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August 12, 2021
Author: Kelly Nelson

SAN FRANCISCO (August 12, 2021) – The San Francisco-based nonprofit Career Girls announced today the appointment of DeAndra Jean-Louis, Vice-President of Palo Alto Networks, and Desira Stearns, Strategic Diversity Outreach Director for Leidos, to its Board of Directors.

“Career Girls is dedicated to helping every girl around the world reach her full potential and discover her own path to empowerment by providing access to real women role models and a supportive, girl-centric curriculum to learn from," said Linda Calhoun, Career Girls Founder and Board President. "We are thrilled to add DeAndra and Desira’s expertise to our leadership team to advance our mission."

DeAndra is a Vice President at Palo Alto Networks in Silicon Valley. In the 25+ years since graduating from college, she has modeled professionally around the world for some of the biggest names in fashion like Oscar De La Renta and Escada. She transitioned to the world of technology as a programmer/developer for Fortune 100 companies like IBM and barrier-breaking cloud companies like Workday. She is now a cybersecurity executive at Palo Alto Networks. DeAndra is a lifelong advocate for girls in STEM and holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Louisiana State University.

“Career Girls provides young women with the option to explore and learn from those that are living the dreams we all had as young women. It brings to reality what many still see as the impossible. I could not be happier to have the opportunity to share my journey and experiences to ensure the next generation can see beyond any potential challenges life puts in their way.”

Desira is the Strategic Diversity Outreach Director for Leidos where she is responsible for building and managing external diversity partnerships with Minority Serving Institutions, national diversity organizations and conferences, and community outreach organizations. She has over 25 years of experience across a variety of disciplines including software engineering, human resources, and project management. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree, Magna Cum Laude, in Computer Science from Tennessee State University and a Master of Science degree in Engineering Science from The Pennsylvania State University (Great Valley).

“Career Girls is special - the breadth and depth of the video repository, the free curriculum for students, the boot camps. I could go on and on. I am beyond excited to join an organization focused on helping girls imagine the art of the possible. I look forward to shaping and delivering programming that enables all girls to dream their biggest dream and have it come true.”

Other Career Girls Board of Directors include Jason Ambrose, VP of Strategic Business Transformation at Anaplan; Rachael Esperanza, Business Partner at Google; Christine Hoefliger, Partner at Sheppard Mullin; Andrea Schulz, Audit Partner at Grant Thornton LLP; and Beverly Thompson, Senior Scientist at Leidos.

Career Girls® is a free, non-commercial, online platform that features more than 16,000 short video clips of 800 diverse women role models sharing career and educational advice to inspire young girls to expand their horizons, improve their academic performance and dream big about their futures. Launched in 1996, Career Girls is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization.