SIAM News Blog

Talking BIG Jobs Interview Series: Dr. Carla Cotwright-Williams

Another installment of our Talking BIG Jobs Interview Series will take place on Thursday, April 8th at 3 p.m. Eastern Time, featuring Tondeur Fellow Sarah Minucci as the interviewer and guest Dr. Carla Cotwright-Williams of the Department of Defense, as the interviewee. During the interview, participants will learn about Dr. Cotwright-Williams's background and how it shaped her career and her current work. Register for the hour long webinar here.

Featured Guest

Dr. Cotwright-Williams

Dr. Cotwright-Williams serves as a Technical Director within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). While at the Pentagon, she served as the first Chief of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) - the DoD’s new Center of Excellence for AI. Prior to working with the DoD, she began her public service in Academia - serving over 10 years in research and teaching. She has conducted research with both NASA and the U.S. Navy. In 2012, she was awarded the American Mathematical Society (AMS) Congressional Fellowship. During her time on Capitol Hill, she worked as a staffer on the majority staff of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. In addition to covering a number of policy areas, she worked on the congressional hearing examining emergency preparedness surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings. 

Dr. Cotwright-Williams is also the chair of Policy and Advocacy and a member-at-large for the Executive Committee of the Association of Women in Mathematics (AWM).

Tondeur Fellow

Sarah Minucci

At the 2016 SIAM Annual Meeting in Boston, Sarah Minucci listened to Susan Sohler Everingham talk about her career as a mathematician at RAND, Inc. This experience changed the way Sarah thought about math and the opportunities possible for her. Later she contacted Professor Everingham, who encouraged Sarah to conduct more "informational interviews" whenever she met people whose jobs sounded interesting or heard them talk at conferences. Through broadcasting these interviews, Sarah wants participating students to know that they do not need professional training to seek out their own opportunities to learn about industry, government, and other career paths. Her hope is that these interviews provide exposure to unfamiliar careers, and that she can encourage students to think in new ways and to pursue their passions after graduation. 

Sarah is a fifth-year Ph.D. student from Nashville, Tennessee, studying applied math at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Her research is in mathematical biology, focusing on mathematical modeling of the immune response to lung damage due to mechanical ventilation. When she's not at school, she can be found running, baking, or trying out a new coffee shop.

Register Now

This interview series is produced by SIAM and AMS as part of the Tondeur Initiatives. These career-focused collaborative initiatives are made possible by Claire-Lise and Philippe Tondeur and supported by the BIG Math Network, which has additional resources at

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