Carnegie Mellon University

INI director Dena Haritos Tsamitis

December 21, 2016

INI director joins board of influential women in information security

Dena Haritos Tsamitis

By Jessica Corry

Dena Haritos Tsamitis, director of the Information Networking Institute (INI), has been appointed to the advisory board of the Executive Women’s Forum (EWF) on Information Security, Risk Management and Privacy.

“The EWF is delighted to have Dena join the Board of Advisors,” said Joyce Brocaglia, EWF Founder and CEO Alta Associates. “Dena’s commitment and passion for increasing diversity and developing women thought leaders in our field, adds tremendous value to our growing member community.” 

Founded in 2002, the EWF is the largest member organization serving emerging leaders and influential female executives in the security, risk management and privacy field. Its core mission is to attract, develop and advance women within its field through education, leadership, development and the creation of trusted relationships. Formed in 2013, the advisory board is a network of highly influential female thought leaders in the field.

“I’m honored and excited to serve on the EWF’s Board of Advisors,” said Tsamitis. “Advancing women in the industry – including our next generation – is more important than ever. The EWF has delivered for over 15 years and I can’t wait to help them continue to advocate and impact women in the information security, risk management, and privacy industry.”

In 2007, Tsamitis established a partnership between the EWF and INI to offer a full scholarship to an incoming INI student. The partnership has been renewed after 10 years and will continue to offer invaluable networking and mentorship opportunities to develop women leaders in information security and privacy.

The EWF INI Fellows over the past 10 years are:

  • 2007 – Amy Rambhia, MSISTM (now MSIS), Senior Program Manager at Microsoft
  • 2008 – Tyelisa Shields, MSIT-Information Security, Program Risk Manager at Apple
  • 2009 – Krystal Ying, MSIT-Information Security, Middleware Consultant for Red Hat
  • 2011 – Dolly Karaba, MSIT-Information Security, Cybersecurity Advisor at EY
  • 2011 – Tara Darbyshire Fellowship, Jonida Cali, MSIT-Software Management, VMware
  • 2012 – Erye Hernandez, MSISTM (now MSIS), Senior Malware Researcher at FireEye
  • 2013 – Grace Kihumba, MSIT-Mobility, Google
  • 2014 ­– Hana Habib Qudsi, MSIT-Information Security, PhD Student at Carnegie Mellon’s Institute for Software Research (ISR)
  • 2015 – Melanie Rich-Wittrig, Current MSIS Student
  • 2016 – Caitlin Hanley, Current MSIS Student 

For Dolly Karaba, the EWF INI scholarship was a life-changer. She set her eyes on graduate studies at Carnegie Mellon after a few years working in Kenya as a software developer. The EWF INI Fellowship propelled her to academic success and connected her to a summer internship with American Express.

"When starting at CMU, I struggled with being in a new culture and new education system, and I really wasn't sure I'd make it,” she said. “Although it started out with challenges, it has been one of my greatest life-changing experiences.”

Dolly graduated in May 2013 with a master's degree in information security and now applies her knowledge and leadership skills as a cybersecurity advisor for EY (formerly Ernst & Young).

A student advocate and mentor of women in technology, Tsamitis is passionate about increasing diversity in STEM fields. In 2005, she co-founded the student organization, Women at INI (WINI), to address the unique challenges faced by women in the male-dominated field of engineering.

“We have made it an institutional policy to create a nurturing and inspiring environment that promotes and celebrates gender and cultural equality, both within and beyond the INI,” said Tsamitis. “I want to ensure that all of my students feel safe, valued, and equal. We must work towards affecting change and our partnership with EWF is key among our strategies for making a difference.”

For the full article on Dena’s appointment to EWF’s board of advisors, click here.


About the Executive Women’s Forum

Founded in 2002, the Executive Women’s Forum on Information Security, Risk Management & Privacy (EWF) is the largest member organization serving women leaders as well as the most prominent and influential women in Information Security, Cybersecurity, IT Risk Management, Governance Risk & Compliance and Privacy. The EWF’s mission is to advance women in our field through leadership development, education and the creation of trusted relationships. The EWF achieves this goal by facilitating programs and events throughout the year including a National Conference, regional meetings, leadership development programs and interaction with global thought leaders through an online community. For more information visit,

About the EWF INI Fellowship

The Information Networking Institute (INI) partners with the Executive Women's Forum (EWF), sponsored by Alta Associates, to offer a full scholarship to an incoming INI student. Alta Associates is a premier executive recruitment firm specializing in Information Security, IT Audit, Risk Management and Privacy. This scholarship was first offered in the Fall 2007 to support a student from a historically underrepresented population. Awardees, known as INI-EWF Fellows, receive a full scholarship and have the opportunity to be mentored by an EWF participant who is at a senior level in the information security field. For more information, click here.