Women Inspire

Women Inspire, 2020

For the ninth year, Women Inspire (formerly Women Leading Women) showcased Maryland Smith’s fearless alumnae leaders excelling in business. Under the new moniker, this annual event celebrated female empowerment that inspired attendees and challenged them to realize and reach their full potential.

The 2020 honorees, Maryland Smith alumnae Meg Goldthwaite, MBA ’96, chief marketing officer at NPR and Sherika Ekpo, MBA ’09, global diversity and inclusion lead at Google AI, were celebrated during a moderated discussion held at the Adele H. Stamp Student Union on Maryland’s College Park campus. Smith professor Nicole Coomber served as the moderator for the discussion.


For additional insights about women in leadership, check out the following videos:

For questions about the event please contact the Smith Office of Alumni Relations 301-405-4206 or mforrest@rhsmith.umd.edu.

Meg Goldthwaite, MBA ’96

Meg Goldthwaite is chief marketing officer at NPR, where she brings 25 years of experience in branding, visual storytelling, digital communications, and media for a variety of major brands and non-profits.

Prior to joining NPR in December 2016, Goldthwaite served as chief marketing officer for Conservation International. As its chief storyteller, she oversaw brand marketing, digital, social media, partner marketing, analytics, and communications. There, she launched the award-winning Nature Is Speaking campaign and engaged new audiences with innovative communications tools, including virtual reality.

Her portfolio of mission-focused work also includes leadership positions at Women for Women International and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, a non-partisan organization focused on fostering economic opportunities in Haiti. During her time at the World Wildlife Fund, she brought Earth Hour—WWF's signature climate change initiative—to the United States.

Goldthwaite's corporate background includes 15 years in the telecom industry, where she led teams in marketing, operations, and strategic partnerships. Goldthwaite graduated from Maine's Colby College with a degree in French and government. She received her MBA from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Read more about Goldthwaite on her alumni profile.

Sherika Ekpo, MBA ’09

Sherika Ekpo (she/her), a native of the D.C. Metropolitan area, joined Google as the global diversity and inclusion lead for the artificial intelligence, research, and health product areas. Prior to Google, Ekpo served as the head of people operations at the United States Digital Service (USDS) and the director of talent acquisition at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Ekpo has over 15 years of experience and a diverse set of skills in diversity, data analysis, recruiting, training and public policy. She has worked in both the public and private sectors with enterprises such as J.P. Morgan Chase, General Electric, and the Department of Homeland Security, just to name a few.

Ekpo received her Master of Business Administration from the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland and Bachelor of Business Administration from Howard University. Outside of work, Ekpo enjoys dancing, traveling, and has a new passion for exploring nature since moving to Silicon Valley. She is the proud mother of three and resides in Santa Clara, CA. with her husband and kids.

2019 Carly Fiorina, MBA ’80
Chairman, Carly Fiorina Enterprises

2018 Donna Blackman, MBA ’10
Senior Vice President of Business Operations, BET Networks

2017 Marguerita M. Cheng ’93
Founder and CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth

2016 Past Honorees Reunion

2015 Andrea Brody ’87
Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, BravoSolution

2014 Brenda Freeman ’87, MBA ’91
Global Head of Television Marketing, DreamWorks Animation

2013 Kristen Welch ’90, MBA ’96
Senior Vice President, Global Content Operations, Discovery Communications

2012 Lisa Anders, MBA ’95
Vice President, Business Development, McKissack & McKissack

Learn more about previous Women Inspire programs.

Robert H. Smith School of Business
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University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business
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