2023-24 Board of Directors
Alia Roca-Lezra, President
Alia joined Women in GIS as a senior in college and participated in the mentorship program as a mentee soon after. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2021 with degrees in Economics and Environmental Studies and a concentration in GIS. She now works at an economic development nonprofit in Siskiyou County as the local Brownfields program director and has worked on projects that span land revitalization, climate initiatives, and more traditional economic development work. She is grateful to be able to be a part of and learn from the WiGIS community and serve as this year’s President.
Samantha Dinning, Vice President
Sam began attending events through the Arizona Chapter in 2020 and became an active member of Women in GIS in 2021. She participated as a mentee which led to being involved in the Outreach & Map Committees, and WiGIS events. She co-founded the Colorado Chapter in 2022. Sam was selected to the 2023-25 cohort of the URISA Vanguard Cabinet, an advisory board of passionate young geospatial professionals; and has an MS in Applied Geospatial Sciences from Northern Arizona University.
“I love serving others and working hard to improve my community. I ran for VP of WiGIS because I want to help improve opportunities for women working in geospatial sciences. I am so honored to have been elected to this role and I cannot wait to learn more and help our community!”
Caitlin Hagar-Kuhn, Past President
I am honored to have served as President of Women in GIS. This organization has provided countless opportunities for growth in my career, network, and within myself. I graduated from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in 2010 with a Bachelors in Geography. I earned by Master of Science in GIS at St Mary’s University of Minnesota. The majority of my GIS experience has been in the government sector. I’ve worked in transportation planning at the Iowa DOT, asset management at Fort McCoy, land conservation at Mississippi Valley Conservancy and now municipal GIS for the City of Onalaska. I am also a Board Member for our State GIS organization, Wisconsin Land Information Association and Adjunct Professor at Viterbo University. My passion lies in developing solutions that inspire collaboration and induce efficiency. One of the best parts of Women in GIS is getting to know what others are doing in Communities of Practice. The years of knowledge and experience are priceless. The WiGIS network has helped me navigate the workplace waters with a little more ease. I love this community and I hope I can give back all that it has given me.
Tia Morita, Secretary
Tia is a GIS Specialist with the County of Los Angeles. Her 15+ year career in GIS came by way her background in international development policy and public administration. Using her Masters in both Public Administration and GIS, she believes strongly in the power of GIS to inform important decisions affecting people, organizations, and our everyday lives. Tia has also served for several years on the Board of the California Geographic Information Association (more recently as the Past Chair), and brings her enthusiasm to promote the WiGIS mission and her stellar organizational skills as Secretary.
Elizabeth Houser, Treasurer
Beth Houser has been a GIS professional since 2007. She earned a BS in Environmental Science and a MS from UPenn in Urban Spatial Analytics, focusing on land use and planning. Beth began her career at a regional planning commission, and since 2009, has been the GIS Specialist at WRT, a planning and architecture firm. Working to design communities to be more resilient and equitable, she gets the opportunity to analyze and portray data at differing scales across the US. She served for four years as Treasurer for the Chester County Mothers of Multiples club and is excited to be able to serve the WiGIS community in a similar capacity. During Beth’s “spare” time, she enjoys spending time with her four children, reading, playing board games, gardening, and camping.
Awards & Scholarship: Azza Kamal
Dr. Kamal has 15 years of experience as a GIS and Geodesign educator and researcher. Currently, she is an Instructional Assistant Professor in the University of Florida’s College of Design, Construction and Planning, where she leads the Geodesign curriculum and its applications in Sustainability. She has worked with municipalities, nonprofits, and academic units to utilize the power of geospatial tools for sustainable and impactful outcomes. She helped the City of San Antonio to build a geospatial tool to ensure equitable allocations of funds and streamlined a site suitability tool to market developable sites in Texas Southern Counties. She enjoys helping her students to integrate GIS in their projects to examine and predict growth and operationalization of the communities and regions they study. For the Awards and Scholarship Committee, she aspires to establishing a self-funded program that recognizes accomplished and young women and their work in the GIS fields.
Internal Affairs: Danielle Bram
Danielle Bram is a co-founder, former President, and current Board Member of Women in GIS. She has a passion for GIS and supporting women in the field of geospatial technology. Danielle is a GIS Professional with over 20 years of experience in the public agency, higher education and nonprofit sectors. Her applied research interests and experience cover a variety of topics such as municipal, conservation and water resource GIS. Danielle is currently Director of the Center for Geospatial Science and Technology at CSU, Northridge in California. She is on the Board of the California Geographic Information Association representing education interests, and is a member of the California GIS Council Hydrography and Education Workgroups.
Map Development: Naz Ali
Naz Ali is a certified GIS professional (GISP) with over 15 years of experience, specializing in market analysis across several real estate business service lines - retail, industrial an logistics, and office leasing. She is the GIS Manager for CBRE Canada who works with retailers, restaurant operators, developers, and landlords to develop data driven methods to help make better business decisions. She also serves on the Program Advisory Board at British Columbia Institute of Technology representing education interests in business geographics. Naz has a passion for geospatial data visualization and loves to use that as a communication tool which she finds engages her users better. She is really excited to serve as the Map Committee Lead at Women in GIS.
Mentorship: Jessica Vargas
Jessica has spent the last 10 years as a geospatial specialist, anthropologist and environmental scientist. In her current role she uses GIS to support her home state’s largest transportation projects. In prior roles she's supported planning/zoning in local government, consulted on environmental compliance, in addition to more creative projects (where she won a SAG award at ESRI UC). When she's not doing GIS, you can find her with her family cycling, hiking, or playing saxophone. She is honored to serve as the Mentorship Committee Chair.
Outreach: Eva Reid
Eva Reid, MPA, GISP, is thrilled to serve as the Outreach Committee Chair after several years of participating as a volunteer for the committee and serving as the WiGIS Chapter Coordinator. Eva is co-founder and lead facilitator of DC Metro Women in GIS, an affiliate chapter of Women in GIS. DC Metro Women in GIS has served District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland women in GIS since 2012.
Eva is the IT Data Manager for the District of Columbia’s health department and has almost 30 years of experience in GIS, information technology, training, and project management. Eva is noted for the caliber and creativity of her work as a keynote speaker in technical and professional development venues. She has extensive experience as a presenter and workshop facilitator in professional, corporate, and government settings.
Eva is also the owner and CEO of Eva Reid Consulting, LLC, which provides professional development workshops and career coaching for women in tech and other fields where women are underrepresented. Under her consulting umbrella, Eva is the author of a number of articles for technology and GIS magazines and will be launching a non-profit, The Women’s Tech Collective in 2023.
Professional Development: Swati Grover
Swati Grover is a Geospatial Solutions professional, with over 22 years of work experience spanning the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in India and internationally. She holds an M.Phil. in GIS & Remote Sensing from the University of Cambridge, UK, and an MS in Geology from the University of Delhi, India. She has worked on a variety of GIS based projects related to developing technical architecture, database/geodatabase management and finding customized solutions. She is a seasoned instructor, delivering specialized courses in GIS & Remote Sensing practices, and capacity building programs catered to specific industries. Currently, she is working as a GIS specialist for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-Assisted Delhi Water Supply Improvement Project. She has worked as a consultant for several agencies and served visiting faculty positions in multiple institutes. In addition, she holds advisory positions for the Wo-Men Geospatial Coterie, and the Disaster Resilient & Research Foundation, India. In 2019, Swati Grover was honored for her contributions with the Women Empowerment Leadership Award in Disaster Management for Geospatial Technology Awareness.