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ACM-W Celebrating Technology Leaders: Resilience and Overcoming Adversity: The CTO Journey
The office of CTO oversees everything from technology vision and strategy, to architecture, innovation, development, and infrastructure. In this episode of "ACM-W Celebrating Technology Leaders," we invite C-suite technology leaders, women with diverse experiences, to share their stories of grit and resilience. What were some of the unique challenges they faced as a woman in an IT leadership role? Did they architect their careers or were they vigilant to take advantage of opportunities? How do they deal with difficult situations, people and emotions on an ongoing basis? Join our panel, with host Bushra Anjum, as we find our nuggets of wisdom and inspiration from these stories.

Previous episodes of "Celebrating Technology Leaders" can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLn0nrSd4xjjZ2EVtP30-jRw4px7XGFVpy


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Bushra Anjum @ACM-W Standing Committees Chair, ACM Ubiquity Senior Editor
Bushra Anjum is a Health IT data specialist working as the Director of Data Science and Analytics at the San Francisco-based startup Doximity. Aimed at creating HIPAA secure tools for clinicians, she leads a team of analysts, scientists, and engineers working on product and client-facing analytics. Prior, she worked for Amazon as a software engineer, architecting large-scale distributed services supporting Prime Membership, with particular emphasis on performance and scalability. Dr. Anjum is a regular speaker at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference, Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference, STARS Celebrations, CRA-WP Grad Cohorts, to name a few. She has been recognized by Tribune as a Top 20 under 40 Professional for career excellence with a deep commitment to community service. Dr. Anjum can be contacted via the contact page bushraanjum.info/contact or via Twitter @DrBushraAnjum. Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bushraanjum/
Rebecca Parsons @Chief Technology Officer, Thoughtworks
Dr. Rebecca Parsons is Thoughtworks' CTO. She has more years of experience than she’d like to admit in technology and large-scale software development. She recently co-authored the book Building Evolutionary Architectures with colleagues Neal Ford and Pat Kua. Before ThoughtWorks, she worked as an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Central Florida after completing a Director's Post Doctoral Fellowship at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Her interests include parallel and distributed computation, programming languages, domain-specific languages, evolutionary architecture, genetic algorithms, and computational science. Rebecca received a BS in Computer Science and Economics from Bradley University and an MS and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rice University. https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-parsons-871491/
Janice Zdankus @Vice President, Technology Strategy and Innovation for Social Impact, Office of the CTO, HP
Janice Zdankus is vice president of technology strategy and innovation for social impact in Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Office of the CTO. In this role, Janice leads HPE’s Tech for Good program and drives client, market, and industry research and planning for innovation with the potential to drive real and positive change. By bringing together industry, technology, academia, and government partners to solve key societal challenges, with an initial focus on hunger/agriculture and healthcare, the global impact can be delivered and scaled. https://www.linkedin.com/in/janicezdankus/
Saima Mushtaq @Chief Technology Officer, Wyngs Logistics
Saima has 13+ years of leadership and project management experience in startups and large-scale international IT companies, specializing in Agile software development, team building, and UX Centric software design. Saima has been in a leading role in delivering highly scalable cloud-based web solutions as well as multi-platform mobile applications. She has also worked to develop retail solutions for several US and Canadian retailers like Intel, Yahoo, Amazon, Best Buy, Staples, and Costco. Saima is the author of numerous international publications on Information and Communication Technology and Data Mining. Saima holds Master’s and Bachelor's Degrees in Computer Science(CS), specializing in Artificial/Business Intelligence and Information and Communications Technology. https://www.linkedin.com/in/saima-mushtaq/
Rama Akkiraju @VP, Enterprise AI & Automation, NVIDIA; Ex-CTO, IBM Watson AI Operations
Rama Akkiraju is a VP of AI for IT at NVIDIA. Before this, Rama held various leadership roles at IBM in her two decades-plus career. Most recently, Rama was an IBM Fellow, Master Inventor, and an IBM Academy Member at IBM, where she was the CTO of IBM Watson AI Operations product, a product to optimize IT operations management with AI. Before this role, Rama led the AI mission of enabling natural, personalized, and compassionate conversations between computers and humans. She and her team developed and delivered several AI Services, such as Personality Insights, Tone Analyzer, Emotion Analysis, and Sentiment Analysis services to the IBM Watson platform. Rama also led the effort to scale IBM Watson’s AI services, including Automatic Speech Recognition, Natural Language Understanding, and Chatbot services to dozens of languages. Before this, Rama led various projects and Research teams at IBM Watson Research Center and IBM Almaden Research Center in the areas of agent-based decision supp