Adjunctul Şefului Misiunii Diplomatice, Ambasada S.U.A.
Sharon Umber became Acting Deputy Chief of Mission in January,
2021. Sharon arrived in Bucharest in June 2018 to serve as Consul
General. She joined the Foreign Service in 2001. Her previous
tours include as the Unit Chief for Africa and the Americas
in the Office of International Religious Freedom, as a Regional
Consular Officer (providing guidance and support to officers in
10 to 12 small consular sections predominantly in Latin America),
Consular Chief in Karachi, and as consular officer in Warsaw,
Managua and Minsk. She has also served as a desk officer in
Washington in the Visa Office and on the INR Watch.
Sharon grew up in Minnesota. She has a law degree from the
University of Minnesota Law School and an undergraduate degree
in Psychology from the Minnesota State University in Moorhead.
She speaks Romanian, Spanish, Russian, as well as more limited
Mandarin and Polish.
PhD student @ Caltech
Sorina is a 2nd year PhD student at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where
she studies aerospace robotics & control. Before starting her PhD studies, she was a
research engineer at Caltech and an affiliate of NASA - Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL),
where she developed an autonomous in-orbit assembly system for satellites and contributed to
other space autonomy projects developed at JPL.
She has a Master's degree in robotics from EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of
Technology, Lausanne) and a bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Electronics, UPB.
Robotics during the pandemic
Sky Edith Gross, PhD
Research and Public Policy
Sky Gross has an extensive academic background in research in the social sciences focusing on
medicine, ethics and technology. She held several high-level positions within the Israeli
and Victorian (Australia) governments - including as Director of the National Council for
the Advancement of Women in Science & Technology - where she promoted science-based policy
making and scientific diplomacy.
Sky graduated summa cum laude from The Hewbrew University, with a double major BA
in Business Administration and Sociology-Anthropology. However, that would only be the
beginning of her journey. At present, she has a PhD in Medical Sociology and Science & Tech
Studies, as well as 4 completed postdocs (Sociology, Medical\Genetic Ethics, End-of-Life,
Ageing studies, Health Systems Management).
Career and Life Changes – Opening up to new 'Stories' of your Life
Jess Wade, PhD
Research Fellow @ Imperial College London
Dr Jess Wade is an Imperial College Research Fellow working in the Department of Materials at
College London. Her research considers new materials for optoelectronic devices, with a
focus on chiral
For her PhD Jess concentrated on new materials for photovoltaics and the development
of advanced characterisation techniques to better understand their molecular packing.
Outside of the lab,
Jess is involved with several science communities and outreach initiatives. She is committed
diversity in science, both online and offline.
Bias on Wikipedia
Co-founder and CTO @ imagiLabs
Meet Beatrice, the Co-founder and CTO of imagiLabs, a startup empowering and equipping the
next generation of female technologists.
An advocate for diversity in tech, she has previously co-founded an organisation
for women in STEM and is now continuing her work by inspiring the younger generations
Engineer and entrepreneur, Beatrice believes technology education is the key to a better
Beatrice holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from New York
University Abu Dhabi, as well as a Master of Science in Machine Learning from KTH Royal
Institute of Technology.
Co-Executive Director @ Energy Action Partners
Although an aerospace engineer by training, Ayu has spent over ten years as an energy access
practitioner focused on collaborative energy planning within renewable energy mini-grids.
She is Co-founder and Co-Executive Director at Energy Action Partners, an international
energy access organization that has developed an innovative simulation-based mini-grid
planning tool, COMET.
CEO & Co-founder @ .lumen – Empowering the Blind
Cornel is a Romanian born Inventor, Speaker and Entrepreneur known for funding
– a startup designing glasses that empower the blind to live a better life.
Previously, Cornel operated as Head of Innovation in Continental, one of the largest
in the world.
For his work, he was nominated as one of the 10 standout members by Forbes USA in the first
Forbes 30 under 30 Europe, and is the first Romanian to ever receive JCI’s 10 outstanding
Young Persons of
the World award, an award previously won by personalities such as John F. Kennedy or Elvis
Dr. Silvia Cristina Stegaru
Co-founder @ Codette, Software Engineer @ Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab, Bitdefender
Dr. Silvia Cristina Stegaru, co-founder of Codette and Software Engineer in Bitdefender's
Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab, is a proud supporter of diversity and inclusion. With over
10 years of experience in leading programs aimed at reducing the gender gap - for all ages,
all levels of experience, all tech branches - her activity gained her recognition from the
US State Department and as one of the Forbes Romania "30 under 30".
She has activated as a researcher and teaching assistant for close to a decade within
Politehnica of Bucharest, Faculty of Automatic Control and Computers.
In October 2018 she successfully defended her PhD thesis,
"Modeling, monitoring and optimizing energy efficiency in buildings".
n 2018, Silvia joined the Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab team at Bitdefender,
in the anti-malware department. She has an active interest for indicators of compromise,
as well as topics from the realm of forensics and anti-forensics.
Software Developer @ Thales, Senior Volunteer @ Codette
Laura is a Software Developer at Thales Systems Romania
since 2016 where she works to develop simulators for railway
She is a PhD student at the Faculty of Automatic
Control and Computers, UPB, her thesis focusing on the use of
Machine Learning in the fight against climate change.
In addition, she is a mentor @ Digital Nation and volunteer
@ Codette and We Get Big.
Laura will tell us more about how the pandemic enhanced her productivity and the importance
of switching to the online perspective.
How to juggle
Co-founder @ Grey Light Software, Lead Data Scientist @ Cars2Click, Profesor, Mentor,
Francisc is a computer engineer and entrepreneur who has always been passionate about
education and training the new generations.
In 2018, he became a computer science substitute teacher at the high school he graduated
from and loves so much, Lazărul. The collaboration continues to this day.
Between work sessions, teaching hours and running his company, he always finds time to
volunteer and give back to the company he belongs to.
"The pandemic has changed a lot about how we relate to our classmates or work colleagues
and what we expect from these relationships. From students to teachers, from employees
to management and employers, from NGOs to corporations, our lives have definitely
changed. Adapting to the new way of organizing has been long and difficult for some and
has certainly saved lives, but it has also created many social and emotional problems
around the world, regardless of occupation or age."
Everything from home - the pandemic and its social dynamics
Zilla Mary Arach
Chief Product Officer @ EzyAgric, Software Engineer
Zilla is Chief Product Officer at EzyAgric, an ag-tech start-up which focuses on the
digitalisation of agricultural value chains.
An engineer by profession and an advocate for diversity in STEM, Zilla has extensive
experience in the field of information technology. She is passionate about Data Science and
how it can be used to generate solutions to real problems.
Zilla is eager for knowledge, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from
Busitema University. She has also completed postgraduate studies at the University of Texas
Vice President @ Codette, Software Engineer
Maria-Alexandra Mihalcea is the vice president of Codette and Software Engineer.
With over 5 years of experience in volunteering in departments such as partner relations,
human resources and design, Alexandra has a very high affinity for diversity and inclusion
and advocates for bringing soft skills components into the technical sphere.
Furthermore, she believes perseverance is the key to succeed in anything.
Co-founder & Managing partner @ QUALITANCE
Radu founded QUALITANCE in 2007, together with Ioan Iacob. Currently, Radu coordinates the
company's operations and is the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Furthermore, he is an
Associate Professor Doctor of the Faculty of Cybernetics, Statistics and Economic
Informatics (ASE Bucharest). He holds a master's degree in business informatics and a
doctorate in economic informatics.
The values of a company best demonstrate their strength in times of uncertainty. When
people take on and practice common principles, they team up in the face of any challenge and
support each other naturally. For QUALITANCE, 2020 was about autonomy, anti-fragility,
adaptation, speed of reaction and action in a common goal assumed.
The lessons we have learned the easy & the hard way we pass on, in a continuous learning
process, which we cultivate both in our own team and in the relationship with partners,
customers and users of our solutions.
How to support and increase the team's strength in times of uncertainty