Promote women leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship (STEE), bridge the gap between Science and Business, and provide a forum to learn, connect and lead.
WiSTEE Connect aims to provide concrete support to help women to gain regional connections and global impact in STEE fields.
Compared to the existing similar organizations, WiSTEE Connect is aiming to fill two gaps:

Upcoming Second Women Of Light Symposium at the Frontier in Optics conference on September 17th 2017 !

WiSTEE Connect (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Entrepreneurship) is collaborating with the OSA Foundation to organize the 2nd international symposium “Global Women of Light” (GWL) at the 2017 Frontiers in Optics on 17 September 2017 in Washington DC, US. The program will be hosted at the Headquarters of OSA, The Optical Society from 9:00-14:30. A full description of the program and biographies of the panelists is available by clicking here.

To register for this event please sign up by clicking here. Note that registration for the OSA conference is not required to attend this symposium; registration for the symposium is free. A limited number of travel grants is available. Please fill out this form and send it to

The goal of the 2nd GWL Symposium is to continue building a strong network among women across academia, industry and government, and to cooperatively establish strategies to advance women’s leadership across career ranks. Panel discussion and round-table open discussions on “Collectively Advancing Women Leadership” will be hosted at this event. We are inviting internationally renowned women leaders from both STEM and entrepreneurial backgrounds to provide their strategies and best practices on advancing women leaders in these fields. A networking session will be held at the end of the event. A community of women across career ranks and disciplines in STEM and Entrepreneurship will continue to be built, from which career growth, mobility, mentorship, and leadership can be collectively developed.

The program is as follows:

  08:00 – 09:00  

Check-In, Breakfast and Networking, Optional Headshots

  09:00 – 09:30  

Welcome Remarks by Jie Qiao, Chair of WiSTEE Connect and Chad Stark, Executive Director of the OSA Foundation

  09:30 – 11:00  

Panel Discussion (Aleksandra Boskovic, Dominique Dagenais, Frederica Darema, Susan O’Keefe, Ursula Keller, Christine Whitman): Collectively Advancing Women Leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering and Entrepreneurship

  11:00 – 11:20  

Group Photo

  11:20 – 12:20  

Keynote speech (Elizabeth Rogan): Advance Women in Optics, and lunch

  12:20 – 13:30  

Round-table discussion: Strategies and Recommendations for Advancing Women Leadership, Collectively and in Each Sector

  13:30 – 14:00  

Closing Remarks

  14:00 – 14:30  

Networking event

The panelists and speakers include:


Aleksandra Boskovic

Research Director for Optics, Surfaces and Integration Technologies Director at Corning Incorporated

Dominique Dagenais

Program Director at the National Science Foundation, in the Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems Division of the Engineering Directorate

Frederica Darema

Director of Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)


Ursula Keller

Professor of physics and founding president of the ETH Women Professors Forum at ETH Zurich

Susan O’Keefe

Executive Vice-President of Operations at Edmund Optics


Elizabeth Rogan

Chief Executive Officer of OSA, The Optical Society


Jie Qiao

Associate Professor of Optics at the Carlson Center for Imaging Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Founder and Chair WiSTEE Connect


Gisele Bennett

Associate Vice President for Research, Faculty Integration, Glenn Robinson Chair in Electro-Optics, and professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology


Anoopoma Bhowmik

Imaging Business Unit Project Manager and the Engineering Leadership Program (ELP) Supervisor at Edmund Optics


Andrea Armani

Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Southern California, and Director of the Northrop Grumman-Institute of Optical Nanomaterials and Nanophotonics

Jessie DeAro

Lead program director for the ADVANCE program at NSF

Ursula Gibson

Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology


Meredith Hutchinson

Research scientist in the Optical Sciences Division at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)

Tracy Kuntz

President of Towneley Capital Management, Inc.

Carmiña Londoño

Program Director for the NSF Engineering Research Centers Program


Jannick Rolland

Professor of Optical Engineering at the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester and the Director of the NSF Center for Freeform Optics (CeFO)

Stefanie Tompkins

Acting Deputy Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

Abbie Watnik

Research Physicist and Section Head in the Optical Sciences Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

Deborah Rib

Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Rochester Medical Center Women's Health Practice

Susana Marcos

Professor at the Institute of Optics at CSIC, Spain, co-founder of Plenoptika Inc. and 2EyesVision Inc.