Metro Women's Leadership Summit

Alicia Abella

VP - Integrated Planning & Program Management, AT&T Services, Inc.

Alicia Abella

Dr. Alicia Abella is Vice President - Integrated Planning and Program Management, AT&T Services, Inc. where she leads end-to-end program management for the Network and Infrastructure team. In addition, Alicia is responsible all front door systems engineering integrated planning, solutioning and act as an interface to the teams in Network Cloud and Infrastructure organization. Prior to her current role, Dr. Abella spent over twenty years conducting research and leading multiple highly technical staff members. These experiences have allowed her to demonstrate her skills in a broad research spectrum which include research in cloud computing, software-defined storage, human-computer interaction, mobile services, big data analytics, and Internet of Things.

In 2015, Dr. Abella was named to the list of Top 20 Latinos in Tech by CNET. In 2013, Dr. Abella received Columbia University's Medal of Excellence, an award given each year to an alumnus or alumna, under 45 years of age, whose record in scholarship, public service, or professional life is outstanding. This is the first time since 1929 - when the award was first given - that Columbia has awarded the medal to an engineer. In 2011, she was selected by President Obama to be on his Presidential Advisory Commission for Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Also in 2011, she was inducted into the prestigious WITI (Women in Technology International) Hall of Fame.

In 2010, she was honored as one of the Top Five Women of the Year by Hispanic Business Magazine. She received the Pioneer Award from the Women of Color STEM Conference for her contributions to helping solve the educational challenges facing the Hispanic Community. She was also honored at the First Annual Great Minds In Stem Legacy Luncheon in Washington D.C. for her contributions to the STEM and Hispanic community. In 2010 she received the Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association Leadership of the Year Award.

In 2009, she was recognized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) for her contributions in the area of green technology. This recognition was bestowed at the CHCI Annual Awards Conference attended by President Obama and the First Lady, and by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotamayor. In 2008 she became a member of the elite group of AT&T Science and Technology Medal award winners. She was also a recipient of the 2008 Hispanic Engineers National Achievement Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement.

Besides her technical contributions, Dr. Abella has been a strong advocate in fostering the development of minorities and women in science and engineering. As Executive Vice President for the Young Science Achievers program, a program she has been involved with for fifteen years, she has worked tirelessly to bring an interest and excitement in science and engineering to high school aged women and minority students through a program of mentoring and scientific achievement. This is a substantive volunteer activity for her that truly touches the lives of the students involved.

Following completion of her Ph.D. in computer science from Columbia University, Dr. Abella joined AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ where she began her work in the problem of natural language understanding and dialog management. In addition to her doctoral work, Dr. Abella received a MS from Columbia and bachelor's from NYU, both in computer science. She lives in Dallas with her husband Alex and is enjoying watching her son, Mark, pave his college journey at her alma mater.