM innovators in Chicago, Ill. San Francisco, Calif. and Washington, D.C. with mentorship, networking opportunities and support throughout the commercialization process for products developed in early-stage businesses or through the technology transfer process. 


The now 16-person AWIS governing board, chaired by current President Bahija Jallal, reflects the broad range of scientific disciplines and work sectors that AWIS represents, sets the organization’s strategic direction, and provides insight and leadership to the national organization, its chapters, and its affiliates. Each of the new members brings to the governing board a deep understanding of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, a passion for diversity and inclusion, and demonstrated experience in expanding innovation in STEM.


You can read the full press release here.