10 Women Leading The Cloud Revolution

Women Of The Cloud

CloudNOW, an executive consortium of the leading women in cloud computing, has released its second annual list of 10 women playing key roles in cloud computing, paying tribute to female executives driving the cloud conversation. Here's a look at the women who made the list.

Vanessa Alvarez, Director Product Marketing, Gridstore

Vanessa Alvarez has long-standing expertise in enterprise infrastructure technologies. As director of product marketing for Gridstore, she is responsible for the company's go-to-market strategy. Through her efforts at Gridstore, Alvarez is helping to lead the charge toward software-defined storage solutions that are geared toward helping customers leverage a pay-as-you-grow approach to cloud-based storage. Alvarez has been an active member of CloudNOW since the founding of the organization, and was included on the list due to the extensive influence of her blog, which is read by thousands of industry professionals.

Cara Beston, Partner, PwC Risk Assurance Practice

Cara Beston has been with PwC for more than 20 years and serves as the company's national cloud assurance leader for PwC's Risk Assurance practice. Based in San Jose, Calif., she also leads PwC's Third Party Assurance services for the technology and cloud computing sectors. Her specialty is focused on IT, and process risk and control assurance services for IT, internal audit and business leaders in the technology sector. Her background with the cloud goes back several years, during which she helped to evangelize the impact of cloud computing within the PwC organization, and led her drive to ensure that the company was hiring individuals with the necessary levels of cloud expertise. She additionally consults with PwC customers on cloud-related topics.

Margaret Dawson, VP Product Marketing & Cloud Evangelist, HP Cloud Services

Margaret Dawson has held leadership roles with startups and Fortune 500 technology companies for more than 20 years. She recently joined HP to lead marketing efforts in the company's cloud initiatives. Prior to HP, Margaret held senior executive roles with Symform, a peer-to-peer cloud data storage provider, and Hubspan, a cloud B2B integration platform that was acquired by Liaison Technologies. Starting out as a security expert, Dawson has been involved in the cloud since the inception of the strategy, and has gone to great lengths to help facilitate discussions and developments around cloud security.

Lydia Leong, Vice President of Research, Gartner

Lydia Leong is a research vice president in the Technology and Service Provider group at Gartner. Her coverage is focused on cloud computing, particularly Infrastructure-as-a-Service, along with data centers, hosting, content-delivery networks and Internet infrastructure services. Her research covers a broad range of topics related to the transformation of IT organizations, data centers and technology providers in the midst of cloud transitions. She works primarily with IT organizations, but also produces strategic and quantitative cloud research targeted at service providers, vendors and investors.

Rhonda MacLean, Founder, MacLean Risk Partners

With more than 30 years of information technology industry experience, Rhonda MacLean is founder of MacLean Risk Partners LLC, a consulting firm that provides strategic security and risk advisory services. Prior to founding her business venture, she consecutively served as CISO at two global banks, and parlayed her IT security expertise into a leading influencer position in the world of cloud security. MacLean offers a wide variety of industries, as well as governmental agencies, and participates in a number of security panels and advisory boards.

Lori MacVittie, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, F5 Networks

Lori MacVittie, senior technical marketing manager at F5, drives education and evangelism across F5's solution set. MacVittie is a subject matter expert on cloud computing, cloud and application security, and application delivery. Her blog on the F5 DevCentral developer community also has led to her recognition as one of the top 50 bloggers on cloud computing. Her responsibilities at F5 include education and evangelism across the entire F5 product line. She is also co-author of a book entitled "The Cloud Security Rules."

Michelle Munson, Co-Founder & President, Aspera

Michelle Munson is co-inventor of Aspera's transport technology and collaborates in the oversight of company direction. The company's technology provides users with extensive bandwidth management, allowing for transfer prioritization and automatic protection of IP traffic across both public and private IP networks. Aspera's technology transports petabytes of data each day. Munson has been involved in the cloud industry since its early days, and is known for her ability to take a concept to the point of business creation.

Becky Swain, Cloud Assurance Director, PwC Risk Assurance Practice

As the lead director of PwC's Cloud Assurance practice, Becky Swain provides integrated assurance solutions for building customer confidence in the delivery of cloud computing services. Key aspects of the value proposition include data security, privacy, resiliency, and regional and sector-specific regulatory compliance. Swain is also a founding member of the Cloud Security Alliance, where she was instrumental in the creation of the "Star" program, which is a certification standard that organizations around the world are using for compliance purposes.

Manjula Talreja, VP Global Cloud Business Development, Cisco

Manjula Talreja is currently developing new business models and partnerships with technology vendors, service providers and integrators working in the cloud market. In 2009, Talreja helped to launch the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition, a partnership between Cisco, EMC and VMware created to accelerate customers’ abilities to increase business agility with data center virtualization and private cloud. Considered one of Cisco's thought leaders with respect to cloud computing, she's known for her expertise not only in the technical aspects of the cloud, but also on the business model aspects of the industry shift to cloud computing.

Susan Wu, Founder, Persona Equity

Susan Wu is the Founder of Persona Equity, one of the first service-oriented startups to represent the candidates' interest in the talent-recruitment cycle. Persona Equity's goal is to help candidates achieve their career goals by building a repository of industry mentors and recruiters to aid them in their job-hunting endeavor. She previously led product management at dotCloud, where she leveraged her technical expertise and industry knowledge to drive higher levels of success for the company, and raise its profile in the cloud sector.