Argonne’s Women in Science and Technology (WIST) program is sponsored and funded by the Argonne Laboratory Director. WIST is governed by a WIST Program Initiator (WPI) and the WIST Steering Committee.

Steering Committee

The administration of the program is supervised by the WIST Steering Committee. Restructured in 2004, the WIST Steering Committee consists of ten regular members and five alternates:

  • Five members are appointed from Laboratory management: Office of the Director (Chair); Human Resources (HR); HR Diversity Program Office; and Communications, Education,  & Public Affairs (CEPA).
  • Two members are Distinguished Fellows.
  • Additional members are women from the scientific and technical staff, including the previous WPI and representatives from the Energy and Global Security (EGS); Computing, Environment, & Life Sciences (CELS); Operations (OPS); Photon Sciences (PSC); and Physical Sciences & Engineering (PSE) Directorates.
  • Each organization has an alternate who works closely with the organizational representative and attends meetings.

Members selected from among the scientific and technical staff serve for two years, at which time the alternates are appointed to the Steering Committee and new alternates are selected.

The charter of the steering committee includes the following:

  • Serve as search committee and provide recommendations to the Chair for the WIST Program Initiator (WPI).
  • Discuss programmatic priorities with the WPI, provide guidance on tasks to be accomplished, and provide support to the WPI, as needed.
  • Assess the WPI’s progress, provide the Chair with an annual evaluation (including input from the WPI), and evaluate the effectiveness of the WPI position itself.
  • Serve on subcommittees in such areas as outreach, professional and career development, communication, survey, and equity analysis.
  • Facilitate communication among women within the Laboratory and between women and Laboratory management and/or Human Resources

WIST Subcommittees

WIST has two subcommittees, that focus on discipline-specific areas of effort.

  •  The WIST Computing Subcommittee supports the organization of Argonne’s presence at the annual Grace Hopper Celebration. The current chair is Maria Power. This committee can be contacted at
  • The WIST Engineering Subcommittee supports the organization of Argonne’s presence at the annual Society of Women Engineers conference, as well as Argonne’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. The current chair is Emily Zvolanek. This committee can be contacted at

WIST Program Initiator

The WIST Program Initiator coordinates the program. This two-year position is filled by a research and development staff member who devotes 25% of her time to the program and, in that capacity, reports directly to the Laboratory Director. Responsibilities include the following:

  1. Assist in the design and development of WIST Program activities,
  2. In cooperation with CEPA and the HR Diversity Program Office, plan the program for the annual Science Careers in Search of Women Conference; and,
  3. In cooperation with HR, assist in recruiting and affirmative action activities geared toward attracting and retaining technical staff from underutilized groups.

The current WPI is Emily Zvolanek (EVS).

Past WPIs include

  • Lydia Finney
  • Lisa Durham
  • Giselle Sandi
  • Kawtar Hafidi
  • Cristina Negri
  • Kirsten Laurin-Kovitz
  • Maryka Bhattacharya
  • Tina Kilmer
  • Ruth Reck
  • Betsy Curlin
  • Marion Thurnauer