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AnitaB.org Presents: Diversifying Invention and Innovation

June 18, 2020 · 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Join us this Thursday, June 18, 3-4 p.m., EST, for “AnitaB.org presents: Diversifying Invention and Innovation”, a virtual conversation hosted by AnitaB.org President and CEO Brenda Darden Wilkerson.





Brenda Darden Wilkerson
AnitaB.org President & CEO

Brenda Darden Wilkerson is an advocate for access, opportunity, and social justice for underrepresented communities in technology. She currently serves as the President and CEO of AnitaB.org, an organization that connects, inspires, and strives for greater equality for women technologists in business, academia, and government. She founded the original Computer Science for All program, building computer science classes into the curriculum for every student in the Chicago Public Schools, and serving as the inspiration for theObama administration’s national CS4All initiatives.





Susan M. Armstrong
Senior Vice President, Engineering at Qualcomm

Susan M. Armstrong started at Qualcomm working on Globalstar and then early CDMA base station projects. She was a pioneer in bringing internet protocols to the cellular industry, resulting in the first web surfing on a cellular phone in 1997, and Qualcomm’s commercialization of packet data in 1998. Since then she has held various leadership positions, first responsible for the development and commercialization of the all the software that drives Qualcomm’s chipsets, and then as the head of worldwide Customer Engineering. In addition to her work on Qualcomm’s inventions and new technologies, she has worked extensively with base station makers, carriers, phone and device makers in the US, Asia and Europe to bring those technologies to market.

In 2015, Armstrong has joined Qualcomm’s Government Affairs group, where she brings an engineering and product background the Government Affairs work in worldwide public policy, including intellectual property protection, cyber security, STEM and STEM diversity.


Joseph W. Jasper Jr.
Attorney at The Law Office of Joseph W. Jasper Jr.

Joseph W. Jasper Jr. Esq.    As a practicing attorney with private and corporate clients Joe has nearly 25 years of experience in complex litigation, environmental management, process analysis, quality improvement and organizational consulting.  He has managed several public and private organizations; and is a recognized expert in the use of statistical techniques as applied to environmental regulatory compliance.  At Battelle Memorial Institute and Cleveland State University, he directed several global technology transfer and commercialization initiatives.  He currently works with small firms to perform technology and IP evaluations to identify and quantify the value of intellectual property; and to develop commercialization programs with measurable milestones to improve patenting operations, increase royalty revenue, and minimize overall legal and patenting costs.  He has held a variety of executive level positions in Quality, Manufacturing, Environmental and Intellectual Property Management.  He holds a JD, form Cleveland State Marshall College of Law, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University.


Holly Fechner
Partner at Covington & Burling LLP

Holly Fechner is a Partner at Covington & Burling LLP and a co-chair of the firm’s technology industry group.  She advises clients on complex public policy matters that combine legal and political opportunities and risks.  Named a top lobbyist by The Hill and nationally ranked by Chambers, Fechner received the 2019 American Lawyer Magazine “Dealmaker of the Year” award. She also serves an adjunct professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  Prior to Covington, Fechner was Policy Director for Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Massachusetts). She graduated from Oberlin College and received her law degree from the University of Michigan.



Sheila Lehr
Director & Senior Counsel at Discover Financial Services

Sheila Lehr serves as Director & Senior Counsel at Discover Financial Services. In this role, she handles all intellectual property issues for the company and advises on brand matters.  In order to make intellectual property easily understood by business teams and legal colleagues, she designed and conducted training sessions and built an engaged and productive Intellectual Property Task Force that created simple, innovative tools. Sheila was one of ten leaders company-wide selected to participate in Women in Leadership, a Discover executive training program.

Prior to joining Discover, Sheila was Managing Counsel of Marketing & Intellectual Property for McDonald’s Corporation, where she led the global team of legal professionals handling all marketing and intellectual property matters.  The team managed the global trademark, patent, domain name and copyright portfolios and advised on one of the world’s most popular sweepstakes, Monopoly at McDonald’s.  Sheila negotiated the company’s largest and most impactful marketing and licensing deals, including Olympics, FIFA World Cup and DreamWorks.  Sheila counseled on critical brand issues for the company including nutrition, children’s marketing, sustainability and privacy.   She partnered with her colleagues in Marketing and Communications to negotiate and implement McDonald’s Clinton Global Initiative commitments.   Sheila was selected as one of thirty global executives to participate in a year-long leadership development program.

Sheila received a J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law and a B.A. in Economics and Finance from the University of Illinois.  She is married and is the mother of two daughters.   She likes to travel, run, bike and go on her annual wine trip with friends.




June 18, 2020
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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