Leadership in Uncertain Times: Observations & Learnings from Industry Leaders


What leaders need during a crisis is not a predefined response plan but behaviors and mindsets that will prevent them from overreacting and help them look ahead. In unfamiliar and uncertain situations, effective responses are largely improvised. They might span a wide range of actions, not just temporary moves but also adjustments to ongoing business practices, which can be beneficial to maintain even after the crisis has passed. Leadership practices that can help respond effectively are: organizing via network, displaying calm and optimism, making decisions amid uncertainty, demonstrating empathy, and communicating effectively. The pandemic deepened pre-existing inequalities, exposing vulnerabilities in social, political, and economic systems. Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impact was exacerbated for women and girls. Hear from key HPC leaders on how they enabled their community and their customers & partners during this unprecedented crisis.


Aswathy Nair, Strategic Relationship Manager, HPC ISVs, Intel Corporation

Aswathy Nair is the Strategic relationship manager for HPC partners / Software Solutions Architect / Senior Program Manager at Intel Corporation with 20 years of industry experience. Aswathy has worked closely with HPC, Telecom, Media, Consumer Goods & Retail partners in supporting and collaborating with them to successfully bring products and solutions to market.

Cristin Merritt, Change Management Specialist, Alces Flight

Cristin Merritt is a Change Management Specialist focusing on cloud and new technology adoption within HPC. With over 15 years of experience in Enterprise technology and 5 within HPC she brings to the table a diverse set of skills aimed at assisting clients in balancing the platforms, tools, and technology required to make their HPC solution build successful. At Alces Flight Cristin has focused on HPC projects ranging from subscription-based, mixed and hybrid stacks, open-source, and cloud native HPC builds. As part of her volunteer work in HPC Cristin serves as the Social Media Editor for Women in HPC and is an active member of the RSE UK community. Cristin graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Classics and fell into working in tech while living in Houston, Texas. Currently, she resides in Oxford, England with her husband, son, and two cats.

Fouzhan Hosseini, Software Engineer, NAG

Fouzhan Hosseini is a software engineer at NAG and leads collaboration and R&D projects. Currently, her team contributes to the EU funded Performance Optimization and Productivity Centre of Excellence in High Performance Computing. She has over 10 years of experience in building parallel applications on various platforms from multi- and many-core hardware to computer clusters exploiting low- to high-level programming technologies where performance always appears as a key part of the work. With a strong background in computer science, she is passionate about promoting best practices in parallel programming and supporting HPC users to improve the performance of their codes. She is Chair of the NAG Women in HPC (WHPC) Chapter and advocates for diversity and inclusion at work.

Tiffany Cook, Partnerships and Public Relations Manager, Convergent Science

Tiffany is a marketing and public relations professional with over 16 years of experience in business development and public relations across SMB and Fortune 500 companies. She holds an undergraduate degree in Corporate Communications and a post-graduate degree in Public Relations. Currently, she serves as Partnerships and Public Relations Manager at Convergent Science, a CFD software solution provider. Tiffany leads brand engagement, customer-facing initiatives, public relations strategy, global events, and the corporate social responsibility committee.

Paula Olaya Ph.D. Student in Computer Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Paula Olaya is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science advised by Dr. Michela Taufer at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She earned her M.Sc. in Computer Science in Spring 2020 at UTK and her B.S. in Electronics Engineering from Pontifical Xavierian University in Colombia. Olaya's research interests in high-performance computing include the composition of scientific workflows in different environments, such as a general application-agnostic containerized environment and the cloud, to allow intrinsic replicability, trustworthiness, transparency, and traceability. She has been involved in projects with HPC and machine learning applications, such as, protein identification through diffraction patterns, also benchmarking and analyzing performance in terms of time and power usage for FFTs and sparse matrix solvers at architecture and algorithm level for an astrophysics application.