9 Inspiring Women Data Scientists in DC

The DCFemTech Awards recognize powerful women programmers, designers, and data scientists based in the Washington, DC region. These amazing women are the data science award recipients for the year 2017.


Danielle Beaulieu, Data Scientist, Origent Data Sciences

Biostatistician turned Data Scientist. Enthusiastic about innovation in health tech and bringing teams of good people together to come up with great ideas. Working to develop data-driven tools to empower health decisions and impact health outcomes.

Advice for women in tech:  “Go for it! Surround yourself with people who inspire you, ask lots of questions, and never stop learning from your peers.“

Links: LinkedIn, Twitter

RebeccaBilbroRebecca Bilbro, Lead Data Scientist, Bytecubed/District Data Labs

Dr. Rebecca Bilbro is Lead Data Scientist at Bytecubed, where she builds data solutions for government and commercial clients using open source machine learning tools. Previously, she served as a data scientist at the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor.

Her PhD at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and subsequent research with District Data Labs led to the development of the Yellowbrick Project, which is a new Python library for visual machine learning diagnostics. She is also adjunct faculty at Georgetown University and coauthor of the forthcoming Applied Text Analytics with Python.

Advice for women in tech:  “Do it; join us!”

Links: LinkedIn, GithubTwitter

Nicole Donicole.donnellynnelly, Data Analyst, The Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Government of the District of Columbia

Nicole Donnelly is a data management IT specialist with the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, District of Columbia. She believes a city that consumes and understands its own data is acting in the true spirit of public service by improving the lives of its residents.

She has a professional certificate in data science from Georgetown, where she continued as TA and instructor, and has completed the Data Science Immersive program at General Assembly. She is a faculty member with DC data science collaborative District Data Labs. She has Bachelor’s degrees from Rutgers University in Computer Science and Art History.

Advice for women in tech:  “Most people in life aren’t going to cut you a break, so cutting yourself one is an important kindness.”

Links: LinkedIn, Twitter

LauraDrummerLaura Drummer, Director of Software & Engineering, Novetta

Advice for women in tech: “Don’t wait until you are “perfect” and have all of the required skills on paper. You often don’t know what skills your dream job will require until you’re actually there. Hard work and a good attitude will get you 80% there.”

Links: LinkedIn


kateKate Rabinowitz, Founder, DataLensDC

Kate Rabinowitz is the founder of DataLensDC, where she analyzes and visualizes data to tell stories about the District. She also works with clients to bring data to life through data science and visualization.

Kate serves as co-captain of Code for DC, a volunteer-based civic hacking group, and co-organizer of Tech Lady Hackathon, an event series promoting women in DC tech. She’s recipient of Technical.ly DC’s Technologist of the Year and DCFemTech’s Data Science awards.

Advice for women in tech:  “Find your community!”

Links: LinkedIn, WebsiteTwitter

jenniferJennifer Sleeman, Research Scientist, Deep Learning Analytics

Jennifer Sleeman is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science
at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a Research Scientist at Deep Learning Analytics.

Her research interests include deep learning, machine learning, natural language processing and knowledge base population.

Advice for women in tech:  “Go for it! Obtain a decent foundation in computer science and mathematics, develop a sense of curiosity, and work hard. Don’t forget to maintain a balanced life and have fun.”

Links: LinkedInGithub

anna_thorsonAnna Thorson, Senior Analyst, Marketing, National Geographic Partners

Anna is a senior marketing analyst at National Geographic Partners where she builds predictive models to better target customers. She has previously worked as a data scientist at the Democratic National Committee and as an analyst for a political consulting firm.

She graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in economics. In her spare time, Anna teaches Python classes with Hear Me Code.

Advice for women in tech:  “Never let anyone tell you that you don’t have the skill set to do what you want, and don’t be afraid to take jobs that you don’t feel you are qualified for. You can learn to do anything you want to – it doesn’t matter what you studied or what your supposed “strengths” are.”

Links: LinkedIn, Twitter

AngelaWongAngela Wong, Senior Product Analyst for Personalization, Big Data, and Data Science The Washington Post

Senior product analyst for personalization and data science at The Washington Post. DC Media Innovations Meetup co-founder and organizer. +UX, design, journalism.

Advice for women in tech:  “You are not lucky to be in tech — you are here because you worked hard to get here. Believe in yourself. You are valuable to everyone, not ‘flawed.’ Don’t ever let anyone question that. You’re too busy being a lady boss.”

Links: LinkedIn, Twitter

elenaElena Zheleva
, AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, National Science Foundation

Elena Zheleva is a computer scientist with a research background in machine learning, graph mining, social media, and online privacy, and industry experience as a data scientist. Currently, she is a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation where she helps advance national initiatives in the area of Big Data and Data Science.

After completing her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland College Park in 2011, Elena joined LivingSocial where she built and led its Data Science team, working on recommender systems and incentivized social sharing. More recently, she was a principal data scientist at Vox Media. In Fall 2017, Elena is joining the University of Illinois at Chicago as an assistant professor in Computer Science.

Advice for women in tech:  “There are infinite possibilities for meaningful work in tech, from building tools that can have a positive impact on your community to designing the next generation of A.I. solutions for social good. “

Links: LinkedInWebsite, Twitter


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