Click here to see the entire list of D.C.’s Top 50 Women in Technology 2015.
America has always been a nation driven by innovators. But the need to encourage more women into the fields known for spurring innovation — including technology, science, engineering and math — has become a pressing national priority.
That’s why FedScoop has once again sought to recognize 50 women whose vibrant energy, determination and imagination are making a monumental difference in the federal government IT community, and whose impact is being felt across America.
We call it D.C.’s Top 50 Women in Technology. But in reality, we believe these women are the leaders of our time who will inspire a new generation of women about the possibilities of embracing technology, just as
Rear Adm. Grace Hopper did a generation ago with her pioneering work developing the precursor to COBOL and later standardizing communication between different computer languages.
This year’s list reflects an impressive range of talent and accomplishments, with diverse backgrounds representing government, Congress, the commercial sector, defense and academia.
Women like Arati Prabhakar, who leads some of the most forward-leaning technology developments in the world for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; Megan Smith, who headed Google’s business development before becoming chief technology officer of the United States; Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, whose has become a champion for harnessing data for U.S. innovation; Margie Graves, who as deputy chief information officer at the Department of Homeland Security has been a voice of continuity for agile development, mobile and cloud technologies; and Lynda Pierce, the second-highest-ranking IT leader in the Navy.
But the list also includes many others whose behind-the-scenes presence is equally noteworthy for the billion-dollar IT budgets they oversee, the influence they wield over data and cybersecurity standards, and the impressive ranks to which they’ve climbed in the public and private sectors in and around Washington.
What they all have in common is their passion for putting technology to work — and for leading and mentoring others — in an effort to make government and public service more innovative.
As we did last year, when we launched
D.C.’s Top Women in Technology for 2014, FedScoop’s editorial staff sought recommendations from across the federal government and the IT community to develop and ultimately narrow down this year’s list of 50 women. We then interviewed each one about what drew them into public service, what they’ve learned about leadership and what inspires them in their current roles.
We know by limiting our list to 50, we had to leave out many other deserving women. Our hope in highlighting these 50 remarkable women, however, is to shine a bright light on the incredible trails these women are blazing in and around Washington’s technology community — and hold them up as examples for the next generation of women to follow.
The following FedScoop staff editors contributed to this report: Wyatt Kash, Corinne Lestch, Billy Mitchell, Greg Otto, Dan Verton, Jake Williams, Whitney Blair Wyckoff with additional help from Ryan Verhey and Emma Whitehead.
(Megan Smith photo by David Sifry via Flickr.)