Experiential / Reality-based Learning / February 27, 2020

NPR, Google Leaders to Speak at Maryland Smith’s Women Inspire

NPR, Google Leaders to Speak at Maryland Smith’s Women Inspire

Event Honors Smith Alumnae for Their Achievements

College Park, Md. (Feb. 10, 2020) – Meg Goldthwaite, chief marketing officer at NPR, and Sherika Ekpo, global diversity and inclusion lead for Google AI, will be the honored guests at this year’s Women Inspire event, hosted by the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. Both women are graduates of the school’s MBA program.

Now in its ninth year, this is a new iteration for the annual event, previously known as Women Leading Women. The moderated forum discussion will take place on March 5, 2020, in College Park, Md.

“This event has always been about celebrating women leaders and inspiring attendees,” said  Ritu Agarwal, interim dean of Maryland Smith. “We are so pleased to welcome Meg and Sherika back to Maryland Smith’s campus. We’re looking forward to a rich discussion with the goal of inspiring not just women, but anyone in the campus community who hopes to reach their full potential.”

Goldthwaite and Ekpo will each draw on lessons learned from their personal career journeys.

Goldthwaite, who earned her MBA in 1996, joined NPR in December 2016. She previously served as chief marketing officer for Conservation International. Her portfolio of mission-focused work also includes leadership positions at the World Wildlife Fund, Women for Women International and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Goldthwaite's corporate background includes 15 years in the telecom industry, where she led teams in marketing, operations and strategic partnerships.

Ekpo, a 2009 MBA grad, joined Google as the global diversity, equity and inclusion lead for the Artificial Intelligence, Research and Health product areas. Prior to Google, Ekpo served as head of people operations at the United States Digital Service and as director of talent acquisition at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Both women look forward to returning to campus to share their experiences:

“My experience at Smith — the professors, my classmates, the curriculum — gave me the knowledge and experience I needed to confidently lead and continue to learn,” said Goldthwaite. “I’m both happy and humbled to be honored by the Women Inspire program. I hope my stories encourage others to bravely take on challenges and fully enjoy lives of service and leadership.”

“I am humbled by this recognition and grateful for the opportunity to share how my experiences at Smith influenced my career trajectory,” said Ekpo. “I hope that my professional journey will inspire others to explore their passion, take calculated risks, and help others along the way.”

Maryland Smith professor Nicole M. Coomber will moderate the discussion starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the Adele H. Stamp Student Union on Maryland’s College Park campus.

To learn more and for media inquiries, visit the website.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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