Staff & Faculty

Suzanne G. Brainard, Ph.D.

Executive Director | 

Suzanne G. Brainard is the Executive Director of the Center for Workforce Development (CWD) at the University of Washington. She is an Affiliate Professor in Human-Centered Design & Engineering in the College of Engineering and an Affiliate Professor in Women Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington. Suzanne’s research has focused on issues of recruitment, retention and advancement of women of all ethnicities in engineering, science and the workforce, using such methods as longitudinal tracking and national institutional climate studies. She also has numerous evaluation grants of programs focused on broadening participation, such as NSF-funded ADVANCE, National Center for Women in IT (NCWIT) and Northwest Engineering Talent Expansion Partnership (NW ETEP).

Since 2004 Suzanne has focused on the social and ethical implications (SEI) of Nanotechnology; where she serves as the SEI site leader for the University of Washington’s NNIN grant from NSF. In 2008, she received an NSF Ethics Education in Science and Engineering grant for “Nano-ethics on the World Wide Web: Helping Faculty Enhance Graduate Education.” Her current research study examines perceptions of risks and career pathways of nanoscientists and nanoengineers. Additionally, Suzanne developed a module on ethics of mentoring in engineering as part of the RCR-Engineering Project to educate graduate students and faculty about core ethical issues in science and engineering.

Dr. Brainard is one of three co-founders of the Women in Engineering Programs & Advocates Network (WEPAN) and a past-president. She is past-chair of the congressionally mandated Committee on Equal Opportunity in Science & Engineering (CEOSE) and served on three National Academy of Engineering (NAE) committees on Diversifying the Engineering Workforce. She was a recipient of the1998 Presidential Award of Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) and the recipient of the 2001 Maria Mitchell Women in Science Award. She is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and American Women in Science (AWIS).

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Elizabeth Litzler

Director for Research | 

Elizabeth Litzler is the Director for Research at the UW Center for Workforce Development (CWD). Her research interests include the educational climate for undergraduate and graduate students and gender stratification in education and the workforce. As the Director for Research at CWD, Liz is the Research Manager for the Sloan-funded Project to Assess Climate in Engineering (PACE). She is external evaluator for NCWIT and NCWIT-Extension Services for Undergraduate Programs and the NSF ADVANCE program at UW. She is a member of the American Sociological Association, the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and WEPAN. She acts as reviewer and presenter for WEPAN and ASEE conferences and has published in the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering and The Journal about Women in Higher Education. Litzler earned a PhD and MA in Sociology and a BA in Communication with minors in Spanish and Women's Studies. Her dissertation, “Sex Segregation in Undergraduate Engineering Majors” was focused on understanding the individual and institutional reasons women are disproportionately represented in certain engineering majors.

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Than Than Htwe

Assistant to the Executive Director, Center Administrator | 

Than is the Assistant to the Executive Director and the Center Administrator. She is responsible for management of the business office, fiscal planning and budgeting, grants and contracts management, personnel administration (including payroll), travel planning and expenses, management of ProCard and CTA accounts, facilities and space management. Than joined the CWD team in 2011 with over five years of previous fiscal experience at the University of Washington.


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Cara Margherio

Senior Research Associate |

Cara Margherio is a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Workforce Development (CWD). Cara serves as evaluator on several NSF- and NIH-funded projects. She is a member of the American Sociological Association and the Population Association of America. Cara is currently a PhD Candidate in the Sociology Department at the University of Washington. She earned an MA in Sociology, a BA in Sociology, and a BS in Psychology with minors in Studio Arts and Women’s Studies. Her dissertation, “Family Formation and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa,” investigates how the HIV epidemic impacts union formation and childbearing throughout southern Africa with a focus on rural South Africa.



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