These women are being recognized as the new face of open source



Women in Open Source

When speaking of the open source community, these faces may not immediately come to mind.

Yet increasingly in this space women from diverse backgrounds are making contributions that extend beyond code.

To recognize their work in the world of open source, multinational software vendor Red Hat, Inc. has nominated ten individuals for the Women in Open Source awards.

The first five are Community Award finalists who are established IT professionals while the latter half consists of students nominated in the Academic Award category.

The winners will be announced at the Red Hat Summit in June.


Shauna Gordon-McKeon

Shauna Gordon-McKeon

Program director at OpenHatch, open source contributor for four years

At OpenHatch, Gordon-McKeon is responsible for organizing Open Source Come to Campus workshops and making open source more accessible to newcomers and underrepresented groups such as women. She has helped create dozens of these types of workshops each year around the country. Her “open” work does not end there; she also promotes accessibility in the scientific and government communities.

She contributes to OpenHatch, Open Science Collaboration and Open Government Boston.


Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph

Elizabeth K. Joseph
Systems engineer at HP, open source contributor for 12 years

Joseph is a long time contributor to Ubuntu and is well known in the OpenStack community for her contributions as an automation and tools engineer on the OpenStack Project at HP. Through Partimus, Joseph helped repurpose old hardware to furnish classrooms, bringing computing to disadvantaged parts of the world. She coauthored the eighth edition of the Official Ubuntu Book, has been a member of the Community Council for five years, and the Ubuntu Women group for eight years.

Joseph contributes to OpenStack, Partimus, Ubuntu, LinuxChix, LUG, Systers, CodeChix, Ubuntu Community Council and Ubuntu Women


Deb Nicholson

Deb Nicholson
Community outreach director at MediaGoblin, open source contributor for eight years

For several years, Nicholson has helped organize the Boston Software Freedom Day. She organized the Free Software Women’s Caucus Mini-Summit in 2009. Through the Open Invention Network, Nicholson reaches out to open source community members to work to assemble patent filings to add to a protected pool.  She’s also a board member of OpenHatch.

Nicholson contributes to the Free Software Foundation (FSF), Ada Initiative, GNU MediaGoblin, Boston Software Freedom Day, Free Software Women’s Caucus MiniSummit, Open Invention Network (OIN) and OpenHatch.


Karen Sandler

Karen Sandler
Executive director of Software Freedom Conservancy, open source contributor for ten years

Motivated by a heart condition that required her to have an implant that runs proprietary software, Sandler researched vulnerability and lack of software testing for medical devices and shared findings with the public. She provided pro bono legal support to free software projects as a general counsel at the Software Freedom Law Center. As an executive director of the GNOME Foundation she works to bring free computers to users, and expanded the Outreach Program for Women to include dozens of free software organizations.

Sandler contributes to the Software Freedom Conservancy, Software Freedom Law Center, GNOME Foundation, GNOME Outreach Program for Women.


Sarah Sharp

Sarah Sharp
Embedded software architect at Intel, open source contributor for ten years

Sharp authored and formerly maintained the Linux USB 3.0 host controller driver and has been involved in Linux kernel development since 2006. She currently coordinates the GNOME Outreach Program for Women (OPW) and is an outspoken proponent of improving communications among kernel developers to be more friendly towards diverse new contributors.  She has since been appointed to the Ada Initiative advisory board. Sarah’s open source contributions include amateur rocket software and hardware built by the Portland State Aerospace Society.

Sharp contributes to Linux, Yocto Project, GNOME Outreach Program for Women (OPW), Ada Initiative and the Portland State Aerospace Society.


Charul Agrawal

Charul Agrawal
Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, open source contributor for one year, Academic Award finalist

Charul began contributing to open source organizations as a student ambassador at Mozilla. She is a contributor to the Fedora project Datagrepper and interned with the GNOME Outreach Program for Women. She has also organized workshops in her college promoting Mozilla products and raising awareness about open source internships. In 2014, she participated in Google Summer of Code and worked with the Fedora infrastructure team on project Shumgrepper.

Agrawal contributes to Mozilla, Fedora, GNOME Outreach Program for Women, Datagrepper and Shumgrepper.


Sophia D'Antoine

Sophia D’Antoine
Computer Science and Computer System’s Engineering student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, open source contributor for five years

D’Antoine has worked on a runtime code manipulation system, DynamoRIO, which Dr. Memory, a memory analyzer for Windows and Linux. D’Antoine has contributed to open source educational programs through RPISEC, her campus security club, and organized weekly introductory and advanced courses on security. She even helped develop an online security competition, Fairgame, with RPISEC that attracted 300+ students.

D’Antoine contributes to DynamoRIO, RPISEC and Fairgame.


Emily Dunham

Emily Dunham
Computer science student at Oregon State University, open source contributor for four years

Dunham is a student systems administrator at the Oregon State University Open Source Lab.  In 2013, Dunham founded the DevOps BootCamp program at Oregon State University to bridge the skills gap for students and community members interested in open source. She designed the curriculum, which consisted of 20 weeks of lessons.  Dunham also served as president of the OSU Linux User Group, and ran the robotics and computer security clubs. Emily has spoken at open source conferences including O’Reilly OSCON, and LinuxFest Northwest.

Dunham contributes to the Oregon State University Open Source Lab, Bravo, Ops School, Oregon State University DevOps BootCamp and LUG.


Netha Hussain

Netha Hussain
Medicine and surgery student at Government Medical College, Kozhikode, University of Calicut, open source contributor of five years

Hussain writes Wikipedia articles in English and Malayalam about healthcare, literature, and women. As a pilot volunteer for WikiWomen’s Collaborative, she brought contributors to Wikipedia and its sister projects. She also runs WikiLoves Pride, bringing LGBT-related articles to India. At her medical school, she is a Wikipedian in Residence and Firefox student ambassador. She has presented at international conferences including Open Source Bridge, Wikimania, Mozilla Summit, and Wikimedia Diversity Conference. Netha helped run AdaCamp sessions in both the US and Bangalore, and contributes to Mozilla localization, TED translation, the GeekFeminism wiki and Fossbox.

Hussain contributes to Wikimedia, WikiWomen and WikiLoves Pride, Mozilla, Ted translate, Ada Initiative and AdaCamp, GeekFeminism and Fossbox.



Kesha Shah

Kesha Shah
Information and communication technology student at Dhirubhai Ambani Institute, open source contributor for 2 years

Shah’s first contribution was an outreach article for KDE meetup. At the Google Summer of Code program, she worked with two open source organizations, BRL-CAD and STEPcode. Kesha is mentor in Google Code-In, where she helps pre-university kids get into open source, and is currently mentor to to Gcompris, an educational suite for 2-10 year old children. Shah has also served as Mozilla student ambassador and is a director for Woman Who Code, Gujarat and is the 2014 Google Anita Borg Asia Pacific Memorial Scholar.

Shah contributes to KDE meetup, BRLCAD, STEPcode, Google CodeIn and Mozilla.


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