The Leadership Network is a sub-group of AWIS-SD for members in senior leadership roles in academia or industry. Activities focus on the specific needs of this peer group and will consist of presentations by guest speakers, roundtable discussions, and/or informal discussions. Topics for discussion may include: What steps does one take to advance to the most senior levels; Influencing without authority; Developing strategic plans. These events will be planned by Leadership Network members on a rotating basis.

Participation is by application only. We always welcome new members to continue to expand out network and share leadership experiences and perspectives.

The criteria for membership in the AWIS-SD Leadership Network are:

For membership in the AWIS-SD Leadership Network, Position/Title should be Associate Director or above Associate Professor, or above, or equivalent.  Self-employed members must provide managerial/leadership services as their primary purpose of business.  If between positions, applicant’s most recent title should fit the aforementioned levels; please enter your most recent position.  In addition, all members should have a minimum of 7 cumulative years of working experience (excluding post-doc).

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee.

Email your completed application accompanied by a copy of your resume to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





ALN Activities alternate monthly between formal workshops and happy hours to increase opportunities for personal interactions and support

2019 Workshops

  • January: Happy Hour - 2017 ALN workshop topic brainstorming and planning
  • February: Introductions and informal discussion
  • March: Board Membership for Women
  • May: Work-life balance - special guest speaker Sara Cameron, M.A. and Life Coach
  • June: Yoga on the Beach led by Kerstin Kirchsteiger
  • July: Mindfulness - special guest speaker Dr. Sheila Casteneda, Co-PI on a research study titled "Evaluating a Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Diverse Prehypertensive Women" funded by an American Heart Association Go Red For Women Research Network Soter Collaborative Award.
  • September: Industry and San Diego trends workshop - special guest speaker Jennifer Landress, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Biocom
  • October: Self-Defense Workshop at The Stronghold Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
  • November: Strengths Based Leadership - special guest speaker Michelle A Youngers, Youngers Acuity
  • December: Holiday Potluck  

2018 Workshops

  • February: Leading With Influence
  • March: Happy Hour
  • April: #MeToo
  • May: Happy Hour
  • June: Personal Strategic Planning
  • July: Happy Hour
  • August: Speak Up and Succeed
  • September: Happy Hour
  • October: Managing Up
  • November: Happy Hour
  • December: Holiday Potluck

2017 Workshops

  • January: Happy Hour
  • February: What Would You Do if You Weren’t Afraid? – Led by member Dorothy Sears
  • March: Happy Hour - Follow-up discussion from February Workshop

  • April: Mentors and Sponsors – Led by member Christy Esau

  • May: Happy Hour

  • June: Taking the Next Step in Your Career – Guest panelists David King and Cristina Giachetti

  • August: Happy Hour

  • September: Discussion about implicit and explicit gender bias. Led by member Dorothy Sears

  • October: Practical tools you can use before, during, and after difficult conversations. Led by member Marilyn Ferari and guest Karen Blair

  • November: Happy Hour
  • December: Holiday Potluck and Cookie Decorating

2016 Workshops

  • Discussion of What Works for Women at Work by Joan C Williams and Rachel Dempsey – Led by members Grace Nakayama and Jennifer Whitcomb
  • Negotiation Strategies – Led by member Linda Manza
  • Skill Sets and Characteristics Required to Reach and Excel at the Executive Level – Guest panelists Mary Glanville and Ruth Patterson
  • Recognizing Stress and Stress Management – Led by member Sharon Gao
  • Leadership and Improv – Guest speaker Lisa Lisewski
  • Holiday Social Potluck

2015 Workshops

  • Action Learning Workshop – Led by member Jennifer Whitcomb
  • Body Language Can Affect Professional Success Potential – Led by member Dorothy Sears
  • Discussion of The Confidence Code by Katty Klay and Claire Shipman – Led by member Marilyn Ferrari
  • Unlock Your Inner Artist Event with “Painting Uncorked”
  • Discussion on the culture of work and the challenge of maintaining work – life balance – Led by member Christy Esau
  • Holiday Social Potluck

2014 Events:

February 2014

Grace Nakayama, led a discussion of four articles:

The Tyranny of the Queen Bee (PDF)

Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?

Four Executives on Succeeding in Business as a Woman

Harvard Business School Case Study: Gender Equity


April 2014

Susan Snow, an experienced finance executive, was our guest speaker and she focussed on “Bottom Line Success from Authentic Self”.  There is no single formula for successful leadership. Susan discussed the importance of our unique talents, experiences, and perspectives in defining your own powerful leadership style. She shared how this approach has been responsible for her ability to effectively deal with diverse teams and challenges to drive business success. She also discussed the value she places on authenticity in her personal and professional network.


June 2014

Hear Teri Louden talk about how to achieve career and life fulfilment and find mind, body, and spiritual balance in today’s digital age through Mindfulness Living.  Teri was an early pioneering female executive in the world of medical technology, back in the late 70’s. Achieved success in the male dominated world of medical devices, then became a successful entrepreneur in the medical technology world of the 80’s and 90’s.   She then moved from Chicago to San Diego in 1999 and ended up as one of the members of the senior executive launch team for CardioNet, the first wireless healthcare company which created an amazing new industry sector of digital healthcare.   She then launched and began her next healthcare focus in the world of healthcare wellness and prevention. She is a published author and her book has sold 1,000s of copies and been an inspirational medical miracle story. Along her path of life, she ended up finding yoga and meditation after a serious injury, and it led her to a way of life to heal and manage daily life stresses. She is a dedicated yogi and has her 200 hr. Yoga Alliance certification plus many hours at yoga retreats and has gone through the Transcendental Meditation ™ training and has a daily meditation practice. She is currently on her next career and education path to learn and teach the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSD) program at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. 

August 2014

Happy Hour !!

October 2014

To be announced


December 2014

Holiday social potluck



February 2013

Gwen Rosenberg, Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, at Senomyx, Inc., joined us to discuss Knowledge is Power - Recognizing and Leveraging what you already know. 

April 2013

As leaders we have all encountered difficult people either within or outside our organizations. Linda Manza, Associate Director, QA, at Arena Pharmaceuticals, lead a discussion group to share our experiences and learn from each other about "Dealing with Difficult People as a Leader".

June 2013

Sheryle Bolton, CEO of Sally Ride Science, discussed “Lean In and Speak Up”.

August 2013

Book review – Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

October 2013

Leslie Smith of Full Circle Learning and Transition Company, presented “Mastering Transitions – the skill needed to prepare for, navigate through, and thrive during change or crisis”.  

Change is inevitable and expected. We deal with small and large changes that shift our priorities constantly. Crisis is the more intense cousin of change. Crisis is an emotionally significant event or radical change in a person's life. The recent economic downturn is an example of a crisis that impacted the lives and status of many individuals, families, organizations and nations.

The surest way to thrive in times of change or crisis is to learn how to become its partner. The skill needed to partner with change or crisis is mastering the process of Transition, the process of preparing for, coping with - and even thriving - during change or crisis. Your ability to understand and master Transitions is an asset in today’s marketplace where change, uncertainty and ambiguity are par for the course. 

When people talk about their professional and personal peak experiences, they rarely talk about the easy times. Rather, they talk about difficult and challenging times – times of change or crisis when they questioned their abilities, their confidence, the path they chose, and even their identity. In the end, people’s experiences of Transition always contain aspects to value and appreciate. This holds true whether the change was by choice or not. In Transition we gain new insight into our core values and beliefs and often find strength we didn’t know was there. 

At our October 28th meeting we:

1.    Learned how to work through Transitions successfully using the 5 Phases of Transition

2.    Used a process called Appreciative Inquiry to explore Transition experiences

3.    Determined how your specific strengths in Transitions are an asset in today’s marketplace 

December 2013

Holiday function and discussion of “Our Hidden Talents”


February 2012

Setting Goals for 2012 and Your Career, led by Janet White, Development Director, Pfizer.  

May 2012

“Thriving in the Belly of the Beast: How to Work Well with Guys”. Jennifer K. Crittenden,MBA,  author of The Discreet Guide for Executive Women: How to Work Well with Men (and Other Difficulties). Jennifer shared her experiences as one of the few women in the executive suite where she learned that practical straight talk was the best way to communicate the do's and don'ts of working with men. 

August 2012

The guest speaker was be Jack Kelly, founder and principal of the Corlea Group.  Jack discussed Genuine Leadership, and we collaborated to understand the concept of genuine leadership that will drive clarity, performance, and growth in your organization.  Jack provided ud with simple tools to create the building blocks to trust and genuine leadership for you and the people you influence.

November 2012

Tammie Weisser, Partner at Jones day, lead a discussion on the Ann-Marie Slaughter Atlantic article "Why Women Still Can't Have It All."





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