Inspiration. Innovation. Implementation.

The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) presented an innovative lineup of industry and academic leaders in STEM for our Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony on April 25, 2018, at the Bentley Reserve in San Francisco, California. This event gathered over 200 of the most influential leaders in science and technology to further conversation, connect powerful ideas, recognize our awardees’ accomplishments, and celebrate women in STEM.

Pinnacle Award

Honoring an individual’s lifetime of innovative achievements in STEM and commitment to workplace diversity.

Sue Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, is the 2018 recipient of the AWIS Pinnacle Award which recognizes her contributions in STEM as a scientist, physician, philanthropist, and mentor. As Chief Executive Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Sue leads the organization’s vision for a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. Under her watch, the foundation has also been pushing harder on women’s empowerment while working towards closing gender data gaps to help accelerate progress for women around the world. Forbes magazine has named her one of the world’s seven most “powerful innovators” and in her current role she champions global development by getting the right interventions, to the right populations, in the right places, to save lives. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. Sue was listed among Fortune magazine’s “top 50 most powerful women in business” for seven years and, in 2010, was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and elected to the Institute of Medicine.

Leadership Award

Commending an experienced STEM leader for fostering a high representation of women in leadership and supportive workplace policies.

Melinda Richter, MBA, is the Global Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS. In her role, she fosters the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies external R&D engine and supports the innovation community by creating capital-efficient commercialization models that give early stage companies a big company advantage. Melinda has received numerous industry awards including: the PharmaVOICE 100; Fierce Biotech Top 15 Women; Most Influential Women in Business (San Francisco Business Times); MM&M 2017 Healthcare Transformer; BIO Super Hero; and Fast Company’s Most Innovative Company in Biotech. She serves on various boards and advisory panels and is currently board member and Treasurer of the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA).

Game Changer Award

Recognizing an exemplary company whose diversity and inclusion efforts represent a true ally to the pursuit of workplace equality.

Salesforce is the global leader in customer relationship management (CRM), and is committed to a set of core values—trust, growth, innovation, and equality of every human being. For its efforts, Salesforce has been named the 2017 World’s Best Workplace by Great Place to Work, one of Fortune’s Best Workplaces for Diversity three years in a row, and one of Comparably’s Best Companies for Women. Leading the charge on Equality and reporting directly to CEO Marc Benioff, Tony Prophet will be accepting the award on behalf of Salesforce. As its Chief Equality Officer, Prophet is focused on gender, LGBTQ, and racial issues—ensuring the company reflects the diversity and upholds the values of the communities it serves.

Next Generation Award

Highlighting an early career leader in STEM who is a visible and vocal advocate for diversity and inclusive scientific practices.

Rachel Haurwitz, PhD, is a co-founder of Caribou Biosciences and has been President and CEO since its inception. She has a research background in CRISPR-Cas biology, and is also a co-founder of Intellia Therapeutics. Rachel is an inventor on several patents and patent applications covering multiple CRISPR-derived technologies, and she has co-authored scientific papers in high impact journals characterizing CRISPR-Cas systems. Rachel earned an A.B. in Biological Sciences from Harvard College, and received a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. This award draws specific attention to her continued innovation at the helm of Caribou Biosciences, as well as her commitment to diversity and progressive workplace policies.

Advisory Committee Chairs

Susan Windham-Bannister, PhD National President of AWIS

Bahija Jallal, PhD Immediate Past President of AWIS President, MedImmune and Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca

The Bently Reserve

301 Battery St, San Francisco, CA 94111

1667 K Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20006
awis@awis.org
(202) 588-8175

The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is a global network with 80 grassroots chapters and affiliates connecting more than 100,000 professionals in STEM with members, allies and supporters worldwide.

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