I’m a geek in Seattle (by way of So Cal and Berkeley), an idealist who clings to the hope that technology can make the world a better place. These days I spend more time making funny faces at my daughter than writing PowerPoint slides, and that feels like a good thing for now.
Travel & Volunteering
Over the years, I’ve used every vacation day I could muster to gallivant around the globe with a backpack and a camera. I was fortunate to take the ultimate gallivant in 2009-2010 with my husband — a 12-month sabbatical, during which we volunteered in India, Thailand, and Uganda. My volunteering was focused on building organizational capacity, both for technical orgs developing software to help the poor (ICT4D), as well as non-technical NGO staff, who wanted to learn about project management, fundraising, and web design. The trip was eye-opening for me, and ultimately compelled me to consider a new career direction more aligned with the projects I contributed to while traveling.
The backpacks have been getting a bit dusty these days, however, as we have our hands full taking care of our first-born, who joined us in the summer of 2011. In fact, our travel blog has mostly been transformed into a baby blog, as we attempt to spend our copious “free time” documenting her adventures.
I took a blissful extended maternity leave with my daughter, but will be embarking on a new career adventure shortly.
Before my break, I spent 8 years as a Program Manager at Microsoft, working on Windows Presentation Foundation and then Exchange. I credit my years there with having taught me not only how to build enterprise-quality software, but how to systematically break any problem down into its constituent parts and drive each one of them to completion (in priority order, of course). We PMs love to believe our skills are universal, and nowhere did that hit home for me more than in rural Thailand, where I helped a group of Burmese refugees develop a project plan for a new school for Burmese activist women.