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  1. Science and Technology Directorate
  2. News Room
  3. In their own Words: S&T’s Women in Science

In Their Own Words: S&T’s Women in Science

Release Date: February 12, 2024

Guest post from Julie Brewer, Deputy Under Secretary for Science and Technology. 

S&T’s women are leading the way in research and development, stakeholder engagement, communication, and technology innovation.

Julie Brewer
Julie Brewer

Yesterday marked the annual celebration of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day to encourage women and girls’ pursuit of STEM fields, recognize the strides that women have made in closing the gender gap, and here at the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), to highlight some fierce and accomplished government leaders. S&T’s Office of Innovation and Collaboration and Office of Enterprise Services—led by women. Our Office of Industry Partnerships, Office of University Programs, and International Cooperative Programs Office—all helmed by women. Our Tech Scouting and Transition, Administration and Support, and Finance and Budget divisions—you guessed it, all guided by women. I am honored to serve alongside each and every one of them.

According to the National Science Foundation, women comprised 35% of the STEM workforce in 2023. At S&T, they comprise 40.8% of our federal employees. I am glad to see that we stand above the national percentage, but there is still more work to do in fostering a new generation of female public servants.

Watch Melanie Cummings, who leads S&T’s Technology Centers, discuss S&T’s mission and applying innovation to solve pressing homeland security needs.

Watch Brannan Villee, who leads S&T’s Critical Infrastructure Security & Resilience Research program, talk about how S&T works to secure everything from our power grids to the NFL Draft.

S&T’s women are at the forefront of complex disciplines such as community and disaster resilience, infrastructure security, biochemistry, digital forensics, and much more. Their work supports the Department of Homeland Security’s operational components to achieve success in their missions. They come from a broad range of backgrounds and provide their unique perspectives on the Directorate’s work ensuring our nation’s homeland security officials and first responders have the resources and knowledge they need.

Listen to LaTasha Thompson, who leads the Office of SAFETY Act Implementation, share how we assess anti-terrorism technologies and work to keep stadiums (including this weekend’s big game venue) safe and secure.

Listen to Byung Hee Kim, who leads our Response and Defeat Operations Support program, talk about how S&T arms public safety bomb squads with tech and tools to neutralize explosive threats.

These women, and so many more across S&T, are paving the way for the women who will come after them, blazing trails and keeping our country (and all of us) safe. Increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the STEM field is something that I am passionate about, and not just on February 11. It fills me with pride to know that S&T is progressing in the right direction and bringing to the table more people who are passionate about applying science and technical expertise to our nation’s challenges. It takes all of us to help keep the homeland secure, and none of what we do would be possible without our rockstar women.

Stay tuned for more stories of S&T’s rockstars for Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day in March. They’ll be featured on our Technologically Speaking podcast and on social media @DHSSciTech.

Last Updated: 02/12/2024
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