Recruiting & Retaining Diverse Talent




Day 1, Session 2 - Recruiting & Retaining Diverse Talent



Roundtable Presenters

Jill Finlayson
Director of the EDGE in Technology Initiative
University of California at Berkeley

Jill Finlayson is the Director of the EDGE in Technology Initiative at the University of California, which is co-sponsored by CITRIS (The Center for IT Research in the Interest of Society across Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz and Merced UC campuses), and the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley. The program focuses on research and initiatives to expand diversity and gender equity in tech. She leads the annual Diversity in Tech Symposium, Athena Awards, Corporate Round Tables, Corporate Diversity & Inclusion Survey, co-teaches the OpportunityTech and the Future of Work Challenge Lab, is a member of the UC Systemwide working group on Inclusive Innovation and Equitable Entrepreneurship, runs the EDGE in Tech blog and @EDGEinTech on Twitter, as well as programs such as the Leaders in DEI Speaker Series and the Leading Trends in HR Certificate program with UC Berkeley Extension.

Prior to Berkeley, she led mentorship and startup programs for Singularity University, the Toys category at eBay, an online community for social entrepreneurs at the Skoll Foundation, marketing at startups, and a practitioner dialogue site at the World Bank called Striking Poverty. She speaks on inclusive, impact-oriented innovation, equitable workplaces, and effective leadership. She has mentored global TechWomen, startup founders, and student innovators (Big Ideas). Finlayson is a graduate of UC Berkeley. She, hers. Learn more at


Dr. Hasina Huq
Department Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Dr. Hasina F. Huq is a Full Professor and the Department Chair in the Electrical and Computer Engineering  at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). Dr. Huq received her B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Dr. Huq got her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her teaching and research interests include electronics, wide-bandgap semiconductor devices, biosensors, high temperature electronics and VLSI integrated circuits (IC) design. Her research work in these areas has been published widely in peer-reviewed journals as well as in conference proceedings (more than sixty research articles)


Dr. Pamela Leigh-Mack
IEC Board Member
Chair of the Department of Engineering
Virginia State University

Dr. Pamela Leigh-Mack is Professor and Chair of the Department of Engineering at Virginia State University (VSU).    She has served as Dean of the School of Engineering, Science, and Technology at VSU and Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Morgan State University.  Dr. Leigh-Mack received a BS degree in mathematics from Virginia Union University, BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering (EE) from Howard University, and a PhD in EE from the University of Delaware.  She also worked in industry for the General Electric Space Systems Division. 

Among her professional affiliations are ASEE, IEEE and SWE. She has been an ABET Program Evaluator for many years, reviewing programs nationally and internationally; currently serves on the Virginia STEM Education Commission, appointed by Governor Ralph Northam; and is a Board Member-at-Large of the Inclusive Engineering Consortium.  Dr. Leigh-Mack received the ASEE Electrical and Computer Engineering Division Distinguished Educator Award; NACME Alumni Award; U.S. Black Engineer Women of Color in Technology Education Award; and the Morgan State University Dr. Iva G. Jones Medallion Mantle, for exceptional achievement in teaching, scholarship, and leadership, to name some.  She has a strong interest in STEM education including retention; accreditation and assessment issues; pedagogical innovations; and diversity in engineering, particularly women.   


Brennon Marcano
Chief Executive Officer
The National GEM Consortium

Brennon Marcano is the Chief Executive Officer of The National GEM Consortium. He has over 20 years of experience in the private and nonprofit sectors. His leadership experience spans multiple industries, primarily financial services, technology, and media and entertainment. Prior to joining GEM, he was the Executive Director of the Council of Urban Professionals, (CUP) a non-profit whose vision is to seek parity at the highest levels of business and civic engagement. During his two-year stint at CUP, the organization grew its corporate partnerships by 50%, had its most financially successful gala, placed a record number of diverse individuals on boards, and had a promotion rate of over 40% within one year for program participants. Prior to CUP, Marcano was the Executive Director of Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS), an innovative non-profit. Under his leadership, over a nine-year period, the organization grew to an entity with a budget of over $10 million operating in nine states (19 cities) and internationally in France (under the name SociaLift). Brennon sits on the City University of New York’s School of Professional Studies Foundation Board, as well as the board of EyeBeam, a New York tech non-profit. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Brennon holds a Master’s degree in Technology Management from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Journalism from Baruch College.


Lisa Smith
Scholar Program Office Manager
Intel Corporation

Lisa joined Intel in 1997 working in Technology Manufacturing supporting equipment maintenance, quality control, fabrication and assembly test and supply chain management. In 2008, Lisa transitioned into Human Resources supporting Intel’s U.S. college recruitment initiative to attract the next generation of STEM talent into the company. In 2014, Lisa began a role in driving global ecosystem adoption of Intel architecture with researchers and scientists at universities, government laboratories and Supercomputing Centers. Ultimately, driving industry wide adoption of best practices, techniques, tools, etc. for maximizing software efficiency on Intel architecture across High Performance Computing, Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. Since 2019, Lisa has managed Intel’s Diversity Higher Education initiatives that include awarding 300+ scholarships annual to diverse college/university students; partnering with Minority Serving Institutes (Historical Black Colleges & Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutes, and Tribal Colleges) on research, curriculum development, and student progression strategies.

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from DeVry University, a Master’s in Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management. Lisa recently accepted the role as the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Diversity & Inclusion Council as a Co-Chair,focused on embedding diversity and inclusion principles throughout the ACM and the global community. 


IEC Corporate Members