This episode was sponsored by the U.S. Space Force.
In this episode of Diverse: a SWE podcast, Karen Horting, the CEO for the Society of Women Engineers, speaks with Major Melissa K. Bierma, Chief, Information Integration Branch HQ, United States Space Force (USSF), located in the Pentagon.
Major Bierma shares about her early mentorship experiences as an engineer, the gifts that come with failure, and what advice she would give to women who are interested in a career in the U.S. Space Force.
Guest: Major Melissa K. Bierma
Major Melissa K. Bierma is the Chief, Information Integration Branch, HQ United States Space Force, Pentagon.
In this capacity, she is responsible for integrating the USSF into Joint and DAF future warfighting concepts, reviewing emerging technologies to implement CSO priorities, and aligning wargaming efforts across the USSF enterprise.
Major Bierma earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Wright State University in Dayton, OH and subsequently commissioned through Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corp, Detachment 643 in March 2006.
In addition, she earned a Master of Science in Industrial and Human Factors Engineering from Wright State University in 2012. She transferred to the Space Force in December 2020.
Host: Karen Horting
Karen Horting, CAE, is the executive director and CEO for the Society of Women Engineers, a position she has held since Dec. 31, 2013.
With more than 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and fund development, Horting was most recently the SWE deputy executive director. In this capacity, she was responsible for all fund development activities for the organization, including corporate membership and SWE’s Corporate Partnership Council and more traditional philanthropy such as foundation and government grants, individual gifts, and bequests.
She also oversaw many of the Society’s programs and services, including professional development, K-12 outreach, the annual conference, and SWE’s international expansion.
She currently serves on the Leadership Circle of the 50K Coalition, the FIRST Robotics Board of Directors, the STEM Ed Coalition Board of Directors, Engineering CAS Diversity Advisory Board, and the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business Dean’s Alumni Advisory Board (DAAB).