Plenary Panel

Thursday, December 9th


Rooms: Trinity 1 & 2

Challenges and Opportunities for Technical Women in India and the United States


Opportunities for Indian technical women are global. We will talk with leading technical executives in both the United States and in India about what it takes to be a technical executive. What are some of the challenges? How can you take advantage of opportunities?


Apala Chavan

Apala Chavan is a world-renowned expert on Contextual Innovation. She has been with Human Factors International since 1999 and is currently Vice President of HFI Asia. An award-winning designer (International Audi Design Award), Apala has led teams spanning design, development, testing, and deployment of software products. She is currently on the advisory board of Interactions magazine. Apala has developed a vast array of data-gathering techniques, which help understand the user experience in a variety of cultural and economic environments. Her book on emerging markets ” Innovative Solutions: What Designers Need to Know for Today’s Emerging Markets” has just been published.

Krista Claude

Krista Claude is a technology executive at Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for business and professionals. In her current role, she leads a department of approximately 1000 technology staff, responsible for all US software product development for the Thomson Reuters Core Legal Division. Krista is a member of the Women@Thomson Reuters Global Advisory Council, and is the co-chair of the Thomson Reuters Women & Leadership Special Interest Group. She received her undergraduate Computer Science degree from the University of Iowa, and has worked in a variety of roles in the technology industry for over 20 years. Krista lives with her husband and two high-school age children on a farm in Prescott, Wisconsin.

Nagamani Murthy

Nagamani Murthy joined Wipro in 1991 after a six-year prior stint in the IT industry, commencing her Wipro career as a Tech Lead in Wipro Systems and soon went on to merit higher responsibilities owing to an impressive track record with accounts like Nortel, Ericsson, Cisco, Avaya, etc spread over various locations. Currently, she is Vice President of the Mobile, Automotive and Consumer Electronics (MAC) business which is part of Product Engineering Services, the single largest 3rd party engineering services provider in the world. With over 2000 engineers developing cutting edge technologies, the MAC business accounts for $150 million in revenues annually. These business units focus on architecting and developing next generation electronics for clients across Americas, Europe, Asia and Japan.

Rebecca Parsons

Dr. Rebecca Parsons is ThoughtWorks’ Chief Technology Officer. She has more than 20 years’ application development experience, in industries ranging from telecommunications to emergent internet services. Rebecca has published in both language and artificial intelligence publications, served on numerous program committees, and reviews for several journals. She has extensive experience leading in the creation of large-scale distributed object applications and the integration of disparate systems.  Before coming to ThoughtWorks she worked as an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Central Florida where she taught courses in compilers, program optimization, distributed computation, programming languages, theory of computation, machine learning and computational biology. She also worked as Director’s Post Doctoral Fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory researching issues in parallel and distributed computation, genetic algorithms, computational biology and non-linear dynamical systems.

Justin Rattner

Justin Rattner is vice president and chief technology officer (CTO). He is also an Intel Senior Fellow and head of Intel Labs. In the latter role, he directs Intel’s global research efforts in microprocessors, systems, and communications including the company’s disruptive research activity. Rattner has received two Intel Achievement Awards for his work in high performance computing and advanced cluster communication architecture. He is a member of the executive committee of the Intel’s Research Council and serves as the Intel executive sponsor for Cornell University where he is a member of the External Advisory Board for the School of Engineering. Rattner is also a trustee of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology.

Radha Shelat

Dr. Radha Shelat, CEO Aviram Networks & Nevis Networks. Previously Radha was Vice President and founder of Librato Software in India. Librato is a technology startup, that built solutions for high performance compute market, as well as for clouds and large scale, physical data centers. Prior to Librato, she was Chief Technology Officer for Symantec India. During her 13 year tenure at VERITAS Software and later Symantec India, Radha played a key role in its growth from a team of four engineers to over 1,000. Radha holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, and has taught and consulted at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.