Release Date: Feb 21, 2019

Crystal City BID Announces Women in STEM Panel

Media Contacts
Amanda Rubin Deveaux,, 212-843-8591
Justina Lombardo:, 212-843-8343


Discussion will highlight the progress made towards gender parity and the challenges remaining

Crystal City, Va. – February 19, 2019 – The Crystal City BID, in partnership with U.Group and Axios, will host a panel discussion surrounding the issue of Women in STEM on Wednesday, March 20 th , 2019. While progress has been made in the area of gender diversity in STEM jobs, there is still a long way to go toward parity. In greater Crystal City, more than half of the workforce has a background in STEM and the panel will tackle this national issue on a local level.

According to the National Science Board, in 2018, boys and girls scored similarly on math and science in elementary, middle and high school, and graduated with 50% of the bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering. So why is it that women remain vastly underrepresented in the STEM workforce?

To explore this question and how to address it, the panel will be moderated by Erica Pandey, e-commerce reporter at Axios and includes: Lena Trudeau, CEO of U.Group; Dr. Carol O’Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center; Rachel Golden Kroner, Social Scientist – Environmental Governance and Impacts at The Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science, Conservation International, and Hana Hassen, an Enterprise Software Engineer at Capital One.


Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2019


  • 7:30am - 8:00am: Registration, Breakfast & Networking
  • 8:15am - 9:30am: Panel Discussion followed by Q&A

Location: U.Group, 2231 Crystal Drive, #401

Tickets: Early bird tickets are $35 and available until March 1. Starting on March 2, tickets will be $50. To purchase, please visit:


Erica Pandey is an e-commerce reporter at Axios, covering the world's major e-commerce and retail companies and their effects on cities and economies. She previously covered breaking news at Axios, and has experience reporting on politics and business trends. Prior to that she reported for the New Haven Independent, covering local politics. She graduated from Yale with a bachelor’s degree in English. Erica hails from Boston and has trekked to Everest and Annapurna base camps with her family.


Rachel Golden Kroner is a Social Scientist in the Moore Center for Science at Conservation International. She leads CI’s work on environmental governance and protected areas, conducting research to inform evidence-based policy. Rachel is interested in what works in conservation and why. She uses mixed methods including archival research, spatial analysis, and impact evaluation to study the abandonment of conservation governance and its impacts. She is also interested in effective science communication.Rachel is an award-winning speaker, has published in leading peer-reviewed journals, and been quoted extensively in the media for her work. She is an active member of the Society for Conservation Biology, Graduate Women in Science, and the Association for American  Geographers. Rachel is a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University and holds an M.S. in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology from the University of Maryland and a B.A. in Biology with a specialization in Ecology and Conservation Biology from Boston University.


is an Enterprise Software Engineer at Capital One – where code review, rigorous testing, and other processes require diligence, care, and an aptitude for collaborating effectively with a large group of contributors.

Hana is an Alumni of Year Up NCR and now serves as a member of the Year Up Alumni Board. She is also a mentor and an influential figure to young adults at and outside of Year Up. She is known for her love of photography but is also crazy about books, tiramisu, shopping, and spending quality time with her loved ones.


Carol O’Donnell is the Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), a unit of the Smithsonian Institution that is dedicated to transforming the learning and teaching of science throughout the nation and world. In this role, Carol is responsible for all operational activities and planning for the unit, including building awareness for K-12 science education reform among State and district leaders; conducting programs that support the professional growth of K-12 science teachers and school leaders; and, overseeing all research and curricular resource development, philanthropic development, and administration. In this capacity, Carol also serves as the US representative on the Global Council of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) Science Education Programme (SEP), the global network of the science academies.

Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Carol was a leader at the US Department of Education for nearly a decade, supporting States and districts as they built their capacity to implement and sustain education reforms and achieve continued improvement in student outcomes. A former K-12 teacher and curriculum developer, Dr. O’Donnell is still in the classroom today, serving on the part-time faculty of the Physics Department at The George Washington University.


Throughout her career, Lena’s gained a reputation for thinking big and working tirelessly to build something better than what currently exists. From spearheading the creation of 18F, an in-house digital services team at the US General Services Administration (GSA), to bringing a similar model to the Candation Digital Service (CDS) in her role as CEO of Nuage Strategies, Lena was an early advocate for government modernization, digital adoption, and digital inclusion. Her deep understanding of complex policy and regulatory environments was also tapped in the private sector as she led the Amazon Web Services Public Sector (AWS PS) global expansion. In that role, Lena worked closely with numerous government and business leaders around the world.  She then led AWS PS business in Canada through a time of tremendous growth.

Lena is a two-time recipient of the Federal 100 award and has been named one of FedScoop’s Top 50 Women. A vocal advocate of women in technology and diversity in the workforce, Lena brings her passion to a myriad of internal and community-based inclusion initiatives.

Lena earned a BS in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Ottawa and completed her MBA at the University of Western Ontario.



About the Crystal City Business Improvement District

The Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID) is a public-private partnership established to promote the vibrant Crystal City business, retail, restaurant and residential community. As Virginia’s largest downtown, the Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard - Arlington area consists of 18.6 million square feet of office space in a mixed-use, walkable urban center that includes more than 32,000 residents, over 5,800 hotel rooms, and nearly 500 restaurants and shops. More than $342 million in public infrastructure investment and over $4 billion of private projects are in the pipeline over the next five years. The BID is supporting the exciting transformation of Crystal City through placemaking, public art, transportation, economic development, events, and marketing/promotion. For more information, visit