Athena Announces 2020 Board of Directors 

SAN DIEGO – January 7, 2020 Athena, California’s premier advocate for professional women in STEM, announces the appointment of three new board directors in addition to the slate of officers and directors for 2020. 

“These individuals bring a wealth of talent and expertise in their fields and will be tremendous assets as we execute on Athena’s mission to advance 1 million women in STEM by 2030,” said Liz Gasser, Athena’s Board Chair. 

Claire Weston, CEO of Reveal Biosciences, Sara Zaknoen, MD, Founder of Zed Strategic Consulting and Ruchika Rastogi, Director of Corporate Strategy and Planning at Illumina are the three newly elected directors, effective January 1, 2020. 

As the voice of women in STEM, it’s imperative that we continue to bring a diverse set of talents and perspectives onto our board,” said Holly Smithson, CEO, Athena. “These executives are accomplished physicians, entrepreneurs and corporate strategists that complement our distinguished board as we move into this new decade of action.” 

Athena’s 2020 Board of Directors includes:

Board Officers

Chair: Liz Gasser, Managing Partner | High Camp Ventures

Treasurer: Grace Chui-Miller, CFO | Correlation Ventures

Secretary: Holly Smithson, CEO | Athena

Athena’s At-Large Board of Directors

Dr. Kara Bortone, Senior Director, Sourcing & Portfolio Management | Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS

Jennifer Brown, Managing Director | EY

Rashmi Char, Vice President, Engineering | Qualcomm

Michele Comtois, Principal | Marsh & McLennan Agency

Jaye Connolly-LaBelle, Chairman & CEO | RippleNami Inc.

Shaye Exner, Senior Director | Biocom

Dr. Katherine Kantardjieff, Dean, College of Science & Mathematics | CSU San Marcos

Bridget Kimball, Vice President & Chief Architect, Consumer Group | Intuit

Ruchika Rastogi, Director of Corporate Strategy and Planning | Illumina

Dr. Catherine Schnabel, Chief Scientific Officer | Biotheranostics

Jean Stadwiser, Partner | KPMG

Revathi Subramanian, Managing Director & Global Data Science Executive | Accenture

Claire Weston, CEO | Reveal Biosciences

Charity Williams, Associate | Cooley

Lee Wills, Head of Talent Acquisition & Culture | Sony North America

Sara Zaknoen, Founder | Zed Strategic Consulting 

Athena is a women’s empowerment organization that fast tracks women in STEM through leadership development. In transforming female scientists and technologists into corporate leaders, the goal is to widen the bridge and empower 1 million women leading in STEM by 2030. Its 20+ year history of advancing women in one of the nation's leading STEM hubs marks Athena as the premier women's empowerment advocate. For more information visit and follow @athenasandiego.

Media Contact:                                                                              
Karin Fair
Director, Member Success
+1 (856) 325-7754
[email protected]