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2018 Women in Biometrics Award Winners Announced

Each year, the Women in Biometrics Awards recognize the efforts of top female leaders helping drive the biometric identity and security industry.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Five distinguished leaders in the biometric identity and security industry have been selected as the 2018 winners of the Women in Biometrics Awards, co-founded by the Security Industry Association (SIA) and SecureIDNews and co-presented with sponsors FindBiometrics, IDEMIA and SIA’s Women in Security Forum.

The awards will be presented during SIA Honors Night on Wednesday, Nov. 14, concurrently with ISC East. Registration is now open for the event, which will be held at the Current at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

Each year, the Women in Biometrics Awards recognize the efforts of top female leaders helping drive the biometric identity and security industry.

Nominees and past winners include those working for biometric companies, peripheral suppliers, system integrators, academia, government or security and IT departments at a variety of organizations. This year’s winners are:

  • Kelly Gallagher, senior account manager, NEC Corp. of America
  • Lisa MacDonald, director, identity capabilities management division, Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Colleen Manaher, executive director, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), DHS
  • Lora Sims, senior biometric examiner, Ideal Innovations, Inc. (I-3)
  • Anne Wang, director of biometric technology research & development, Gemalto Cogent

Biometric identity solutions and services are crucial to the security industry and to other industries like banking and health care,” says Don Erickson, SIA’s CEO. “These 2018 honorees have helped advance this important field through their impressive leadership, involvement, innovation and mentorship efforts across industry and government. SIA, along with our partners and sponsors, is proud to recognize this inspiring group of female biometric leaders with the Women in Biometrics Awards presented at SIA Honors Night.”

Read SIA’s bios of each winner below.

Kelly Gallagher
With more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement and background working with biometric technology, Gallagher has focused on the cutting edge of forensic science, working to understand the unique issues of the law enforcement community and work effectively to address those needs. In her current role, she has led the successful Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department switchover to NEC’s ID 5 Multimodal Biometric Identification Solution, which serves criminal identification needs for the Los Angeles Police Department, 45 additional police departments in the county and the county as a whole. She is a member of AFIS Internet and is critical to organizing the annual AFIS Internet Users Conference. In addition to a degree in criminal justice from the California State University of Sacramento and a wealth of biometrics training and experience, she holds several certifications from the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and more.

Lisa MacDonald
A leader in DHS’ biometrics organization, Macdonald has more than 25 years of professional experience spanning all facets of organizational transformation in both public- and private-sector organizations with high-impact results. Highlights include leading a successful campaign to garner $200 million for a replacement biometric system for DHS, then spearheading the source selection; designing and executing repeatable strategic planning and implementation processes for both DHS and the Department of the Army’s biometrics organizations; leading process improvement efforts for more than 100 DHS and Army processes, using interactive SharePoint functionality for enduring benefit; and serving federal clients in all facets of organizational transformation, including supporting the development of the Office of Management and Budget’s performance reference model. MacDonald is a certified project management professional and previously served as an examiner for the state of Virginia’s Baldrige program.

Colleen Manaher
In her work at CBP, Manaher has strengthened public-private partnerships with the airlines, airports and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) around the use of biometrics in air travel to enhance the customer experience. While there is a mandate to verify when foreign travelers depart the United States, CBP has built a biometric matching service that air travel stakeholders can use wherever identity verification is needed – check-in, bag drop, TSA or an airline lounge. Manaher has been at the center of CBP innovation for years and is an integral part of the success of CBP’s biometric mission at 14 entry and 15 exit locations, with more on the way. Manaher proactively engages with a variety of key stakeholders in the air travel industry, federal partners and technology vendors and challenges them to disrupt the status quo by developing innovative solutions and partnering with CBP to change the face of travel. Under her leadership, CBP is regarded as the catalyst of innovation in the government and has advanced the biometric exit mission at an unprecedented level.

Lora Sims
An International Association for Identification-certified tenprint examiner and senior biometric examiner at I-3, Sims supports the Defense Biometric and Forensic Agency’s examination services branch in fingerprint, face and iris compositions. She is a co-author of a training-to-competency program on facial identification and comparisons and the main author of the facial identification training curriculum I-3 offers worldwide. She has trained hundreds of individuals in the facial identification field, including intelligence analysts, police officers and forensic artists, and has traveled worldwide to train personnel in international, federal, state, local and commercial organizations. She chairs both the Facial Identification Scientific Working Group and the Organization of Scientific Area Committees’ Facial Identification Subcommittee and is a frequent presenter on facial identification at biometric and forensic conferences.

Anne Wang
Since joining Gemalto Cogent (formerly Cogent Systems) in 1991, Wang has been with the company through two acquisitions and supported and directly contributed to many of its top-ranking, world-renowned biometric algorithms. She has also contributed to the design of numerous biometric matching software development kits and multi-modal biometric identification devices being used around the globe. Most recently, she has led the development efforts for groundbreaking touchless biometric capture technology. She contributed her expertise in multimodal biometrics to the United Kingdom visas program, designed to acquire tenprints and compliant facial images for visa applicants and visitors to the UK, and has supported various government and commercial clients, including the OBIM program and Financial Information Network & Operations Ltd. Wang participates in National Institute of Standards and Technology evaluation of Gemalto Cogent fingerprint, facial and iris algorithms and participates on several biometric standards subcommittees. She has presented to the forensic community at the International Association of Investigation and regularly speaks at Gemalto Cogent’s international user group meetings.

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