Board Members and Volunteers

2018 Board

MarianneKavanaghPresident – Marianne Kavanagh 
Marianne Kavanagh received her Ph.D. from U.C. Santa Barbara and has been a volunteer with the East Bay AWIS chapter since 2010. She is the current East bay AWIS president and is working to strengthen the ties between women working in academia and industry to increase career options for women seeking to gain a broad range of skills. She is focused on helping women develop their skills to support them in their personal and career aspirations. Her background is in pharmacology, developing compounds for use as anti-inflammatory agents and elucidating the biochemical pathways of the inflammatory response and bacterial cell-cell signaling pathways. Her current role is in clinical development at Gilead Sciences Inc.

picture VKVice President – Vinaya Kapoor

Vice President Vinaya Kapoor is Director, Global Regulatory Affairs at Johnson and Johnson (J&J). Vinaya currently serves on the Board of AWIS-East Bay as Chapter Vice President. In her current role, she is focused on facilitating and supporting opportunities for women to learn, lean, lead in their career goals while having a fulfilling balance with their personal lives. Vinaya has almost two decades of work experience, primarily in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry. Her responsibilities have included drug development and regulatory affairs through early and late phase development as well commercial products, and her work locations have spanned the West and East Coasts. Vinaya has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. She is passionate about furthering interest in careers in science, technology, arts and the environment, particularly among women and children/youth and volunteers her time towards these.

Secretary – Sandhya Pahwa-Khurana
Secretary Sandhya Pahwa-Khurana received her Bachelors degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from U.C. Berkeley and MBA from Santa Clara University. She has been involved with leading and organizing resource groups at Santa Clara University and in her professional career over the last several years. She has over 20 years of pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry experience at LifeScan (a J&J company), Abgenix, Amgen, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Abbvie-Stemcentrx, and Dermira in operational roles and leading CMC drug development activities. During her time at Boehringer-Ingelheim, Sandhya founded the site chapter of the Women’s Leadership Initiative and started working with AWIS-East Bay as a partner. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion efforts and enjoys mentoring and coaching the next generation of leaders. Sandhya also enjoys hiking, biking, reading, and spending time with her husband, daughter, and other family members.

Treasurer Deborah Kaldunski Cole has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry and is a member of several non-profit organizations. Deborah wants to contribute her experiences as well as passion to help humankind by being part of this amazing organization of women. Deborah’s experience is mostly in a business development role, but also a focus on regulatory in the preclinical as well as clinical space. She is currently working in Business Development for AIT Bioscience-a Bioanalytical CRO for preclinical and clinical method development and sample analysis. Deborah sits on the Board of Directors for the following organizations: CBRA (California Biomedical Association) as Treasurer and CSBR (California Society for Biomedical Research).  Previously, she was was the President of NorCal AALAS (American Association for Laboratory Animal Science). Deborah wants to grow the AWIS-East Bay membership base and provide women in our industry a place to grow and become stronger in their roles as women in science.

MonicaAlbe_76x107Member-at Large/Communications – Monica Jane Albe
Monica Albe works at UC Berkeley, where she is an administrator in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. Before her current position, she spent 10 years as a Senior Museum Scientist at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley until she made her move into science education/outreach/administration. She currently serves on the advisory board for Science@Cal, which is a Berkeley unit that serves the public through creating free, interactive science events (East Bay Science Cafe, the Science@Cal lecture series, and pop-up events at Farmer’s Market booths and science festivals). She also serves as a core member of the Coalition for the Public’s Understanding of Science (COPUS), helping with their communications and online presence. Monica enjoys contributing to projects that serve the greater good, and is a committed advocate for equity and inclusion in the work place, in STEM education, and in the STEM fields. Connect with her on LinkedIn.



Thank you to our previous board members

Alison Quach

Margarita Gonzales