2019 Women in Open Source Award

Honor. Celebrate. Inspire.

We believe open source is the future of technology. It's time to recognize the contributions women are making and inspire a new generation to join the open source movement.

Red Hat is proud to recognize the 2019 Women in Open Source Award winners

Our judges narrowed down your nominations to 10 finalists and turned to you, the community, to choose the winners. Thanks to everyone who nominated women from your communities, helped spread the word, and voted to determine the winners. Read on to learn more about the award winners and finalists who are making a difference using open source.

Congratulations, Limor Fried and Saloni Garg

Limor Fried, founder and lead engineer of Adafruit Industries, and Saloni Garg, student at LNM Institute of Information Technology, are the winners of the 2019 Women in Open Source Award.

Limor Fried

2019 Community Award winner

The range of engineering is so wide, and so varied, and I think that’s what I want to tell kids, and inspire them: This is what you can be. Anything you want is going to have technology in it. So whatever your personal favorite hobby or your interests—whether it’s veterinary science, or you want to be a cancer researcher, or you want to build skateboards for a living—all these things, you can be an engineer and build those things and combine those.

Limor won this year’s Community Award for her leadership and advocacy in the open source hardware community. She founded her company, Adafruit, in 2005, with the goal of creating the best place online for learning electronics. As lead engineer, Limor works with a creative team to develop products for makers of all ages and skill levels. She also hosts the YouTube shows Ask an Engineer and Show and Tell, serves as a mentor, and is on the advisory board of IEEE Spectrum magazine. Limor was named a White House Champion of Change in 2016 and was on Forbes magazine’s list of “America’s Top 50 Women in Tech” in 2018.

Saloni Garg

2019 Academic Award winner

I want to inspire others to get into open source, as it is a great way to learn new technology and a great way to form worldwide communities. It’s very important to encourage younger students to join us as it will give them exposure to technologies that are currently being used.

Saloni won this year’s Academic Award for her community-building efforts at LNM Institute of Information Technology in Jaipur, India, where she is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in computer science. She has championed open source principles by starting a community of developers to collaborate and share ideas—a project for which she was recognized as a Mozilla Open Leader. She is also an active member of a number of diversity initiatives in the larger open source community.

Finalists profiles

Community Award

  • Gabriela de Queiroz

    Gabriela de Queiroz
    Founder, R-Ladies

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 6

    Projects or communities: R-Ladies, R

    Summary of contributions:
    Gabriela is the founder of R-Ladies, a worldwide organization that promotes gender diversity in the R community with more than 38,000 participants in more than 135 cities and 44 countries (recently highlighted by The Economist). Each chapter hosts regular meetups promoting professional and social exchanges.

    Originally from Brazil and now a resident of the Bay Area in California, Gabriela was impressed by the number of free resources, knowledge, and opportunities available in her region. She started going to meetups almost daily to learn as much as she could, and she soon felt the need to give back to the community. Gabriela wanted to help others by creating a place where she could see herself in the audience—a place where she could feel safe, without judgment. She knew R and saw this open source programming language as a way to teach and empower others—the idea that led to her founding R-Ladies.

    R-Ladies allows Gabriela to further her learning while simultaneously sharing her knowledge. She is continuously inspired by the virtuous circle that open source generates. Through her work in the R community, Gabriela has empowered thousands of people, especially women and minorities, and helped them connect and thrive.

    This year, R-Ladies became an R Consortium top-level project. Gabriela was the first Latinx to be elected as an R foundation ordinary member, and founded the R Consortium Community Diversity & Inclusion Working Group. She was also featured in Significance’s article on 25 years of R, and presented at many conferences including Open Source Summit and the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON).

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Gabriela plans to keep expanding R-Ladies, especially in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, where it can be challenging to create and sustain this kind of community. She will also keep looking for ways to fund the community and reach out to other underrepresented communities.

    Gabriela believes that everyone has virtually limitless potential, and she plans to build on her history of mentoring. Her teammates say she is an accessible, present, and kind leader—all traits essential to helping others develop and grow. Through R-Ladies, Gabriela has successfully helped women and other minorities flourish and grow in the open source community worldwide.

  • Hong Phuc Dang

    Hong Phuc Dang
    Founder, FOSSASIA

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 11

    Projects or communities:
    FOSSASIA, Eventyay, SUSI.AI, Pocket Science Lab

    Summary of contributions:
    Hong Phuc co-founded FOSSASIA in 2009 as a community devoted to improving people’s lives through sharing open technologies and knowledge and fostering global connections. She especially wanted to encourage developers from Asia to participate in the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) movement. Since then, FOSSASIA has become one of the largest open source communities in Asia.

    Hong Phuc actively works with the organization to develop and sustain a number of open source projects, including SUSI.AI, the open source voice assistant framework, Pocket Science Lab, a miniaturized FOSS hardware and software laboratory, and Eventyay, an open source event solution.

    Every year she organizes the FOSSASIA OpenTechSummit in Singapore, an event where open source contributors from around the world get together to share, collaborate, and build a bridge between the East and West. She also runs events such as OpenTechSummits in China, Science Hackathons in Vietnam, and Jugaad Fests in India. Furthermore, Hong Phuc created and manages online coding programs for education like Codeheat, which introduce more than 1,000 students to open source each year.

    Hong Phuc also supports a range of companies— from the automotive industry to fashion tech companies—to expand their work models to become more efficient by helping people collaborate more openly inside and across companies. Her goal is to share her learnings with as many people as possible to spread the model of open source collaboration around the world. Hong Phuc speaks at tech conferences like CCC, Fosdem, Open Source Summit, and OpenTechSummit Europe. She trains high school teachers on how to use open source tools for education, sets up local open source meetups across Asia, and organizes UNESCO hackathons for the UN sustainable development goals.

    Open source has been a life-changing experience for Hong Phuc. She grew up in a small town in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam and cannot imagine her life today without open source. It has given her the opportunity to learn, grow, be independent, see the entire world, and connect with many people. She believes that free and open source enables sharing and collaboration across borders, regardless of language, race, religion, gender, background, or skills.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Hong Phuc wants to share the story of her journey to encourage more women to participate in FOSS, and would like to run more developer programs in cooperation with companies in support of that goal. She hopes to bootstrap more open source projects and help them scale in communities, but also incubate them as sustainable businesses. She plans to continue working with corporations and governments to establish partnerships with open source communities and also write a book about people in open source.

  • Limor Fried

    Limor Fried
    Founder and lead engineer, Adafruit Industries, LLC

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 13

    Projects or communities:
    Adafruit, Open Source Hardware, CircuitPython, Crickit, Feather

    Summary of contributions:
    While Limor was a graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), people asked her how to get the parts for the electronic designs she made available for free on the internet. Selling kits based on her open designs, she founded Adafruit with the goal of creating the best place for learning and purchasing the best designed electronics online. Adafruit has grown to more than 100 employees in the heart of New York City and employs makers of all ages and skill levels. Housed in a more than 50,000 square foot factory and funded without venture capital, Adafruit is 100% woman owned and has expanded offerings to include tools, equipment, and electronics. Limor personally selects, tests, and approves each product before it is added to the Adafruit store.

    Today she continues to be a strong advocate for open source hardware and software. In the last year, she led the effort in writing open source tutorials at learn.adafruit.com, providing more than 1,700 designs for makers to build and learn from. Limor also developed Circuit Playground Express, an all-in-one exploratory circuit board widely adopted in schools, colleges, and STEM organizations. The Circuit Playground Express

    She hosts the YouTube broadcast "Ask an Engineer," the longest-running live weekly Internet show on STEM and "Show and tell," allowing makers to share their creations. Limor provides demonstrative leadership, showing that women can both aspire and inspire. She is on the advisory board of IEEE Spectrum magazine. She's a 2016 White House Champion of Change and was profiled by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

    Limor mentors other women who own small businesses. Her involvement in the NYC Industrial Manufacturing Council has drawn companies to the New York City region. Adafruit is rated No. 1 in New York City for manufacturing in the Inc. list of the 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies. It is her commitment to keep her company open source that creates growth and educational opportunity.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Limor plans to introduce additional open source hardware products aimed at the educational and hobby markets. She also is working to increase the availability of Python as a modern, easy-to-use language for electronics. Limor has worked closely with the Python community worldwide to both gauge direction and to provide education on the benefits of using Python on microcontrollers. She will continue to advocate for using open source hardware and software as viable solutions for business. Limor also plans to strengthen the availability of open materials to create affordable assistive technologies (AT) for disabled people, and she will continue to support and advocate for open source hardware and software organizations, with an emphasis on small, women-owned businesses.

  • Nithya Ruff

    Nithya Ruff
    Head, Comcast Open Source Practice

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 20

    Projects or communities:
    Chasing Grace, CodeChix, ToDo Group, Linux Foundation, Yocto Project, OpenChain, OpenStack

    Summary of contributions:
    in 1998, Nithya’s employer was starting to get involved in open source, and she was part of the group tasked with figuring out the strategy. As she learned more about the open source community, the licenses, and the development model, Nithya became hooked on the multi-dimensional nature of open source. It challenged her to think big and allowed her to use all of her experiences and training. Since then, she has gone on to found two open source program offices (OSPOs), and acts as an educator and mentor to new OSPOs. She believes that transforming a company’s open source engagements through a healthy OSPO is the key to open source success and scaling. Nithya also serves on the steering committee for the TODO Group, an organization that supports and enables open source efforts inside companies.

    Nithya also does a lot of work to support diversity in open source. She has been a champion for the Chasing Grace project, an uplifting documentary series which has inspired many women to stay and succeed in technology. As a part of an effort to be inclusive and spark dialogue on deeper inclusion in open source, Nithya built the diversity agenda for the Open Source Summits in North America and Europe. She sits on the board of CodeChix, an organization dedicated to retention and mentoring of women engineers. CodeChix uses safe space panels and open source projects as a means of supporting women to have tough conversations and to learn the latest technologies. She is a mentor to many young engineers, and she advocates through her work to make technology companies and projects inclusive of all contributors and contributions.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Through her role at the Linux® Foundation, which has a broad impact on projects across the industry, Nithya hopes to improve diversity in open source through one simple measure: onboarding for diverse and underrepresented people in open source. She plans to ensure that all projects at the foundation have an onboarding and mentoring plan. Additionally, she will continue to work to promote the business case for companies to contribute and engage with open source. She will continue being an advocate for companies to understand the business benefits of contribution.

  • Pia Mancini

    Pia Mancini
    CEO, Open Collective

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 12

    Projects or communities:
    Open Collective, SustainOSS

    Summary of contributions:
    For many years, open source has been Pia’s default approach to doing things. She created DemocracyOS, an open source platform for civic engagement, DemocracyEarth, an open source political party designed to be replicated by people around the world, and is co-founder and CEO of Open Collective, enabling open source projects to transparently raise funds while continuing as distributed collaborative communities. She also co-founded SustainOSS, a one-day event for multiple and diverse stakeholders of the open source community from all over the world. She currently runs a project that helps open source communities become sustainable by providing them with a mechanism to raise funds and spend them transparently.

    A political scientist by training, Pia believes people want to operate in the open and share with one another. They understand collaboration achieves better results, and the world is not a zero-sum game. She is a peer and co-founder of Partido de la Red (The Net Party) as well as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and the former chief advisor to the deputy secretary of Political Affairs of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires. She is also a Future for Good Fellow at the Institute for the Future and a Fellow at X-Lab.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Pia plans to continue to advocate for open source maintainers. In particular, she looks to spread the definition of a “sustainer” as an individual or organization concerned with the fragile current state and future of highly-used and impactful open source projects. She hopes to increase funding for open source projects by enabling them to receive funds and spend them transparently at a project level. She wants to provide companies with a way to give funds directly to open source projects and, as a result, create an index of corporate open source sustainability. Through SustainOSS summits and events around the world, especially in Asia and Africa, Pia will work to continue the conversation about how to sustain open source and what sustainability means.

Academic Award

  • ​Alina Matyukhina

    Alina Matyukhina
    Ph.D. candidate at the University of New Brunswick, cybersecurity researcher at the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 4

    Projects or communities:
    Protection of developers identity in open source projects

    Summary of contributions:
    Alina is working to develop a way to protect the identity of open source software developers. Open source software is open to anyone by design, whether it is a community of developers, hackers, or malicious users. Authors typically hide their identity through nicknames and avatars. However, they have no protection against authorship attribution techniques that can create author profiles just by analyzing software characteristics. This technique may be used to threaten the free speech of software developers and activists. Such a chilling effect can be seen in several cases where developers were being treated with suspicion, intimidated by authorities, and persuaded to remove their software from the internet. Furthermore, by imitating someone's coding style, it is possible to implicate any software developer in wrongdoing. Alina learned about these threats from a presentation at BlackHat USA 2015, and decided to focus her security research on this topic. To help open source software and communities, she developed a technique based on artificial intelligence (AI) that is able to hide and anonymize the coding style of open source developers. In her work, the likelihood of identifying the author of software was reduced to 0%. This work was peer-reviewed and will appear in the proceedings of the 2019 ACM Conference on Data and Application Security and Privacy.

    Alina was inspired by the collaborative nature of open source and the welcoming communities that keep people coming back for years. For her, working with others on a shared project provides an opportunity to explain how you do things—and ask other people for help. She finds it to be a great way to learn and teach. Additionally, Alina has been passionate about increasing women's participation in computer science for more than 6 years. She participates in volunteer work to encourage women to join the computer science world, and currently serves as a graduate peer mentor with the Computer Science faculty at the University of New Brunswick. This role allows her to guide and encourage new female students to join the department.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Alina will continue working to make data open and secure without disclosing sensitive information. She plans to release her software in open source to make it accessible to everyone. She continues to speak and train developers from all over the world about how to contribute to open source without revealing your identity. In 2018-2019, she gave presentations in Canada (at PyCon, BSides Ottawa, HackFest, Identity North), the United States (DroidConSF and O’Reilly), Spain (T3chFest), and Germany (Troopers).

  • Kate Compton

    Kate Compton
    Ph.D. candidate at the University of California Santa Cruz

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 4

    Projects or communities:
    Tracery, Chancery

    Summary of contributions:
    Kate created the Tracery library and language and open sourced it in 2014. It was used to create cheapbotsdonequick.com, a platform that hosts more than 7,000 bots by poets, historians, kids, journalists, and coders. In the summer of 2018, Twitter disabled cheapbots as part of their bot purge, but the internet loves artbots, and because of the collective outrage, the service was reinstated. Kate also produces a regular feed of AI-is-for-everyone tutorials and AI starter projects, and successfully shipped a kickstarter-funded card deck (open source and creative commons) for designing generative art. Kate attended the Open Source Tools for the Arts Summit and wrote an online magazine to summarize the findings. This magazine is currently being used to teach open source to students at New York University (NYU).

    Kate became involved in open source accidentally. Like many people, she used GitHub as a way to share code with collaborators. She released Tracery almost incidentally by making the repository public. As people asked for an open source license, she obliged, and was quickly won over by how freely they were able to use her code to make works that surprised her.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    In the coming year, Kate plans to finish her dissertation on creativity applications for casual users. Tracery was selected for the University of Santa Cruz Center for Research in Open Source Software incubator program. As part of the program, she plans to finish the next major version of Tracery as well as polish her new chatbot language called Chancery. Additionally, Kate is working to start a company focused on building open-format, open-hosted, user-made chatbots, and she is working to implement best practices gathered from the Open Source Tools for the Arts Summit.

  • Mallory Gaspard

    Mallory Gaspard
    Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 1

    Projects or communities:
    Automatic Door Control Project, Rensselaer Center for Open Source (RCOS)

    Summary of contributions:
    As a disabled individual who uses a mobility scooter, one of Mallory's greatest frustrations is the placement and unreliable functionality of automatic door opener buttons. These buttons are often placed in awkward and inaccessible locations that cause safety hazards for the user and those around them, especially on university campuses with high foot traffic. Mallory’s physical disability, coupled with her passion for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), led her to conceive a user-friendly, low-cost device and mobile application to open nearby automatic doors. She joined RCOS to make that idea a reality. Mallory and her team launched the open source Automatic Door Control Project and designed a low-cost Raspberry Pi-based Bluetooth device that can be retrofitted onto existing automatic door opening equipment. They also developed a corresponding mobile app that allows users with school-documented disabilities to remotely open a door within a given radius. The app incorporates accessibility features such as assistive touch and voice-over so individuals with any disability can use it. In addition, Mallory's team developed an complimentary open source app for university disability services.

    Mallory views open source as an opportunity to connect with others from diverse backgrounds and collaboratively develop solutions to various everyday problems. She is passionate about using open source to increase access to affordable and user-friendly assistive technologies for disabled individuals. Recognizing that the broad range of problems we face every day are best solved by bringing together the combined experiences of many individuals, Mallory hopes to inspire others with unique experiences (especially minorities) to contribute to and develop their own open source projects. Through her team leadership and her mentoring of other students on other projects, she shows others that anyone can contribute to open source, regardless of major or background, and that diverse teams produce the most effective solutions.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Following a successful prototype testing, Mallory is now advancing in her plans to install her device on all automatic doors on the RPI campus and officially launch the Android and iOS mobile apps. She is also investigating expanding device capability to Amazon Echo and Google Home services. Further, she plans to develop a complete hardware and software package for distribution to universities, businesses, and individuals so they can easily install and use her device.

  • Saloni Garg

    Saloni Garg
    Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science from The LNM Institute of Information Technology, Jaipur, India

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 2.5

    Project or communities:
    Association for Computing Machinery, Women Techmakers, Wikimedia, GNOME, Mozilla, Cloud Native Computing Foundation

    Summary of contributions:
    Saloni first engaged with open source communities when she entered college. She was inspired by large, worldwide open source communities where people selflessly helped one another and where she felt like she was a part of something larger than herself. From there, she moved on to contributing and encouraging newcomers to participate in open source communities. Saloni is now an active participant in a number of diversity initiatives in the larger open source community, including Women Techmakers Group, 1 Million Women to Tech, Anita Borg, and Women-Who-Code. She is also selected as a Mozilla Open Leader this year, where her project is about building an inclusive community of open source contributors to increase visibility of open source in her area. Saloni contributes to Wikimedia, GNOME, and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), with a focus on making their communities more diverse and accessible to all. In August 2018, she was selected for a Silicon Valley Fellowship that included a 15-day educational tour to top tech companies in San Francisco, such as Google, Intel, and Apple.

    She credits her work in open source for building both her technology and public speaking skills as well as encouraging her to take initiative and work outside her comfort zone. She is currently working on the Smart Traffic Surveillance Project, using OpenCV with Python. In this project, she, along with her team, will make use of sensors affixed inside vehicles to detect traffic congestion, abnormal or suspicious activity, and traffic rule violations. Saloni also received the Google Venkat Scholarship in 2018 for her community service and her passion for making technology accessible to all.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Saloni is working on a data science software project on smart vehicle surveillance under the guidance of one of her professors. She plans to open source the data science software project so that others working in this field can learn more and contribute, and her Google scholarship grant will be used to improve the features of the project. She also plans to help grow the open source community at her college by conducting student workshops.

  • Sayantika Banik

    Sayantika Banik
    Pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Sir M. Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 3

    Projects or communities:
    Google Developer Group, Women Techmakers, Terrain Smart Safety System (TSSS)

    Summary of contributions:
    Sayantika has always felt the need to explore, even when the thirst to innovate and do something different has thrown her outside of her comfort zone. Coding gives her the liberty to investigate and work on many different problems. One specific incident ignited her passion. While traveling among the hills of Ooty in India, Sayantika witnessed a car accident on a steep hairpin curve caused by the driver’s inability to see it in advance. This realization led Sayantika to start her journey in open source development. She built an Internet of Things (IoT) solution called Terrain Smart Safety System (TSSS), which incorporates wearable technology to inform drivers of the dangerous curve at the site of the accident. After that, there was no turning back. Her enthusiasm for open source grew much deeper, and she went on to develop several projects including Jeevan (a prosthetic management system), an accident recovery system with a communication portal, and an automated rail inspection system.

    Her research work has been published in “Innovations in Computer Science and Engineering, Springer, Singapore” which highlights the immense potential of TSSS. Sayantika is also the recipient of a 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration India student scholarship. As a part of ERPNext Summer of Code (ESoC), she actively contributed to the development of open source software.

    In broader outreach efforts, Sayantika worked on the team that ran DevFest 2018 Bangalore, one of the biggest community-led developer events in India that year. She is also an active contributor to the Women Techmakers initiative, working to increase the participation of women in technology.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    In the next few years, Sayantika wants to establish a wave of involvement in open source among the youth in India. She wants them to know that understanding and using technology is not limited to any single person, and that the power of technology can be best accessed through community involvement.

Award process

Recognizing women's contributions to open source

We’re looking for women who make important contributions to an open source project or the open source community, including:

  • Code and programming.
  • Quality assurance and bug triage.
  • Involvement in open hardware.
  • System administration and infrastructure.
  • Design, artwork, user experience, and marketing.
  • Documentation, tutorials, and other communications.
  • Translation and internationalization.
  • Open content.
  • Community advocacy and community management.
  • Intellectual property advocacy and legal reform.
  • Open source methodology.

Nominees qualify for 2 distinct awards

  • Women in Open Source Academic Award: Women who are enrolled full-time, earning 12 or more credit hours, in college or university, for any degree level
  • Women in Open Source Community Award: All other women

2018 Award winners

Congratulations Dana Lewis and Zui Dighe, our 2018 Women in Open Source Award winners.

Our 2018 winners and finalists are educators, entrepreneurs, advocates, volunteers, researchers, engineers, and mentors. Their work impacts areas ranging from academic research to biomedical engineering to cultural advocacy.

Our judges narrowed down your nominations to 10 finalists and turned to you, the community, to choose the winners. Thanks to everyone who nominated women from your communities, helped spread the word, and voted to determine the winners. Read on to learn how these inspiring women are changing the world.

Past winners

Learn more about the women who have achieved this notable award for open source contribution.

Our 2018 winners

Our 2018 winners and finalists are organizers, mentors, program managers, engineers, presidents and vice presidents, and executive directors. Their work impacts areas ranging from open source education to web literacy and learning technologies. Read on to learn how these inspiring women are changing the world.

Dana Lewis

2018 Community Award winner

We went from ‘Should we do this?’ to ‘Could we do this?’ to ‘Done.’ in the course of about two weeks—way faster than anyone expected. And it’s really a testament of that #WeAreNotWaiting spirit and people being willing to help out.

Dana won this year’s Women in Open Source Community Award for her efforts to revolutionize care for people with Type 1 diabetes. Frustrated with the diabetes care industry’s failure to provide a device that worked for her, Dana created one of the first DIY artificial pancreas systems. Her efforts grew into the Open Artificial Pancreas System (OpenAPS) community, a free and open source software (FOSS) project that empowers people with diabetes to make a device that works for their needs. Dana played nearly every role possible in this community.

Zui Dighe

2018 Academic Award winner

There’s so much untapped potential…that untapped potential is also new ideas and different points of view, and really incorporating that is the mindset of open source, and that’s the mindset of this award as well.

Zui won this year’s Women in Open Source Academic Award for her efforts to make data open and accessible to all, particularly with regards to healthcare. As a biomedical engineering major at Duke University, she got her start in open source using a mobile development kit for health applications called Sana. With Sana, Zui built an app to use with a low-cost colposcopy device for low-income communities. That work sparked a passion for using open source to serve communities in developing countries. Zui joined a team of students from Duke University and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda to remodel a vaccine carrier, introducing innovations using the Arduino, Particle, and Adafruit open source libraries. She and a Duke classmate then expanded into the sustainable energy. By applying this Arduino system to monitor environmental factors in remote areas to determine energy needs, they won third place in Schneider Electric’s 2018 Go Green in the City international competition. Zui’s work seeks to bridge the gap between innovation and need, while identifying endless possibilities along the way.

Meet our 2018 finalists

Community Award

Dana Lewis
Founder, OpenAPS and creator, DIY Artificial Pancreas System
Rupa Dachere
Founder, executive director, president, and chairperson of the board at CodeChix
Beth “pidge” Flanagan
OpenEmbedded/Yocto project contributor and CTO of Togán Labs
Karen Sandler
Executive director, Software Freedom Conservancy/cyborg lawyer
Katie McLaughlin
Site reliability engineer, Divio

Academic Award

​Ann Barcomb
Ph.D. candidate, free and open source software communities, University of Limerick
Emily Shannon
Duke University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering
Jona Azizaj
Bachelor’s degree in business informatics, University of Tirana
Nikki Stevens
Arizona State University, pursuing a doctorate degree in human and social dimensions of science and technology in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society
Zui Dighe
Duke University, Bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and computer science

Our 2017 winners

Our 2017 winners and finalists are organizers, mentors, program managers, engineers, presidents and vice presidents, and executive directors. Their work impacts areas ranging from open source education to web literacy and learning technologies. Read on to learn how these inspiring women are changing the world.

Avni Khatri

2017 Community Award winner

I've helped set up these labs with the hopes that kids will be able to utilize the technology and get access to educational content that they don’t otherwise have. We’re hoping the kids will see what’s possible, and then come back and help improve their own lives, their families’ lives, and their communities’ lives.

Avni won this year’s Women in Open Source Community Award for her efforts to empower kids to change their lives through technology. Avni’s dream is for everyone—especially kids—to have unlimited access to education so that they have more autonomy over their lives and the ability to improve their communities. She sees free and open source software (FOSS) as instrumental to realizing this vision, and has worked to bring technology to underserved communities around the world with the nonprofit Kids on Computers. As a volunteer since 2010 and the organization’s president since 2012, Avni has traveled to remote communities in Mexico, India, and Morocco to install school labs with Linux computers, FOSS applications, and open content such as offline Wikipedia and Khan Academy, and to enable local volunteers to support the labs. She recently co-founded For a Living, a new open source platform that will allow students to learn about different careers by interviewing professionals based on jobs, interests, and skill sets.

Jigyasa Grover

2017 Academic Award winner

I believe that we rise by lifting others, and helping others step into this alluring world of open source has not only impacted them, but it also has created a ripple effect.

Jigyasa won this year’s Women in Open Source Academic Award for her contributions to the open source community. Early in her university days, Jigyasa began working in competitive algorithmic C/C++ programming, Java, Python, and more, which led her to explore open source. She began working on Pharo, an open source Smalltalk IDE, and eventually became one of the top contributors to Pharo 4.0 released in 2015. Since then, she has participated in Google Summer of Code in 2015 and 2016, and was awarded research opportunities by the National Research Council of Canada and the ESUG at Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) France. She is working to inspire others by sharing her work and experiences through blogs, code sharing on GitHub, organizing code labs and tech talks, leading teams of women in major hackathons, speaking at conferences, and participating in mentorship programs. She is the director of Women Who Code Delhi, and she participates in GDG, Google WTM, WiSE, and Systers IWiC.

Meet our 2017 finalists

Community Award

Amira Dhalla
Lead, Women and Web Literacy, Mozilla Foundation
Avni Khatri
Program manager, Knowledge and Learning Technologies group, Laboratory of Computer Science, Massachusetts General Hospital
Heather Kirksey
Vice president of NFV, Linux Foundation
Jessie Frazelle
Software engineer, Google
Karen Sandler
Executive director, Software Freedom Conservancy

Academic Award

Aastha Vijay
Student at Cummins College of Engineering for Women, Pune, Maharashtra, India
Dawn Foster
Ph.D. candidate at University of Greenwich
Jigyasa Grover
Student at Delhi Technological University (formerly known as Delhi College of Engineering)
Nabanita De
Student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Safia Abdalla
Student at Northwestern University

Our 2016 winners

The 2016 Women in Open Source Award winners and finalists are engineers, developers, community managers, mentors, entrepreneurs, educators, and pioneers. They're making an impact in areas ranging from CPU power management to diversity outreach in communities and open source education. Read on to learn how these inspiring women are changing the world.

2016 Community Award winner

Jessica McKellar

Jessica won the Women in Open Source Community Award for her efforts to create more inclusive environments in open source communities and the technology industry. Jessica’s introduction to open source in 2006 was a positive experience and she aspires to make open source communities more welcoming to new contributors, so that their first experiences are as good as hers.

As the diversity outreach chair for PyCon, the annual Python community event, Jessica reached out to her network of women in technology to increase the number of women speakers at PyCon from 1% in 2011 to 40% in 2016. Jessica won an O'Reilly Open Source Award for her diversity outreach work in the Python community in 2013. She also coordinated the participation of Twisted and Python in Outreachy, a program that helps underrepresented groups get involved in open source. Under her leadership, Dropbox increased representation of women in engineering. She is also a senior technical advisor for the HBO show Silicon Valley.

2016 Academic Award winner

Preeti Murthy

Preeti won the 2016 Women in Open Source Academic Award for her contributions to open source. As an undergraduate, Preeti was part of a team that introduced students to open source. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, she worked for three years as a Linux kernel developer, where she contributed code, documentation, tutorials, open content, and other communications. Preeti has nearly 60 commits and reviews in the area of CPU power management. She also volunteered as a co-mentor for the Outreachy internship program. Preeti is pursuing a master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon, where she and her team are working on a programming toolchain for energy-harvesting systems that they hope to open source soon.

Meet our 2016 finalists

Community Award

Heidi Ellis
Professor of Computer Science and Information Technology at Western New England University
Valerie Aurora
Co-founder of the Ada Initiative and Linux kernel developer
Carrie Anne Philbin
Education pioneer at the Raspberry Pi Foundation
Julia Lawall
Senior research scientist at Inria

Academic Award

Ankita Shukla
Student at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)
Divya Upadhyay
Student at National Institute of Technology, Patna, India
Lynnette Ng
Student at National University of Singapore
Dawn Foster
Ph.D. candidate at the University of Greenwich

Meet our 2015 winners

The first class of Women in Open Source Award winners and finalists have contributed to projects ranging from open medical content and legal reform to code for many open source projects. Read on to learn how these inspiring women are changing the world.

2015 Community Award winner

Sarah Sharp

Sarah won the Community Award for her efforts in improving communications and inviting women into open source communities. Sarah coordinates Linux® kernel mentors for Outreachy (formerly the Outreach Program for Women), which helps underrepresented groups get involved in open source software projects. An outspoken proponent of improving communications among kernel developers, Sarah helps make open source communities more civil, collaborative, and welcoming. Sarah was the author and former maintainer of the Linux USB 3.0 host controller driver. She has also developed open source amateur rocket software and hardware—built by the Portland State Aerospace Society—and open source software to power her garden's automated water systems.

2015 Academic Award winner

Kesha Shah

Kesha, a full-time student, won in the Academic category for her outstanding coding and mentoring work while studying information and communication technology. Being part of Google Summer of Code program multiple times, Shah contributed to three open source organizations, Systers- an Anita Borg Institute, BRL-CAD and STEPcode. She also mentored at Season Of KDE, Learn IT Girls! and Google Code-In, helping pre-university students from across the globe develop their first open source contributions, and is currently director for Women Who Code in Gujarat. Shah was a recipient of prestigious Google Anita Borg Memorial Asia-Pacific Scholarship and Anita Borg Pass It On winner for teaching basic computer and smartphone technologies to middle-aged women, especially mothers in her province. Shah has mentored many students' initial open source development contributions and guided many of them toward becoming regular contributors.

Meet our 2015 finalists

Community Award

Shauna Gordon-McKeon
Program director at OpenHatch
Elizabeth K. Joseph
Systems engineer at HP
Deb Nicholson
Community outreach director at MediaGoblin
Karen Sandler
Executive director, Software Freedom Conservancy

Academic Award

Charul
Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad
Sophia D’Antoine
Student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Studying Computer Science and Computer System’s Engineering, bachelor’s and master’s degree
Emily Dunham
Oregon State University
Studying computer science
Netha Hussain
Government Medical College, Kozhikode, University of Calicut
Earning a bachelor of medicine and surgery


Download the complete 2019 rules [PDF] for the Women in Open Source Award.