This premier flagship WIA-WIIG event is back! This is a focused panel discussion with Q&A and networking opportunities for participants. We will explore an important and very relevant topic, “Women’s Disruptive Cyber Technologies & Innovation Panel” with subtopics to include Zero Trust, Quantum Computing and Critical Network Infrastructure.
As an additional chapter membership benefit this year, the Women's Speaker Series is now a no-cost event.
- 4:30 - 5:00 Registration / Networking
- 5:00 - 5:45 Moderated Panel
- 5:45 - 6:00 Break
- 6:00 - 6:30 Moderated Panel/ Audience Q&A
- 6:30 - 7:00 Panel Closing/ Networking
Deputy Chief of Critical Networks and Systems
Cybersecurity Directorate, NSA
Ms. Rivera-Alvarez began her career at NSA in 2006, since joining the Agency she has held several leadership positions within the Installations and Logistics Directorate. When she started she became part of the Project Engineering and Execution Division within the as an Electrical Engineer and in 2008 became a Team Lead within that Branch. In 2010, she was selected to serve as the Chief of the Enterprise Planning Branch, and soon after was requested to serve as the Acting Deputy Chief for the Global Facilities Planning Division where she was responsible for the development of a comprehensive Facilities Master Plan and oversight for the Military Construction program in support of that strategic plan. In 2011, as a result of a realignment within the Installations and Facilities Services Organization, she was appointed as the Deputy Chief of the Operations and Maintenance Division, responsible for overseeing the critical support to the Agency's mission with a reliable infrastructure. She was then selected for a Joint Duty Assignment with U.S. Cyber Command from February 2013 to August 2014, where she served as the Acting Director for the J4 – Logistics Directorate. After returning to the Installations and Logistics Directorate Ms. Rivera-Alvarez served as the Division Chief for Engineering and Design, responsible for providing design and engineering services for all facilities infrastructure improvements, re-capitalization and new work projects worldwide. Then in August 2015 she was selected to serve as the Division Chief for Global Facilities Planning. During this time, she also served as the Chair for the Hispanic Latino Employee Resource Group, from April 2015 to April 2018. In August 2016, Ms. Rivera-Alvarez was selected to be the first Chief of Staff of the newly formed Vulnerability Solutions Office, under the Capabilities Directorate, managing the staff that supports the team that discovers, exploits, mitigates, and manages vulnerabilities in key technologies to help widen the capability gap between our nation and its adversaries. She served there until October 2018 when she moved to serve as the Chief of Staff for the Office of the General Counsel, the exclusive component responsible for providing legal services to all NSA elements. In July 2019, she was selected to serve as the Deputy Director of Diversity Equality and Inclusion (DEI) where she served as an advisor, advocate and change agent for NSA leaders in support of inclusion diversity, equity and accessibility. Prior to joining NSA, Ms. Rivera-Alvarez worked in the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority as an Electrical Engineer in the Transmission and Distribution Directorate.
Ms. Rivera-Alvarez has her Professional Engineering license from the state of MD. As well as being a DAWIA Certified Professional, Level II in Facilities Engineering. She received the Joint Civilian Commendation Award for her support during the standup of the Cyber Mission Forces to U.S. Cyber Command. Since August 2022, Ms. Rivera-Alvarez serves as Deputy Chief of Critical Networks and Systems within the Cybersecurity Directorate at the National Security Agency (NSA). Ms. Rivera-Alvarez holds a Bachelor in Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, a Masters in Engineering Management and a Masters in Business Administration from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico.
Dr. Elizabeth Iwasawa
Quantum Technology Lead
Leidos Innovation Center (LInC)
Dr. Elizabeth Iwasawa is the Quantum Technology Lead of the Leidos Innovation Center (LInC), the ground-breaking research and development heart of Leidos (formerly SAIC). She is currently shaping Leidos’ quantum strategy and research portfolio, focusing on key development areas in quantum communications, sensing, simulations, and computing, all in close collaboration with Leidos’ distinguished cybersecurity and intelligence portfolios. Her other focus is fostering Leidos’ quantum workforce by investing internally across a wide variety of technical backgrounds to develop a unique multi-disciplinary and industry-applicable approach to quantum research. She received her Ph.D. in particle astrophysics and has previous experience in autonomous systems.
Vonda M. Patterson
Principal Cyber Defense Solutions Architect
Vonda M. Patterson has more than 25 years of experience in Cyber Defense, Software Engineering, Data Management, and Project Management contracting with the Federal Government and the US Department of Defense. Ms. Patterson is a cyber defense solutions architect and specializes in the areas of identity, credential, and access management (ICAM) and zero trust. She joined PCI, a BigBear.ai company, in 2015 as a Software Engineer serving in various roles supporting the adoption of information security and as a technical lead of an enterprise-wide attribute-based access control (ABAC) system with operational capabilities across multiple virtual service center and customers. Prior to joining PCI, Ms. Patterson was a technical advisor to various government executives, established a new business analyst capability at a government agency, and led software engineering teams for various systems, applications, and tools. Ms. Patterson held positions of increasing technical responsibility at The MITRE Corporation, Lockheed Martin, and Booz Allen Hamilton. Ms. Patterson holds a BS in Computer Science from Norfolk State University and a MS in Computer Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Ms. Patterson is a member of the Project Management Institute and is a certified Project Management Professional. Ms. Patterson enjoys volunteering with initiatives supporting STEM education and the advancement of women in technology. She is a current member of the Norfolk State University Computer Science Alumni Advisory Board and a lifetime member of the Norfolk State University Alumni Association. Ms. Patterson was a member of the National Technology Committee of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for the 2018 and 2020 biennium.
Our panel will be introduced and moderated by Jennifer Kauffman, Peraton, and Jennifer Stacey, Peraton.
Thank you to our host:
7021 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia, MD 21046
Many thanks to our sponsor: