The United States Welcomes 2023 TechWomen Emerging Leaders to San Francisco and Chicago
On September 20, 2023 100 emerging women leaders in STEM from the Middle East, Africa, and South and Central Asia arrived in Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area for the first-ever U.S. program city expansion. Fulfilling the announcement telecast by U.S. Secretary of State Antony S. Blinken during last year’s TechWomen@10 anniversary event, TechWomen is now operating on the West Coast and in the heartland.
Crossing land and sea, 22 emerging leaders from Algeria, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tunisia and Uzbekistan have arrived in Chicago.
Meanwhile 78 emerging leaders from Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Zimbabwe continued on to the San Francisco Bay Area.
This year’s participants include climate warriors, educational tech innovators, health science pioneers, and other trailblazers who are impacting and inspiring women and girls in STEM in their communities. The current cohort was drawn from a highly selective pool of more than 3,000 applicants, more than half of whom have an advanced degree, and nearly half of whom have entrepreneurial experience.
This cohort also includes Houa Seghouani of Algeria and Khadija Bencekri of Morocco, two alumnae of TechGirls, the U.S. State Department’s youth-focused international STEM exchange program, which counts many TechWomen fellows among its ranks of mentor and coordinators.
The inspiring Emerging leaders of 2023 include:
- Zhamilia Baiborieva of Kyrgyzstan, a green technology urban designer and landscape architect headed to San Francisco. She is the co-founder of Sonun Urban Design firm, an urbanism coordinator at Social Innovations Lab Kyrgyzstan (SILK) and an urban design instructor at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA).
- Tadhim Uwizeye of Rwanda, founder and CEO of Olado, an e-commerce company providing a global platform for Rwandan product designers and vendors. She will complete her TechWomen program in Chicago.
- Houa Seghouani of Algeria, a Chicago-bound STEM teacher and TechGirls alumna who founded Net3alem, a groundbreaking educational technology project that creates Arabic digital content for learners and educators.
- Dilkasha Tarannum of Pakistan, a data scientist headed to San Francisco who develops artificial intelligence-powered solutions for contemporary challenges. Her award-wining project, the Forest Management Portal, focuses on simple and efficient tools that can be used to extract valuable data for forest conservation.
These trailblazing women will immerse themselves in the innovative STEM work and local cultures of Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area by engaging in peer-to-peer exchange with the U.S. STEM professionals who volunteer as mentors who steward them through their experiences as professional mentors, impact coaches, and cultural ambassadors.
The following day, the Chicago and San Francisco Bay Area Emerging Leaders came together at our welcome orientations, where they enjoyed their first moments together and launched their 5-week TechWomen journeys. Events were hosted with wonderful reception at UC Berkeley’s CITRIS and the Banatao Institute and the Chicago Community Trust at historic Sullivan Center.
“I believe that TechWomen will give me the chance to meet role models and women who will guide me to take the right path in my career and to inspire me with their mentorship, ideas, and different points of views. I will go back to my students and my country carrying the experience to inspire and encourage others and myself in understanding and achieving our goals,”
~Mariam Abouelamayem of Egypt, a geoscientist and instructor at Alexandria University.
TechWomen was established by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and has been managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) since its inception.