Elizabeth Zirk - Chair
A San Francisco native, Elizabeth loves to take people to her favorite spots in the city. She enjoys traveling because it "opens you up to inspiration and personal cultivation". An advocate of studying abroad, she has taken part in programs to Germany in both high school and university, as well as interning abroad in Oslo, Norway for six months. Elizabeth has a deep sense of spirit when it comes to volunteerism and has been actively involved in the study abroad organization, Youth For Understanding. Elizabeth enjoys the relationship between student and teacher, having taught at San Francisco State University as a graduate student assistant in the German department. The current journeys Elizabeth will embark on revolve around her passions: starting a site dedicated to the art of story telling, developing her own non-profit (helping to strengthen the study abroad effort by providing support to study abroad alumni), deepening relationships with her friends, and running or hiking as often as possible. She works currently as an IT Trainer.
Ipsheeta Furtado - VP Finance
Ms. Ipsheeta Furtado finished school at UC Berkeley in Engineering Physics, focused on Materials Science research at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. While on the graduate school track, she realized there was more to be done before her terminal degree. Her hours are dedicated to a myriad of things from learning to "Geek Speak" from her partners to volunteering on political campaigns to playing water polo with Master's teams to figuring out what it means to run her very first consulting firm. A short term goal of hers is to open a restaurant or cafe in the Bay Area. She serves in the following organizations: Advisory Board Member @ New Leaders Council and as Section Representative to Region and National @ Society of Women Engineers, Golden Gate Professional Section.
Lauren Meiklejohn - VP Events
Lauren Meiklejohn is originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She moved to the Bay Area with her family in June of 2010 after the completion of her graduate studies at Dartmouth College. While at Dartmouth, Lauren’s graduate work and thesis focused on the social impact of globalization. More specifically she was looking at social entrepreneurship as a response to the top down economic pressures of globalization, emphasizing community economic development driven by women. Her thesis is titled: From the Ground Up: Case studies and theory in the emerging field of Social Entrepreneurship.
Currently, Lauren coordinates Families for Literacy an early childhood literacy program out of Belle Haven in Menlo Park for Project Read. She is leading an initiative with Project Read to develop a system of metrics to better capture social value. Having recently joined the board of Young Women Social Entrepreneurs, Lauren is continuing to expand her work in Social Entrepreneurship by joining the advisory board of My Ventures an education-based social entrepreneurship project.
Fereshteh Samsami - VP Technology
Sabeen Ahmad - VP Membership
Deeksha Talwar - VP Marketing
Deeksha Talwar originally from India is head of Marketing. She moved to sunny California 2 years ago and is loving it! Along with being an international education nonprofit consultant, she's in the process of starting her own nonprofit organization. In her free time she likes to cook, go hiking and has recently developed an interest in photography. She's excited to join the YWSE leadership team and looks forward to meeting its members soon.
(Open Position) - Director, Social Media(Open Position) - Director, Event Team
Adriana Dakin's expertise is communications strategy for businesses and projects with a social mission. She manages communications projects, sets up social media tools, creates content and documents knowledge, develops plans and sets goals, and creates graphical representations of data and ideas. Adriana has written and published award-winning research papers and presented to conferences on international affairs, conflict resolution strategies, and women in leadership. Since her youth, Adriana has been a potter and photographer and started Horsetail Studio in 2005, now showing her work at the Corner Gallery of Art Center Ukiah. She has a BA in history from Wesleyan University and a Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she concentrated in Negotiation, Leadership, and International Security Policy. She lives on a ranch in Mendocino county with husband Pete, who farms wine grapes and pears, and daughter Gwendolyn.
Angela is passionate about women’s financial education and economic empowerment and encouraging women to build and maintain self-esteem through artistic expression. She currently works as a corporate analyst and is working on developing her first big idea for an entrepreneurial venture that will benefit women of color. Angela has a BA in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara and continues to take classes to develop both her business and creative skills. She most recently took an interior design class at California College of the Arts in San Francisco where she enjoyed learning about green and sustainable design. She is happiest when doing anything that involves music, or simply reading a good book. She loves to travel and meet new people, and is a constant student of life. She is sustained by the love of her mother, sister, extended family, and closest friends.
As a sustainability coordinator, Emily's professional focus is institutional transformation for a greener future. Currently working in local government, she promotes broad-based participation in the development and implementation of policies for climate change action and high-performance building operations. While living in Boston, she developed a comprehensive peer-to-peer education program to promote sustainable habits and communication among students and university decision-makers about resource use at Harvard, where she received a Master's in Education and BA in Anthropology. An East Bay native, Emily enjoys urban and wilderness hiking and the wide variety of Bay Area opportunities to learn about environmental solutions. She has enjoyed studying and working in Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Israel and can often be found planning her next trip. She serves on the City of Berkeley’s Zero Waste Commission.
Koy Hardy is interested in the power of the written word to connect people with knowledge, resources and opportunity. She is a copy writer and web content developer who has written in several formats including public periodicals and literary press releases. Koy has done most of her living and learning in the gorgeous Golden State. She currently is an enthusiastic resident of the East Bay and loves it from the high-elevation hiking trails to the downtown nightlife. She involves herself with activities that uplift and celebrate the community and has volunteered with Rebuilding Together Oakland for several years. She also explores and supports the arts as a means to pleasure, pride and purpose and recently completed a semester of jazz improvisation performance study. Koy holds a BA in Law & Society from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Toni is an engineer working in the field of polymers for a global chemical company. She holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. She is passionate about sustainability as well as promoting math and science education for girls. She enjoys volunteering for local environmental organizations and is currently taking a masters course on Strategic Sustainable Development. She likes to think about how engineering can help solve environmental issues and aspires to one day bring her ideas to life. When she's not thinking about the environment, Toni enjoys learning how to play the violin.
Emeritus Board Members