Marcia is an entrepreneur with 20 years of experience leading teams and developing innovative health care products applying genomics and machine learning. Marcia came to the U.S. many years ago with an international exchange scholarship to pursue her doctoral research in oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil she had the opportunity to work in leading Institutions in this country including Lawrence Berkeley National Labs as a postdoctoral fellow and GlaxoSmithKline as principal scientist. Most recently Marcia lead a biotechnology company, Bioarray Genetics, for about 10 years. "My experience as an immigrant with a Ph.D. in science combined with being an entrepreneur and executive in health care gives me a unique perspective on subjects around education and minorities in science".
Bob brings 30 years of service in global public policy, grassroots advocacy and civic engagement. An open minded collaborator with robust experience at all levels of corporate and organizational management. A global citizen who has visited more than 55 countries and lived in 5 of them experiencing first hand the hardships and the highlights of the human condition. Bob is an alumnus of Northeastern University, the United Nations International School, and the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. Having lived abroad in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Brazil, Bob has a fluency in Spanish and Portuguese. He currently lives in Washington, DC. "I've traveled the world with the most senior decision makers of our time. But, my head and feet remain on solid ground."
Koka Kliora has worn many hats since she joined Dimensions Sciences in 2021, including grant writer, team lead, gala chair, and Director of Operations. She joined the Board of Directors in 2022 and continues to oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization.
Koka has spent many years actively volunteering for various causes, including adult literacy, mentoring, animal rescue, and LGBTQ advocacy. She is a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion for all.
Koka is a Proposal Manager at Ready Computing and has also worked in the pharmacy benefit management and HR outsourcing industries. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Alexander Leigh Center for Autism.
Koka lives in Gurnee, Illinois with her husband, son, dog, and cats. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Lake Forest College.
Prof. Alves-Ferreira is a Full Professor, at the Department of Genetics, Institute of Biology, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Prof. Alves-Ferreira is member the Post-Graduation Course on Genetics at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and has been a member of the Federal Commission of the Biotechnology area at the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Level -or Education-Personnel (CAPES) since 2010. Prof. Alves-Ferreira has received the “Scientist of Our State” Award from the Rio de Janeiro State Foundation to Support Research (FAPERJ) for the last 12 years and is Scientist of National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq - 1D). He has published 64 scientific articles in international journals and has mentored dozens of students during their master and doctoral degrees. Prof. Alves-Ferreira is a testimony of the impact of international exchange scholarship on his own career. He was beneficiary of two scholarships during his doctoral and post-doctoral respectively, which helped him to establish key research collaborations relevant to date with 10 years plus collaborative work. He also had the experience of mentoring international students and knows inside out the process and potential impact of programs supporting higher education and inclusion of minorities in science.
Mariana Emerenciano graduated in Biomedicine at the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, holds a master's degree in Morphological Sciences from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and a Ph.D. in Oncology from the Brazilian National Cancer Institute (INCA). She is currently an Associate Researcher at the Department of Management and Incorporations of Health Technologies (DGITS/SCTIE). Mariana is also a permanent member at the Post Graduation Program in Oncology at INCA where she leads a research group that studies the causes and consequences of molecular alterations in cancer, focusing on hematological neoplasms. She has received the "Young Scientist of Our State" (FAPERJ) for the last 7 years and is a Scientist of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) since 2015. Her personal challenges as a Brazilian black woman in science as well as the belief that plurality increases science quality give her self-motivation to support diversity in science.
Rachel Fleck is a commercial banker and serves as Vice President for Truist Financial Corporation. Rachel has more than 15 years of banking experience. She started her journey at BB&T, now Truist, 10 years ago and has held several positions in the company.
With a diverse background consisting of credit analysis and business development, Rachel works with commercial clients with $5–75 million in annual revenues by assisting in strategic planning that supports growth, removes inefficiencies, and improves day-to-day processes. She prides herself in her ability to cultivate strong relationships with clients and centers of influence across various industries, including government contractors, professional services firms, nonprofit organizations, and commercial real estate companies.
Rachel earned a bachelor's degree in business administration with a minor in management from Saint Leo University. She is passionate about promoting and advocating for women in business through global networking, empowerment, and collaboration. When she isn't working, Rachel enjoys spending time with her family doing the simple things in life as well as skiing out west. She also enjoys learning about history, art, and architecture and never says no to a day trip to a museum or historical area
Dr. Zack Valdez has more than 15 years of experience executing STEM outreach to increase access, awareness, and opportunity for all. His efforts span domestic and international projects that amplify exposure of the breadth and depth of solutions from science and the nexus of science and policy. His academic experiences encompass STEM degrees through a Ph.D. to teaching science policy at American University.
Outside of science policy, Dr. Valdez has worked with multiple national nonprofits to promote community-first science, K-through-gray STEM programs, and career development for underrepresented groups. He has enjoyed his roles in the federal government to promote and build strategy in science policy, with previous work in the U.S. Senate.
Dr. Valdez works in the Office of Advanced Manufacturing at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where he promotes public-private partnerships in education and workforce development, strategies for diversity, equity and inclusion, and effective policy communication. He moved to Washington, D.C. in 2017 and worked in the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as a science policy advisor before shifting to community science, K-12 programming, and career services for national nonprofits to use his experience executing STEM outreach and research in academia and private industry. He is originally from Texas, where he received his Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. in STEM fields while providing access, awareness, and support for equitable opportunities in STEM through various outreach programs.
Anne Hughes is a highly successful executive with years of experience championing sales management and leadership initiatives for many notable businesses. She has more than 25 years as an accomplished leader with a proven track record in business development and client relations in multidisciplinary environments including health care, information technology, sales/business development, consulting, and change agent management. She has led teams in high-growth health care IT organizations, providing consultative services and building a reputation for collaborative-based selling. Her professional career has enabled her to hold positions with Deep Water Point, GDIT, Cognosante, Burgess, QuadraMed Corporation (now Harris Healthcare), PatientKeeper, McKesson, Cerner Corporation, and Inova Health Systems.
Anne has previous board experience at the Allied Forces Foundation (a nonprofit charity) and the Northern Virginia Kappa Alpha Theta Alumnae Chapter. She served as chairperson for Race for Hope DC, a nonprofit focusing on brain tumor awareness, and she currently volunteers with the Virginia Department of Health’s Medical Reserve Corps. She has a Master of Business Administration from Marymount University and a Bachelor of Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. She is also a certified medical technologist. She is married and has one daughter who is pursuing a degree at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. In her spare time, she is an avid runner.
Justin (Jay) Evans has wide-ranging expertise in science, business, and law. He is a senior contract coordinator at AbbVie, a pharmaceutical research and development organization that combines advanced science with expertise to make strides in drug and treatment discovery. Prior to AbbVie, he was an intellectual property litigation associate in New York and a Fellow at the National Institutes of Health where he split his time between the Tech Transfer Office, where he worked on patent infringements and patent licensing, and the Pediatric Oncology Branch, where he worked on validating therapeutics in a Rhabdomyosarcoma preclinical model.
Jay graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Fayetteville State University. He went on to get his master's degree in cancer biology from Vanderbilt University and Juris Doctorate from Michigan State University. He is currently working on his M.B.A. at the Kelley School of Business.
Jay is on an Associate Board of Ambassadors for the American Cancer Society, a nationwide voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer, and a general member of the associate board for The Bridge Youth & Family Services.