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On Thursday, February 9, 2023, BEYA Leading Voices hosted a celebration to honor STEM Innovators who delivered insightful TechTalks that challenged traditional thinking. The event lasted for 90 minutes and featured six expert speakers.

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Dr. Tammye Michelle Turner, director of global service technical operations for immunoassay and clinical chemistry at Abbott, was the first speaker at the 30.08-minute mark. Dr. James L. Moore, assistant director at the National Science Foundation, followed her at 36:06.

Dr. Shery Welsh, director of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, spoke at the 50.00-minute mark. Craig Gravitz, project lead at the Accelerator Transition Innovation Office ARPHA-H, presented at 1:02:04.

Latrease Gibson, COO of the American Chemical Society, spoke at 1:13:47. Lastly, Dr. Lawrence Potter, provost and chief academic officer at the University of the District of Columbia, presented at 1:25:20.

Dr. James L. Moore III is responsible for overseeing a budget of $1 billion and nearly 200 employees at the National Science Foundation. He focuses on supporting STEM projects in education.

Dr. Shery Welsh leads a team of 200 scientists, engineers, and administrators and ensures discoveries are transitioned to other components of the Air Force Research Laboratory, defense industries, and other defense department components.

Craig Gravitz is a licensed lawyer who leads a team at ARPA-H that uses rapid prototyping knowledge for commercializing and transitioning products.

LaTrease E. Garrison provides strategic direction for ACS Membership, Education, and Scientific Advancement. She is also a co-principal investigator for the NSF INCLUDES Alliance.

Lawrence T. Potter, Jr., Ph.D., was appointed chief academic officer at the University of the District of Columbia in February 2019. He provides leadership for academic colleges and schools, graduate and professional education, continuing education, workforce development, research, sponsored programs, university libraries, and teaching and learning.

Victor McCrary, Ph.D., moderated a panel consisting of executives from various organizations such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Office of Naval Research, U.S. National Science Foundation, and The Boeing Company’s global services.

The panel included Stefanie Tompkins, Ph.D., who is currently the director of DARPA and a former military intelligence officer, Alexander (Sandy) Landsbeg, director for the mathematics, computer, and information sciences division at the Office of Naval Research, Karen Marrongelle, Ph.D., chief operating officer of the U.S. National Science Foundation, and Philip June, vice president of safety and quality at Boeing.

Dr. Tomkins, a trained geologist, and U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship recipient, previously studied the moon with remote instruments and later transitioned to studying Earth through jobs funded by the Department of Defense.

After working in the industry for a decade and seeing changes in corporate culture, she became interested in DARPA because of its bottoms-up organization that allowed everyone to chart their own future.

DARPA was founded in response to the Soviet Union’s launch of the first artificial Earth satellite in 1957, and its mission is to make pivotal early investments that change the trajectory of what’s possible and ensure that the United States never has a technical surprise again.

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