National Women's History Month: NITRD Looks Back at Outstanding Leaders

March 18, 2019

As Women’s History Month heads into its third week, the National Coordinating Office for Networking and Information Research and Development (NITRD) continues its series on celebrating the Women in NITRD. Previously we have focused on our current membership; this week we look back and celebrate the many women who stepped up and took on important leadership roles in the past. All these women are remarkably intelligent and talented. They have contributed in their fields of study starting at a variety of prestigious universities and moved on to demanding careers in academia, industry, and the Federal government. We thank them for the time they spent at NITRD, and we invite you to learn more about them.

Cita M. Furlani, Director of NITRD 2000-2002
Cita M. Furlani

Cita M. Furlani served as Director of the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL). ITL is one of six research Laboratories within the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). At the time ITL had an annual budget of $120 million, 367 employees, and about 160 guest researchers from industry, universities, and foreign laboratories. As Director of ITL Ms. Furlani oversaw a research program designed to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by developing and disseminating standards, measurements, and testing for interoperability, security, usability, and reliability of information systems, including cybersecurity standards and guidelines for Federal agencies and U.S. industry, supporting these and measurement science at NIST through fundamental and applied research in computer science, mathematics, and statistics.

Ms. Furlani has also served as the Acting Director of the NIST Advanced Technology Program and as Chief Information Officer for NIST. She served as director of the National Coordination Office for Networking and Information Technology Research and Development from 2000-2002. Ms. Furlani succeeded Kay Howell and became the 5th Director of the NITRD Program. Ms. Furlani earned a B.A. in Physics and Mathematics from Texas Christian University and an M.S. in Computer and Electronic Engineering from George Mason University.

Jeannette M. Wing, Cochair of the NITRD Subcommittee 2007-2010
Jeannette M. Wing

Dr. Jeannette M. Wing is Avanessians Director of the Data Science Institute and Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University. From 2013 to 2017, she was a Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Research. She is Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon where she twice served as the Head of the Computer Science Department and had been on the faculty since 1985. From 2007-2010 she was the Assistant Director of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation and Cochair of the NITRD Subcommittee. She received her S.B., S.M., and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professor Wing's general research interests are in the areas of trustworthy computing, specification and verification, concurrent and distributed systems, programming languages, and software engineering. Her current interests are in the foundations of security and privacy, with a new focus on trustworthy AI. She was or is on the editorial board of twelve journals, including the Journal of the ACM and Communications of the ACM. To read more go to:

C. Suzanne Iacono, Big Data and Social Economic, Workforce IWG Cochair Acting Cochair of the NITRD Subcommittee (Aug 2014 - Jan 2015) 2000-2015
C. Suzanne Iacono

Dr. Suzi Iacono is the Head of the Office of Integrative Activities (OIA) at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Since she joined NSF in 1998, she has served in many leadership roles, including Acting Assistant Director in the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Deputy Assistant Director for CISE, Senior Science Advisor, Acting Division Director in Computer and Network Systems (CNS) and Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS), and Program Director in IIS.

Prior to coming to NSF, she held a faculty position at Boston University School of Management, was a visiting scholar at the Sloan School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was a research associate at the Public Policy Research Office at the University of California, Irvine.

Over the years, she has written journal articles, book chapters and conference papers on social informatics, an area of interdisciplinary research and education that integrates aspects of computer and social sciences. Dr. Iacono received her PhD from the University of Arizona in information systems and her MA and BA from the University of California, Irvine in social ecology.

Sally E. Howe, Associate Director and Acting Director of NITRD (Jul 1997 – Dec 1997) 1992-2007
Sally E. Howe

Sally Howe spent 12 years at NIST, 15 years at the NCO beginning with its 1992 creation, and 10 years at National Library of Medicine (NLM). She was editor then executive editor of the annual Supplements to the President’s Budget for all but two of her NCO years. At NLM, where the NCO was originally located, she built an NCO/HPCC archive for the Federal High Performance Computing and Communications Program (predecessor to NITRD) and the NCO, and wrote three blogs on the topic: High Performance Computing and Communications: Archived at NLM; HPCC Archived at NLM: Collaboration and Creation; and HPCC Archived at NLM: Evolution and Assessment. She holds a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Brown University.