GHC 13 Keynotes and Plenary Speakers

Plenary Session


Wednesday, Oct 2nd, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM;


At a time of a nationwide discussion on the importance of technology innovation to the health of the global economy, and the need for imaginative new approaches, there is no questions that we want the creators of technology to mirror society that will benefit from the expansion. This session features the pioneers in the effort to change the engagement and impact of women in Computing. This important dialog will include research on Women and Leadership, examples of women Leaning In and the special characteristics of Women in Computing. The discussion will include practices that work, and how each and every attendee can Lean In, with advice about how to support and develop their own vision of the future.

Participants: Maria Klawe (Harvey Mudd College), Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook and and Telle Whitney (

Maria Klawe
President, Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College is led by Maria Klawe, who began her tenure in 2006. A renowned computer scientist and scholar, President Klawe is the first woman to lead the College since its founding in 1955. Prior to joining HMC, she served as dean of engineering and professor of computer science at Princeton University.

Klawe joined Princeton from the University of British Columbia where she served as dean of science from 1998 to 2002, vice president of student and academic services from 1995 to 1998 and head of the Department of Computer Science from 1988 to 1995. Prior to UBC, Klawe spent eight years with IBM Research in California, and two years at the University of Toronto. She received her Ph.D. (1977) and B.Sc. (1973) in mathematics from the University of Alberta.

Klawe is one of the ten members of the board of Microsoft Corporation, a board member of Broadcom Corporation and the nonprofit Math for America, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a trustee for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley and a member of both the Stanford Engineering Advisory Council and the Advisory Council for the Computer Science Teachers Association. She was elected as a fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery in 1996 and as a founding fellow of the Canadian Information Processing Society in 2006.

Sheryl Sandberg
Chief Operating Officer, Facebook and Founder,



Sheryl Sandberg is Chief Operating Officer at Facebook. She oversees the firm’s business operations including sales, marketing, business development, legal, human resources, public policy and communications. Prior to Facebook, Sheryl was vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, where she built and managed online sales for advertising and publishing and operations for consumer products worldwide.

She was also instrumental in launching, Google’s philanthropic arm. Sheryl previously served as Chief of Staff for the United States Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton and began her career as an economist with the World Bank. She received a B.A. in Economics and an M.B.A from Harvard University. She serves on the boards of Facebook, The Walt Disney Company, Women for Women International, V-Day, ONE and chairs the board of Lean In.

Telle Whitney
President and Chief Executive Officer,


Dr. Telle Whitney is the President and CEO of She held senior technical management positions with Malleable Technologies and Actel Corporation, and co-founded the Grace Hopper Celebration Conference.

She serves on the advisory boards of Caltech’s Information Science and Technology, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, Illuminate Ventures, and CMD-IT.

She has received numerous awards including: ACM Distinguished Service, the Marie Pistilli Women in EDA Achievement, and San Jose Business Journal Top 100 Women of Influence. She was named in 2011 to the Fast Company Most Influential Women in Technology List. In 2012 she received the A. Nico Habermann Award for her role in founding and sustaining NCWIT.

Dr. Whitney received her Ph.D. from Caltech, and her bachelor’s degree at the University of Utah, both in Computer Science.

Keynote Speakers

VP, @Google[x]
Thursday, October 3rd at 8:30 AM;



Megan Smith is an entrepreneur, tech evangelist, engineer, and connector. At Google[x], Megan works on a range of projects including co-creating/hosting SolveForX to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and collaboration. For nine years prior she led Google’s New Business Development team managing early-stage partnerships, pilot explorations, and technology licensing for Google’s global engineering and product teams. She led the acquisitions of Keyhole (Google Earth), Where2Tech (Google Maps) and Picasa, and also led the team transition to add more engineering with Google Crisis Response, GoogleforNonprofits, Earth Outreach/Engine and increased employee engagement.

Prior to joining Google, Megan was CEO and earlier, COO of PlanetOut, the leading LGBT online community, where the team broke through many barriers and partnered closely with AOL, Yahoo!, MSN and other major web players, and was early employee at General Magic and Apple Japan.

Over the years, Megan has contributed to a wide range of engineering projects, including an award-winning bicycle lock, space station construction program, solar cook stoves and was a member of the MIT student team who designed, built and raced a solar car 2000 miles across the Australian outback. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, where she now serves on the board. She completed her master’s thesis work at the MIT Media Lab.

Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Dwight Look College of Engineering, Texas A&M University
Friday, October 4th at 8:30 AM;

Dr. Valerie Taylor is the Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering, Regents Professor, holder of the Wisenbaker Professorship of CSE, and an IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Fellow. Taylor is the former head of Texas A&M’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, having served in that role from 2003 to 2011. She is executive director of the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT), a 501(c )(3) nonprofit organization with a vision of contributing to the national need for an effective workforce in computing and IT through synergistic activities related to minorities and people with disabilities.

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