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Announcing nominees for the 2021 Women in AI Awards


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As part of Transform 2021, we’re excited to announce the full list of nominees for the third annual Women in AI Awards. While only a handful will ultimately be chosen as winners in each of four categories, we consider all the women below to be the trailblazers and innovators steadily advancing the vital contribution of women in AI.

The Awards are part of VentureBeat’s continuing commitment to supporting diversity and inclusion in AI. This year that commitment includes featuring more women and people of color across the conference content, and in our editorial coverage.

The event kicked off with our Women in AI Breakfast, and is continuing with a number of other talks on inclusion and bias, including one with Margaret Mitchell, a leading AI researcher on responsible AI, as well as with executives from Pinterest, Redfin, Intel, Salesforce, and more.

The women nominated below have all made outstanding contributions in the AI field, from advancing the work in ethics and fairness in AI, to trailblazing research critical to AI innovation, to ensuring young women entering the field have the opportunity and mentorship necessary to thrive.

Finalists and winners will be announced on Friday, July 16th, following the AI Innovation Awards.

If you haven’t yet, register here to see the awards live and participate in the full Transform program.

Find the full list of nominees below, ordered alphabetically by first name.

AI Entrepreneur Award Nominations

This award honors women who have started companies showing great promise in AI. Consideration will be given to things such as business traction, the technology solution offered by the company, and impact in the AI space.

  • Amandine Flachs, CEO & Co-founder, WildMeta
  • Aparna Dhinakaran, Co-founder & CPO, Arize AI
  • Briana Brownell, Founder and CEO, Pure Strategy Inc
  • Caitlin MacGregor, CEO & Co-founder, Plum.io
  • Cindy Chin, Co-Founder/COO, CLIPr
  • Daniela Braga, Founder & CEO, DefinedCrowd
  • Daria Shapovalova, Founder, DRESSX
  • Dr. Rana el Kaliouby, Deputy CEO, Smart Eye, Formerly Co-Founder & CEO of Affectiva
  • Jackie Schafer, CEO, Clearbrief
  • Julia Markiewicz, COO and Co-Founder, Silent Eight
  • Karen Chan, Chief Engineering Office and Founder, Wysdom
  • Laura Hutton, Chief Customer Officer, Quantexa
  • Leànne Viviers, Co-founder & CEO, Mintor
  • Liza Nebel, President, COO and Co-Founder, BlueOcean
  • Marika Roque, COO, KERV Interactive
  • Nicole Eagan, Chief Strategy and AI Officer, Darktrace
  • Nurit Cohen Inger, VP of Products, BeyondMinds
  • Peggy Choi, Founder & CEO, Lynk
  • Veronica Yurchuk, CTO and Co-founder, Traces
  • Vesna Prchkovska, CEO, QMENTA
  • Yinglian Xie, CEO & Co-founder, DataVisor
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AI Mentorship Award Nominations

This award will honor leaders who have helped mentor other women in the field of AI, providing guidance and support and/or encouraging more women to enter the field of AI.

  • Dr. Taniya Mishra, Founder and CEO, SureStart
  • Duygu Cakmak, Project Technical Director, Creative Assembly
  • Hamutal Meridor, Venture Partner, Vintage Investment Partners
  • Katia Walsh, Chief Global Strategy and Artificial Intelligence Officer, Levi Strauss & Co.
  • Lan Guan, Senior Managing Director, Applied Intelligence, Accenture
  • Lindsay Hua, Vice President, Global Deployment, Afiniti
  • Margot Gerritsen, Professor, Energy Resources Engineering, Stanford University; Co-Founder and Co-Director, Women in Data Science Worldwide Initiative
  • Melanie Stütz, CEO, IDEASCANNER
  • Noelle Silver, Specialist in AI/ML, Red Hat
  • Ryan Conway, SVP, Head of Business Development, Oxygen
  • Suju Rajan, Senior Director of Enterprise AI, LinkedIn
  • Taniya Mishra, Founder and CEO, SureStart
  • Weili Dai, Co-Founder and Chairwoman, MeetKai

AI Research Award Nominations

This award will honor those who have made a significant impact in an area of research in AI, helping accelerate progress either within their organization, as part of academic research, or impacting AI approaches in technology in general.

  • Anjali Dewan, Vice President of Risk Management: Consumer Marketing and Enterprise Personalization Decision Science, American Express
  • Dalal Buhmeida, Computer Network Administrator, Bahrain polytechnic
  • Deepti Kalra, SAVP, Insurance Analytics Lead, EXL Service
  • Dr. Nuria Oliver, Chief Scientific Advisor, Vodafone Institute, Data-Pop Alliance, ELLIS
  • Gabriella Barros, AI Researcher, Modl.ai
  • Heather Reed, Customer Data Scientist, ASAPP
  • Jie Li, Senior Research Scientist, Toyota Research Institute (TRI)
  • Rama Akkiraju, IBM Fellow, Master Inventor, CTO, AIOps, IBM
  • Ramya Ramakrishnan, Research Scientist, ASAPP
  • Vanessa Volz, AI Researcher, Modl.ai
  • Violeta Jimenez, Digital Strategy Senior Manager, Applied Intelligence, Accenture
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Responsibility & Ethics Award Nominations

This award will honors those who demonstrate exemplary leadership and progress in the growing topic of responsible AI.

  • Aleksandra (Saška) Mojsilovic, IBM Fellow, Head of Foundations of Trustworthy AI, IBM Research, and Co-Director of IBM Science, Social Good, IBM
  • Aparna Dhinakaran, Chief Product Officer, Arize AI
  • Asha Saxena, Founder and CEO, Women Leaders in Data and AI (WLDA)
  • Corinne Powers, VP Data Science / Principal Scientist, Retina AI
  • Cynthia Holcomb, Founder, FemaleBrain AI
  • Dalal Buhmeida, Computer Network Administrator, Bahrain polytechnic
  • Daniela Krispin, VP R&D, Seebo
  • Haniyeh Mahmoudian, PhD, Global AI Ethicist, DataRobot
  • Hilary Richters, Director Lead Digital Ethics, Deloitte
  • Judith Bishop, Senior Director of AI Specialists, Appen
  • Lavina Ramkissoon, Ms. of R.ai
  • Ling Hong, Data Scientist, SymphonyRM
  • Lizzy Feliciano, Chief Marketing Officer, Jvion
  • Maria Axente, Responsible AI and AI for Social Good Lead, PwC UK
  • Melissa Swisher, Co-founder & Chief Revenue Officer, Socrates.ai
  • Merve Hickok, Founder, AIethicist.org & Lighthouse Career Consulting
  • Natalie Cartwright, Co-founder and COO, Finn AI
  • Navrina Singh, CEO and Founder, Credo AI and Executive Board Member, Mozilla
  • Noelle Silver, Founder, AI Leadership Institute, Red Hat
  • Nurit Cohen Inger, VP of Products, BeyondMinds
  • Rana El Kaliouby, CEO, Affectiva
  • Sudha Jamthe, Founder, Business School of AI
  • Susan An, CEO, SoKat Consulting, LLC
  • Wendy Gonzalez, CEO, Sama
  • Ya Xu, VP of Engineering, Head of Data Science, LinkedIn
  • Yinglian Xie, CEO & Co-founder, DataVisor

Rising Star Award Nominations

This award will honors those in the beginning stages of their AI career who have demonstrated exemplary leadership traits.

  • Amy Sharif, Head of Data Science Operations, Peak
  • Arezou Soltani Panah, Research Fellow of Deakin University, Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute
  • Berit Hoffmann, Chief Product Officer, Sisu Data
  • Catherine Bozhenko, Product Manager, DataRobot
  • Christine Custis, Head of ABOUT ML and Fairness, Transparency, and Accountability, Partnership on AI
  • Crissi Cupak, VP of Product, Skai
  • Dalal Buhamida, Computer Network Administrator, Bahrain Polytechnic
  • Elham Saraee, Director of AI Research, Vizit
  • Elizabeth Irvine, VP of Marketing, MarketMuse
  • Iva Vrtaric, Co-Founder, SignalismAI
  • Ji-Sun Lee (Sunny), Sr. Project Manager Clinc Inc.
  • Joana Cerejo, Experience Design Lead, Emergn
  • Karen Beraldo, Director of communications and Partnerships, MKAI
  • Kavita Ganesan, Founder, Opinosis Analytics
  • Kerry Chang, Senior Research Scientist, Instabase
  • Krinza Momin, Jr. Data Scientis, Afiniti
  • Ling Hong, Data Scientist, SymphonyRM
  • Marie Duran, Data Solutions Architect, Alkymi
  • Mary Reagan, Data Scientist, Fiddler AI
  • Megan Brown, Director of Cognitive Technology, Verint
  • Melisa Tokmak, GM, Document AI, Scale AI
  • Nitu Nivedita, Technical Architecture Senior Manager, Applied Intelligence, Accenture
  • Rikhiya Ghosh, Senior Data Scientist, Alkymi
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