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Building Tomorrow Now

Women in Science and Engineering Symposium


2023 Speakers

Gina Ortiz Jones

Gina Ortiz Jones

Under Secretary of the Air Force, Department of the Air Force

Ms. Gina Ortiz Jones is the Under Secretary of the Air Force. She is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, comprised of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force, to include organizing, training, and equipping Air and Space Forces and for the welfare of approximately 700,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen and Guardians and their families serving around the world. As the Under Secretary, she oversees the Department’s annual budget of more than $173 billion and directs strategy and policy development, risk management, weapons acquisition...

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Major General (ret) Linda Urrutia-Varhall

Major General (ret) Linda Urrutia-Varhall

General Urrutia-Varhall was commissioned in 1984 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. Following her initial assignments at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, she was selected to participate in the Professional Military Graduate Intelligence Program in Washington, D.C. After completion, she was the first Air Force representative to the National Military Intelligence Center. Her service at the Pentagon included executive support duty to three Secretaries of Defense and as an international politico-military affairs officer on the Somalia Task Force. The general has held command and...

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Colonel James Finlayson

Colonel James Finlayson

Commander, Air Force Technical Applications Center

Colonel James “Cobra” Finlayson is the Commander, Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick Space Force Base, Fla. AFTAC operates and maintains the United States Atomic Energy Detection System to monitor foreign compliance with various treaties limiting nuclear testing. The focus of AFTAC’s more than 1,000 professionals is to detect special events in the atmosphere, underwater, underground, and in space to determine if they are nuclear and to report them to U.S. senior decision makers. Colonel Finlayson received his commission in 1997 from the United States Air...

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Lieutenant General Nina M. Armagno

Lieutenant General Nina M. Armagno

Director of Staff, Headquarters, U.S. Space Force

Lt. Gen. Nina M. Armagno is the Director of Staff, Headquarters, U.S. Space Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia.  In this role, she synchronizes policy, plans, positions, procedures, and cross functional issues for the U.S. Space Force headquarters staff.    Lt. Gen. Armagno earned her commission and graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in June 1988. She is a career space operator with over 34 years of operational experience. She is the first Lieutenant General commissioned in the United States Space Force, she is the only person to have commanded both launch wings...

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Marianne P. Malizia

Marianne P. Malizia

Director, Diversity and Inclusion, for the Department of the U.S. Air Force

Marianne P. Malizia, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Director, Diversity and Inclusion, for the Department of the U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. In this role, Ms. Malizia advises the Secretary of the Air Force on the Department of the Air Force’s diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility programs, policies and initiatives impacting approximately 697,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen and Guardians worldwide. She is responsible for advancing the Department of the Air Force’s diversity and inclusion mission to attract...

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Lieutenant General Mary F. O'Brien

Lieutenant General Mary F. O'Brien

Director of Command, Control, Communications and Computer (C4)/Cyber, and Chief Information Officer, J6, Joint Staff

Lt. Gen. Mary F. O’Brien is the Director of Command, Control, Communications and Computer (C4)/Cyber, and Chief Information Officer, J6, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. She develops C4 capabilities, conducts analysis and assessments, provides Joint and Combined Force C4 guidance, and evaluates C4 requirements, plans, programs and strategies for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Lt. Gen. O'Brien received her commission upon graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. She has served in a variety of command and staff...

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Melanie Stricklan

Melanie Stricklan

Founder / Chief Executive Officer, Slingshot Aerospace

In 2017, Melanie Stricklan combined her military experience and indomitable spirit to co-found Slingshot Aerospace, a company that is empowering organizations with its decision intelligence technologies for space. Today, she is the company’s Chief Executive Officer where she leads the strategic vision, product development, and growth strategy. Having proudly served in the United States Air Force for 21 years, Melanie possesses a unique blend of leadership and technical expertise that enables her to create and execute winning business and product strategies. During her Air Force...

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Tessa Muehllehner

Deputy Director, Science and Technology

Ms. Tessa Muehllehner became the Deputy Director for Science and Technology in August 2021. In this role, Ms. Muehllehner serves as principal advisor to the Director for Science and Technology on activities associated with document/media exploitation, foreign materiel acquisition and exploitation, open source intelligence capabilities, functional management of measurement and signatures intelligence capabilities, and development and execution of tailored technical intelligence collection and exploitation operations. Prior to this assignment, Ms. Muehllehner served as the Chief of...

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Sabrina P. Morton

Sabrina P. Morton

Senior Engineering Manager, L3Harris Technologies, Inc.

Sabrina is a decisive, action-oriented, results focused Senior Engineering Manager. She brings with her sixteen years of government contractor and leadership experience serving both foreign and domestic customers through development and sustainment systems. Experience includes leading both: software/systems and requirements development, procurement activities, planning and monitoring cost, schedule, and risk management. Driven by new challenges and desire to be successful in all endeavors. Sabrina has strong interpersonal skills by building confidence from colleagues that work around her...

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Dr. Theresa E. Watson

Dr. Theresa E. Watson

Deputy Chief Scientist, Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC)

Dr. Theresa E. Watson serves as the Deputy Chief Scientist of the Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick Space Force Base, Fla. The focus of AFTAC's more than 1,000 professionals is to detect special events in the atmosphere, underwater, underground, and in space to determine if they are nuclear and to report them to U.S. senior decision makers.  As the Deputy Chief Scientist, Dr. Watson is charged with advising the AFTAC Chief Scientist, Commander, and Senior Executive Staff on scientific and strategic issues related to the center's mission, technology development, vision...

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