Empowering Women in

Science and Engineering 

Networking & Panel Discussion on Engineering-Based Careers

in the Defense Industry
Presented by UMass Dartmouth

Wednesday, October 2, 2019
5:00-8:00 p.m.

Woodland Commons

Join WID-GBC members, UMass Dartmouth College of Engineering students and Alumnae, and industry professionals for a dinner and panel discussion on engineering-based work, technologies, and career opportunities in the defense industry. Make an impact on a young woman engineer or scientist by attending this networking event for current students. Let’s guide them into successful careers within the defense industry.


Learn about the Panelists


Rachel McCaffrey 

Executive Director, Women in Defense National (WID)

Rachel McCaffrey joined Women In Defense in 2017 after a career of more than 28 years in the Air Force, retiring as a colonel. In her last assignment, she led an Air Staff Division responsible for planning and programming Air Force Command and Control (C2) and Global Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). Prior to her Air Staff tour, she served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence (A2) for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Air Command at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. McCaffrey hold a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s from the University of Maryland, College Park. She also attended the Intelligence Weapons Instructor Course, Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Army War College.  


JeanneMarie Akramoff 

Senior Engineering Manager, Systems Engineering, General Dynamics Mission Systems

JeanneMarie Akramoff is a distinguished engineering leader at General Dynamics Mission Systems in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. She has over 30 years of experience working on the Navy’s submarine launched Strategic Deterrent. She currently runs an organization of nearly 300 engineers and technicians in 6 geographic locations across the United States. She graduated with an electrical engineering degree from Manhattan College in 1985.


Dr. Ellen Ferraro

Deputy Vice President of Engineering, BAE Systems

Dr. Ellen Ferraro is deputy vice president of engineering at BAE Systems. Prior to joining BAE, she was the chief engineer for Integrated Communication Systems in Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business. She also held positions at Raytheon as director of the Systems Architecture, Design and Integration Directorate, director of Engineering Operations, director for the Strategic Architecture Directorate and acting IDS Technical Director, deputy director for the System Validation Test and Analysis Directorate, department manager and Systems Engineering Integrated Product Team Lead. Ferraro received her Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst under a NASA Graduate Student Research Fellowship.


Molly Donohue Magee 

Executive Director, Southeastern New England Industrial Association (SENEDIA)

Molly Donohue Magee is the executive director of the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance (SENEDIA), a coalition of defense related businesses and organizations focused on preserving, protecting and furthering the interests of the defense and technology sector. After a 30-year civilian career in the government, she started a woman-owned and managed small business focused on providing value-added engineering and financial management services to the Department of Defense. Her last assignment in the government was as the chief financial officer for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, RI. Her government career included managing product assurance engineering for submarine systems prior to transitioning to senior leadership of the organization where, in addition to CFO, she served as the director of business resources. She holds a Master of Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.


Dr. Charlene M. Mello 

Chief Scientist, Combat Capabilities Development Command - Soldier Center (CCDC-SC)

Dr. Charlene Mello has 28 years of experience in research, development, and engineering within the government and academia. She currently serves as the Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Soldier Center Chief Scientist and lead scientific advisor to the Technical Director. Dr. Mello’s primary responsibilities are to advocate for and oversee the execution of the CCDC Soldier Center’s S&T program to enable delivery of the most impactful scientific and technical solutions for Soldier Protection and Performance. Dr. Mello has executed basic and early applied research in the area of life sciences for more than 25 years and is recognized as an international leader in the field of bio/abio interfaces. She holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

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