Board Members and Volunteers

2017 Board

MarianneKavanaghPresident – Marianne Kavanagh 
Marianne Kavanagh received her Ph.D. from U.C. Santa Barbara and has been a volunteer with the East Bay AWIS chapter since 2010. She is the current East bay AWIS president and is working to strengthen the ties between women working in academia and industry to increase career options for women seeking to gain a broad range of skills. She is focused on helping women develop their skills to support them in their personal and career aspirations. Her background is in pharmacology, developing compounds for use as anti-inflammatory agents and elucidating the biochemical pathways of the inflammatory response and bacterial cell-cell signaling pathways. Her current role is in clinical development at Gilead Sciences Inc.


picture VKVice President – Vinaya Kapoor

Vinaya Kapoor is Director, Global Regulatory Affairs at Johnson and Johnson (J&J). Vinaya currently serves on the Board of AWIS-East Bay as Chapter Vice President. In her current role, she is focused on facilitating and supporting opportunities for women to learn, lean, lead in their career goals while having a fulfilling balance with their personal lives. Vinaya has almost two decades of work experience, primarily in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry. Her responsibilities have included drug development and regulatory affairs through early and late phase development as well commercial products, and her work locations have spanned the West and East Coasts. Vinaya has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. She is passionate about furthering interest in careers in science, technology, arts and the environment, particularly among women and children/youth and volunteers her time towards these.

AllisonQuach_76x88Secretary – Allison Quach
Allison Quach received her Bachelor’s degree from U.C. San Diego and is currently a scientific researcher at Ardelyx Inc. Allison was a recipient of an academic scholarship from the San Diego AWIS chapter and since then has dedicated her time in promoting the objectives of AWIS by ensuring that future generations of women pursuing STEM fields are given the same opportunities that she was afforded. As an AWIS member, Allison is committed towards bringing on programs that facilitate building leadership skills and career growth. She is also passionate about building outreach programs that bridge the gap between students and scientists to encourage more girls to pursue a career in STEM.

MargaritaGonzalez_76x105Treasurer – Margarita Gonzales
Margarita Gonzales received her Ph.D. in Chemistry at U.C. Santa Cruz. She is a trained synthetic chemist, with a focus on organometallic materials synthesis and characterization. Margarita is passionate about making science careers accessible, especially to first-generation college students. She has solicited, trained and mentored undergraduates throughout her graduate career, with most mentees serving as co-authors in her publications. Currently working in higher education, she is pushing for the development of programs that increase retention of women and minorities in STEM-related fields. In her role as treasurer, she is enthusiastic about enabling recent graduates to diversify their skill sets and enrich their professional network to ease a transition into the workforce.

MonicaAlbe_76x107Member-at Large/Communications – Monica Jane Albe
Monica Albe works at UC Berkeley, where she is an administrator in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. Before her current position, she spent 10 years as a Senior Museum Scientist at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley until she made her move into science education/outreach/administration. She currently serves on the advisory board for Science@Cal, which is a Berkeley unit that serves the public through creating free, interactive science events (East Bay Science Cafe, the Science@Cal lecture series, and pop-up events at Farmer’s Market booths and science festivals). She also serves as a core member of the Coalition for the Public’s Understanding of Science (COPUS), helping with their communications and online presence. Monica enjoys contributing to projects that serve the greater good, and is a committed advocate for equity and inclusion in the work place, in STEM education, and in the STEM fields. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Scholarship Committee Chair – Cathie Magowan