Cowen-Hirsch receives prestigious AFCEA International Award for 2015

Congratulations to Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch, Inmarsat Senior Vice President, U.S. Government, who is one of four recipients of the prestigious Women’s Appreciation Award at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) WEST event in San Diego, USA.

The award honors AFCEA members who have gone above and beyond to further the careers of women in numerous ways, including supporting their professional development; acting as a mentor; promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) scholarships to female students; sponsoring or advocating highly-qualified female candidates for a promotion; and contributions to the development of opportunities for women in the workforce.

The AFCEA Northern Virginia (NOVA) chapter nominated Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch for this award specifically for her work leading the Women in NOVA (WIN) programme over the past three years, expanding their participation and creating new opportunities for women in the Chapter – the largest of AFCEA International, with approximately 7,000 members in industry, government and academia.

STEM scholarships

Rebecca’s accomplishments include successfully bringing together senior female business and government leaders, including Teri Takai, DoD CIO, Cindy Moran, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Director, and Nancy Harned, Army Deputy Assistant for Research and Technology, to speak and discuss the professional development for women in these fields.

She was the catalyst for advancing women’s STEM education by requesting the AFCEA NOVA Board to direct all WIN programme proceeds to STEM scholarships; a resolution which was unanimously approved.

Additionally, Rebecca has found women mentors to participate in NOVA’s Adopt-a-School programme, providing role models for girls from elementary to high school levels in support of STEM education. She also personally mentors female students and professionals and actively supports STEM scholarships and careers for them at all education levels.

Role models

“I am grateful to receive this prestigious award and privileged to work with so many talented and dedicated women within the AFCEA community,” commented Rebecca.

“I have had a lifelong commitment to supporting women to reach their professional potential within the government and aerospace industries. There is no question that the development of world-class talent in STEM is critical to America’s global leadership and women have, and will continue to play, a significant role. As long as I am in the workforce I will remain committed to helping further the careers of women.”

AFCEA International is a worldwide non-profit professional association which represents the top government, industry, and military professionals in the fields of communications, electronics, intelligence, software, information systems, imaging, and multi-media. AFCEA’s purpose is to support global security by providing an ethical environment that encourages a close cooperative relationship among the military, civilian government agencies and private industry.

For more information on the AFCEA Awards visit: