Committed to connecting the world



Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union

Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) since January 2007, was re-elected for a second four-year term in October 2010.

As Secretary-General, Dr Touré is committed to ITU’s mission of connecting the world, and to helping achieve the Millennium Development Goals through harnessing the unique potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

A long-standing champion of ICTs as a driver of social and economic development, Dr Touré previously served as Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) from 1998-2006. In this role he placed considerable emphasis on implementing the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), launching projects based on partnerships with international organizations, governments, the private sector and civil society.

Dr Touré started his professional career in his native Mali in 1979. He built a solid career in the satellite industry, serving as managing engineer in Mali’s first International Earth Station. He joined Intelsat’s Assistance and Development Programme in 1985. He was appointed Intelsat’s Group Director for Africa and the Middle East in 1994, earning a reputation as an energetic leader through his commitment to various regional connectivity projects such as RASCOM. In 1996 he joined ICO Global Communications as African Regional General Manager, spearheading the companies’ activities across the African region.

A national of Mali, Dr Touré holds a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technical Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications of Leningrad, and a PhD from the University of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics of Moscow. He is married with four children and two grandchildren, and is proficient in four official ITU languages: English, French, Russian and Spanish.

H.E. Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communication Technology, Nigeria

Omobola Johnson is Nigeria's Honorable Minister of Communication Technology. Omobola is also the founding Chairperson and member of Board of Trustees of Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ) a non-governmental organisation that seeks to improve the success rate of female entrepreneurs and increase the proportion of women in senior positions in corporate organisations.


Omobola is a Vice-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Africa. She is a member of UNDP’s closed high-level Broadband Commission Working Group on Gender whose main objective is to promote the empowerment and digital inclusion of women.

H.E. Neelie Kroes, VP, European Commission and Commissioner, Digital Agenda

neelie-kroes.jpgNeelie Kroes was born in 1941 in Rotterdam. From 1971 to 1989 she worked in Dutch politics, including as minister responsible for postal and telephone sectors. Subsequently, she worked on various company boards. In 1991 she became chairperson of Nyenrode University.

In 2004 she became the EU's Competition Commissioner, and, in 2010, Vice President of the Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda.

Brahima Sanou, Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau

Brahima Sanou has been Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) since January 2011, following his election at the Plenipotentiary Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico, in October 2010.

As BDT Director, Mr Sanou is committed to promoting ICT as a major driving force for sustainable socio-economic development, bringing the unprecedented benefits of next-generation networks and services to remote and rural regions, least developed countries and persons with special needs in particular.

Mr Sanou holds a degree in Engineering from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications (ENST) in Paris, and a post-graduate diploma from the Centre for Financial, Economic and Banking Studies, also in Paris. Fluent in French and English, he is married with three children.

Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Chief, ITU Strategic Planning and Membership Department

Doreen Bogdan-Martin has been Chief of ITU’s Strategic Planning and Membership Department since the beginning of 2008. She is the most senior-ranked woman at ITU. She acts as advisor to the ITU Secretary-General, and is responsible for ITU’s corporate communications, external affairs, corporate strategy and membership – as well as managing the ITU-UNESCO Broadband Commission for Digital Development.

Doreen holds a Masters degree in Communications Policy from the School of International Service, American University, in Washington DC. She is married with four children.

Cheryl D. Miller, founder and Executive Director, Digital Leadership Institute

Cheryl is the Founder and Executive Director of Digital Leadership Institute, a global NGO educating and empowering female digital leaders of today and tomorrow. DLI is behind such initiatives as, and, recognising  outstanding girls and women in digital sectors around the world and the organisations who support them.

The fascinating story Ada Lovelace

Presentation by Cheryl D. Miller


Dr Anastasia Ailamaki, Professor of Computer Science at EPFL

Dr Anastasia Ailamaki is a Professor of Computer Sciences at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. Her research interests are in database systems and applications, and in particular (a) in strengthening the interaction between the database software and emerging hardware and I/O devices, and (b) in automating database management to support computationally-demanding and demanding data-intensive scientific applications.

She has received an ERC Consolidator Award (2013), a Finmeccanica endowed chair from the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon (2007), a European Young Investigator Award from the European Science Foundation (2007), an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (2005), eight best-paper awards at top conferences (2001-2011), and an NSF CAREER award (2002). She earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2000. She is a senior member of the IEEE and a member of the ACM, serves as the ACM SIGMOD vice chair, and has also been a CRA-W mentor.

Sylvia Todd, Sylvia's Super-Awesome Maker Show

Sylvia Todd is the whiz kid who hosts Syliva’s Super-Awesome Maker Show - “all about how to make cool stuff.” She got into the maker movement and was inspired to create a YouTube show and by going to Maker Faire, a huge event where thousands of people come to see or show off amazing things they have made.

Last year she was invited to participate in the White House Science Fair. Sylvia has now met President Obama, addressed TEDx conferences and won a silver medal at the 2013 Robogames.

Dr. Sue Black, Department of Computer Science, University College London

Dr. Sue Black is an award-winning computer scientist and radical thinker, who brings people together to solve complex issues. She's a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Computer Science at University College London, is a champion for women in computing - and recently launched Savvify, a social enterprise which aims to empower people through technology. Savvify is currently running #techmums a program to get mums tech savvy. Sue is a frequent public speaker, a social media-holic, and currently writing a book about saving Bletchley Park.


Una O'Sullivan, Corporate Citizenship and CSR, Microsoft

Una O’Sullivan has been leading Microsoft’s Corporate Citizenship and CSR program in Western Europe for the last eight years. In addition to managing programs that empower nonprofits through technology, Una oversees Microsoft’s ‘YouthSpark’ program that helps to connect youth to greater opportunities for jobs, education and entrepreneurship in Europe. As part of these efforts, she is also actively involved in multiple European initiatives on digital skills, youth employment and entrepreneurship.

Mirjam Wattenhofer, Software Engineer, Google

mirjam-wattenhofer.jpgDr Mirjam Wattenhofer is a Software Engineer at Google, currently working on Google Shopping. She did her PhD at ETH Zurich in Theoretical Computer Science. Since her early university years she is regularly organizing and participating in various events and programs to promote girls and women in Computer Science. Examples are CS trial studies for girls, mentoring a girl's robotics club, student industry co-operations, and teaching programming to primary school girls. She is a mother of three boys.

Regina O'Dell, Software Engineer, Google

Dr Regina O'Dell has been working as a Software Engineer for Google, Switzerland, since 2007. She previously completed her PhD at ETH Zurich in the area of Distributed Computing and has been involved in "IT women encouragement" programs both at university and at Google for over 10 years now. Mother of 5, joint work with M. O’Dell.


Lorraine McDowell, President and Planning Chair, Expanding Your Horizons, Geneva

Science has always been fascinating for Lorraine: from her first experiment in the school lab to today in the pharmaceutical industry. She joined Expanding Your Horizons in 2009 to help build and expand a network devoted to inspiring girls to recognize their potential and pursue opportunities in STEM subjects.

Presentation by Lorraine McDowell