Gains, Gaps & Goals: The Status of Women and Girls in Fairfax County

Gains, Gaps & Goals: The Status of Women and Girls in Fairfax County

Join a presentation from the University of Virginia on the status of women and girls in Fairfax County. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion, audience Q&A, and networking with light refreshments after the event. 

Gains, Gaps & Goals: The Status of Women and Girls in Fairfax County
Friday, March 22, 2024
2-5 p.m.
Government Center Board Auditorium 

Event will also be live streamed on Channel 16. 

Meet the Panelists:

Melanie Akwule is founder & CEO of MINWO Inc., an economic development tech company that works with innovation ecosystems to provide culturally informed business development support. Utilizing her background in product management and data science, her company’s platform uses Artificial Intelligence to create uniquely tailored entrepreneurial experiences for the businesses within customers’ ecosystems. Since starting her technical career working for GE as a technical product manager in their Data Science Product division, Melanie has focused on unlocking value by transforming data from underutilized assets to actionable insights for her customers.

Hunter Gunn, LCSW, is the senior director of Community Health at Inova Cares for Women and Children. She is a social worker with over 25 years of experience working with myriad populations and social issues. Her specialty areas include child welfare, juvenile justice, forensics, mental health, special education, death and dying, maternal and child health, and chronic disease. She currently oversees management of the Women’s and Children’s Programs in Inova’s Community Health Service Line, which includes four women’s clinics and six children’s clinics in Northern Virginia. 

Salima Hemani: As founder and CEO of SZH Consulting LLC, a management consulting firm specializing in the science and art of organizational development and effectiveness, Salima Hemani provides customized, research-driven solutions to Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and various private and non-profit organizations to enhance their organizational health. Prior to launching SZH Consulting, Salima held senior leadership positions at global companies including Accenture, Northrop Grumman, Marriott International, and BAE Systems where she helped inform the strategic direction of talent management and organizational development functions. She has served on the board of directors for the International Coaching Federation DC and as the mentor/adviser for the Virginia Tech Executive MBA program.

Jaime Hirschfeld: Since July 2022, Jaime Hirschfeld has been director of Client Sales and Services at FlexProfessionals, where she spearheads the client-centric aspects of the business, driving business development and overseeing activities aimed at generating revenue. Prior to this role, she served as director of revenue development for a software company specializing in public libraries, contributing to community engagement, enhancing marketing impact, and optimizing fundraising initiatives. Before venturing into the software industry, she dedicated a decade to providing training, technical assistance, and grant support to community health centers and other federal grantees. 

Monica Jackson is an experienced advocate for women and girls in Fairfax County. She has a background in early childhood education and has played a key role in supporting the development of educators, caregivers, and high school students. As an active Advisory Board member of the Fairfax Child Care Council and the Virginia Small Business Council, Monica has demonstrated her commitment to advocating for policies that promote the well-being of children and support small businesses in the community. She has also been invited to share her expertise with the FarmWise Committee, working to enhance access to nutritious food for families in Fairfax County. 

Rida Karim serves as the student board member on the Fairfax County School Board, representing over 180,000 students. Through her position, she has dedicated herself to uplifting student voices and creating positive change in their educational experiences. Rida is passionate about empowering young people, advocating for equity, and amplifying the voices of students. Her sense of purpose lies in facilitating access to new opportunities for students, and she is dedicated to advocating continuously for progress. Rida firmly believes in the extraordinary potential within every student and pledges to work toward enabling them to make a positive impact on the world.