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CCBID Presents: Women in STEM

Guest Event

The Crystal City BID, in partnership with the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and Axios will host a panel discussion surrounding the issue of Women in STEM at U.Group in Crystal City, on Wednesday, March 20th, 2019. While progress has been made in the area of gender diversity in STEM jobs, there is still a long way to go toward parity. In greater Crystal City (also known as National Landing), more than half of the workforce has a STEM background and the panel will tackle this national issue on a local level.

According to the National Science Board, in 2018, boys and girls scored similarly on math and science in elementary, middle and high school, and women graduated with 50% of the bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering. So why is it that women remain vastly underrepresented in the STEM workforce?

The panel will be moderated by Erica Pandey, e-commerce reporter at Axios and includes: Lena Trudeau, CEO of U.Group; Dr. Carol O’Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center; Rachel Golden Kroner, Social Scientist – Environmental Governance and Impacts at, The Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science, Conservation International, and Hana Hasser, Enterprise Software Engineer at Capital One.


7:30am – 8:00am: Registration, Breakfast & Networking

8:15am – 9:30am: Panel Discussion followed by Q&A


Rachel Golden Kroner is a Social Scientist in the Moore Center for Science at Conservation International. She leads CI’s work on environmental governance and protected areas, conducting research to inform evidence-based policy. Rachel is interested in what works in conservation and why. She uses mixed methods including archival research, spatial analysis, and impact evaluation to study the abandonment of conservation governance and its impacts. She is also interested in effective science communication.

Rachel is an award-winning speaker, has published in leading peer-reviewed journals, and been quoted extensively in the media for her work. She is an active member of the Society for Conservation Biology, Graduate Women in Science, and the Association for American Geographers. Rachel is a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University and holds an M.S. in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology from the University of Maryland and a B.A. in Biology with a specialization in Ecology and Conservation Biology from Boston University.

Hana Hassen is an Enterprise Software Engineer at Capital One – where code review, rigorous testing, and other processes require diligence, care, and an aptitude for collaborating effectively with a large group of contributors.

Hana is an Alumni of Year Up NCR and now serves as a member of the Year Up Alumni Board. She is also a mentor and an influential figure to young adults at and outside of Year Up.

She is known for her love of photography but is also crazy about books, tiramisu, shopping, and spending quality time with her loved ones.

Carol O’Donnell is the Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), a unit of the Smithsonian Institution that is dedicated to transforming the learning and teaching of science throughout the nation and world. In this role, Carol is responsible for all operational activities and planning for the unit, including building awareness for K-12 science education reform among State and district leaders; conducting programs that support the professional growth of K-12 science teachers and school leaders; and, overseeing all research and curricular resource development, philanthropic development, and administration. In this capacity, Carol also serves as the US representative on the Global Council of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) Science Education Programme (SEP), the global network of the science academies.

Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Carol was a leader at the US Department of Education for nearly a decade, supporting States and districts as they built their capacity to implement and sustain education reforms and achieve continued improvement in student outcomes. A former K-12 teacher and curriculum developer, Dr. O’Donnell is still in the classroom today, serving on the part-time faculty of the Physics Department at The George Washington University.

Lena Trudeau is the CEO of U.Group (formerly Bytecubed and CHIEF).Throughout her career, Lena’s gained a reputation for thinking big and working tirelessly to build something better than what currently exists. From spearheading the creation of 18F, an in-house digital services team at the US General Services Administration (GSA), to bringing a similar model to the Candation Digital Service (CDS) in her role as CEO of Nuage Strategies, Lena was an early advocate for government modernization, digital adoption, and digital inclusion. Her deep understanding of complex policy and regulatory environments was also tapped in the private sector as she led the Amazon Web Services Public Sector (AWS PS) global expansion. In that role, Lena worked closely with numerous government and business leaders around the world. She then led AWS PS business in Canada through a time of tremendous growth.

Lena is a two-time recipient of the Federal 100 award and has been named one of FedScoop’s Top 50 Women. A vocal advocate of women in technology and diversity in the workforce, Lena brings her passion to a myriad of internal and community-based inclusion initiatives. Lena earned a BS in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Ottawa and completed her MBA at the University of Western Ontario.


Erica Pandey is an e-commerce reporter at Axios, covering the world’s major e-commerce and retail companies and their effects on cities and economies. She previously covered breaking news at Axios, and has experience reporting on politics and business trends. Prior to that she reported for the New Haven Independent, covering local politics. She graduated from Yale with a bachelor’s degree in English. Erica hails from Boston and has trekked to Everest and Annapurna base camps with her family.