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Dr. Elina Berglund Scherwitzl is the CEO and co-founder of Natural Cycles - the world’s first app to be cleared as a medical device for birth control. She was part of the team that discovered the Higgs particle at the CERN, which led to the Nobel Prize in physics in 2013. Following this success, Elina was looking for an effective natural contraceptive and applied her skills from particle physics to create an algorithm that could accurately pinpoint when a woman is fertile based on temperature data. Elina’s mission is to pioneer women’s health with research and passion - by empowering every woman with the knowledge she needs to be in charge of her health.


Elina Berglund

Question & Answer

Ritcha Ranjan


Ritcha Ranjan is a strong technology and product leader, with over 18 years of experience growing products at scale and building revenue streams. Currently, she is the VP of Product and Analytics at Microsoft, building a new mental health and wellness experience. Previously, Dr. Ranjan has held various leadership roles at Google, including the Director of Product Management for Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, and Sites. She has also led teams in Ads and Fintech at Google. Prior to Google, Dr. Ranjan was a co-founder of an educational not-for-profit company, Five Pumpkins, and worked in Product Marketing at Yahoo! She holds several patents and has won a Google Founder's Award for her product work. Dr. Ranjan has served on the Product Management Hiring Committee and Product Management Promotion Committees at Google. She is also on the board of BrightCove, a video streaming platform company, and TalentNomics, a non-profit focused on helping build the next generation of women leaders.

Kathryn Guarini

Kathryn Guarini is IBM’s Chief Information Officer. She leads a global team of more than 12,000 employees whose mission is to create a productive environment for IBM’s 350,000 employees worldwide and to deliver the future of IT. The CIO organization operates in a centralized shared services model as IBM’s single IT department, enabling IBM’s transformation to a hybrid cloud and enterprise AI company. Prior to being named Chief Information Officer, Kathryn was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of IBM Research and Vice President for Impact Science. As COO, she led the IBM Research transformation to increase impact, extend technical eminence, and improve the operational efficiency of the division. This included responsibility for IBM’s annual Global Technology Outlook. In Impact Science, her team applied deep technical expertise to the most pressing global challenges facing society while advancing the underlying science. Specifically, Kathryn drove the global Research agenda around the Future of Climate, Health, and Work; Tech for Racial and Social Justice; and the Governance of Science and Technology. Kathryn’s innovative technical research has been recognized with various industry awards. She holds more than 65 U.S. patents, and she is a prolific writer with over 60 technical publications.

She is the author of the blog about leadership, science, and innovation. Kathryn earned a Ph.D. from Stanford University and a B.S. degree from Yale University, both in applied physics. She is active in mentoring, inspiring, and recruiting scientists and engineers of all ages and advocating for greater diversity in the industry. 


Kiera Peltz

Kiera Peltz is on a mission to prepare the next generation for the future of work. She began learning how to code while working at the White House on the Innovation and Technology team and has been passionate about equitable computer science education ever since. With a background in policy, workforce development, and research, Ms. Peltz believes computer science education is critical for everyone, not just those planning on entering STEM fields, and is committed to ensuring every individual has access to high quality, accessible technical training. She is the Founder and CEO of The Coding School, a 501(c)(3) international nonprofit pioneering emerging tech education in fields, such as quantum computing, to ensure the next generation is prepared with the technical skills necessary for the future of work. To date, they have trained over 40,000 students from 125 countries. She is the lead PI on a 3-year grant from the U.S. Department of Defense NDEP and is on the advisory board for the NSF-funded QuSTEAM. She graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and holds two master degrees from the University of Cambridge, where she graduated with Distinction, and Tsinghua University. She is a Gates-Cambridge and Schwarzman Scholar.


Irene Dankwa-Mullan

Dr. Irene Dankwa-Mullan is a nationally recognized industry physician and scientist, health equity thought leader, scholar, and author. She is Chief Health Equity Officer and Deputy Chief Health Officer at IBM Watson Health, Cloud and Cognitive Software, IBM Corporation. She is also a member of the IBM Industry Academy. Dr. Dankwa-Mullan spent more than a decade delivering and managing front-line primary care, preventive services, and community-based research in cancer prevention and care as both a primary care physician and clinical leader. Dr. Dankwa-Mullan was formerly Deputy Director for extramural scientific programs at the National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities, NIH. She is the lead scientific editor of the first authoritative resource textbook ‘The Science of Health Disparities Research.’  She currently co-chairs the Patient-centered Primary Care Coalition project to translate primary care research and evidence into action for the community of primary care clinicians, researchers, payers, and policymakers. She also serves on the National Quality Forum’s measure applications partnership Health Equity Advisory Group to help provide input on measurement issues impacting health disparities and critical access hospitals. She has published widely on health disparities, evaluation of AI and machine learning technologies, including on the integration of health equity, ethical AI and social justice principles into the AI-ML development lifecycle. 

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