Women in IT Security: Academics and Voting


Shafi Goldwasser is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. Over the course of her career, she has made fundamental contributions to cryptography, computational complexity, computational number theory and probabilistic algorithms. In cybersecurity, Goldwasser's achievements include helping to invent a “hybrid” technique to show that independently encrypting individual bits causes the whole message to be secure. She was also among the first to give a rigorous definition of semantic security for a public-key encryption system, and to show that it was equivalent to a number of other intuitive formulations of security.She has twice won the Gödel Prize in theoretical computer science: in 1993 for "The knowledge complexity of interactive proof systems" and again in 2001 for "Interactive Proofs and the Hardness of Approximating Cliques."

Ruby Lee is a professor of electrical engineering at Princeton University. She is the director of the Princeton Architecture Laboratory for Multimedia and Security (PALMS) where she is researching how to design security and new media support into core computer architecture, embedded systems and global networked systems, and in architectures resistant to distributed denial of service attacks and internet-scale epidemics. Lee teaches courses in cybersecurity and is the associate editor-in-chief of IEEE Micro and editorial board member of IEEE Security and Privacy. Prior to Princeton, Lee served as chief architect at Hewlett-Packard where she was a key architect in the definition and evolution of the PA-RISC architecture used in HP servers and workstations, and also led the first CMOS PA-RISC single-chip microprocessor design.

Wenjing Lou is a professor of computer science and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Lou's research interests are in the area of wireless networks, with special emphases on wireless security and cross-layer network optimization. She serves on the editorial boards of IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Wireless Communications Letters, and the Journal of Computer Security and is a former editor for IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, Elsevier Computer Networks, and Springer Wireless Networks. Lou has received the VT College of Engineering Dean's Award for Faculty Fellow in 2014, the Distinguished Paper Award in ASIACCS in 2013 and the Best Paper Award in WASA in 2006.

Bhavani Thuraisingham is the executive director of the Cyber Security Research Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. She has nearly four decades of experience and is a strong advocate for women and minorities in cyber security and data science. Thuraisingham co-chaired the Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS) Conference in Dallas and helped establish the Center for Engaging Women in Cyber Security as part of UTDallas' Cyber Security Institute. Currently, she is co-chairing the Women in Data Science and Engineering Workshop as part of IEEE ICDE and also serves as a reviewer for ACSAC/CRA-W SWSIS program. Thuraisingham has received several prestigious awards including the 2010 ACM SIGSAC (Association for Computing Machinery, Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control) Outstanding Contributions, and the SDPS Transformative Achievement Gold Medal.


Caitriona Fitzgerald is the chief technology officer and policy director at EPIC. She is responsible for providing expertise to shape strong privacy and open government laws at both the state and federal level and her work as CTO focuses on improving her company's online presence. Fitzgerald recently co-authored The Secret Ballot at Risk: Recommendations for Protecting Democracy, a report highlighting the right to a secret ballot and how internet voting threatens voter privacy. She formerly served as chief of staff and general counsel in the office of Senator Barry R. Finegold in the Massachusetts State Senate and as legal counsel in the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. She is a member of the Massachusetts bar.

Susannah Goodman is the director of Voting Integrity. She works with national staff and Common Cause state offices to press for reforms that repair and strengthen voting systems at both the state and federal level. She has co-authored a number of books concerning the security of voting technology including: Malfunction and Malfeasance: A Report on the Electronic Voting Machine Debacle, Voting at Risk 2008, Is America Ready to Vote? State Preparations for Voting Machine Problems in 2008, Voting in 2010: Ten Swing States, and Counting Votes 2012: A State by State Guide to Election Preparedness. She also co-authored a report examining the security of our election systems in the age of the internet.

Leslie Reynolds is the executive director of the National Association of Secretaries of State where she oversees the day-to-day operations of the association and all aspects of its management, including key member initiatives on election reform, electronic government, state business services, and digital archiving. 

Pamela Smith serves as president of Verified Voting, a voting security organization that seeks to strengthen democracy by working to ensure Americans have confidence that their votes will be counted as we intended to cast them on Election Day. Smith provides information and public testimony on verified voting issues at federal and state levels throughout the U.S., including to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration. She oversees an extensive information resource on election equipment and the regulations governing its use at the federal level and across the 50 states. She also is co-editor of the Principles and Best Practices in Post Election Audits, co-author of Counting Votes 2012: A State By State Look at Election Preparedness, and the author of an introductory chapter on audits for Confirming Elections: Creating Confidence and Integrity through Election Auditing. 

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