Tuesday 7 February 2023

Costa Rican women in high-level positions to influnce the world

Costa Rican women have never held such positions of high power

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QCOSTARICA – Two Costa Rican women today are holding high-level positions that affect many globally, leaving behind traditional roles for modern ones.

In Costa Rica, Intel appointed Ileana Rojas as vice president of the Global Design Engineering Group, being the only person in Latin America to hold this position within the organization.

Ileana Rojas

Recognizing her work and results achieved in its local operations, Rojas has been General Manager and Product and Manufacturing Engineering (MPE) for Intel Costa Rica since the end of 2019, a critical operation in the server product roadmap.

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In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been responsible for leading the transformation of operations, services and infrastructure in Belén to enable the opening of an Assembly and Testing plant in a very short time, the growth of the Engineering Centers of Excellence and Global Services with hiring of more than 1000 people, without stopping existing operations.

Rojas, who is from Pérez Zeledón and mother of two, is responsible for leading local operations, with 3,100 direct employees and 4,000 indirect jobs, promoting innovation, talent development, synergy between groups and strategic commitments with the ecosystem including government, academia and industry. He is also responsible for the local manufacturing and product engineering operation.

Over at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Tica, Sandra Cauffman, undertakes a new challenge in missions such as bringing land from Mars or the search for life on other planets

Cauffman will be responsible for managing the annual budget of NASA’s Astrophysics Division, an amount close to $2 billion

Read more: Costa Rica to create aerospace agency like NASA, but in a small way

Cauffman is the new deputy director of the Division of Astrophysics of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States (NASA). After 30 years of work in the agency, the physicist and engineer assures that her motivation remains intact and that she does not even think about her retirement, despite already having the right to it. For the past 17 months, she served as interim director of the Earth Sciences Division.

Read more: From Costa Rica to Mars: Sandra Cauffman’s NASA Journey

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“NASA is not just a job for us, it is a way of life, I have friends with 50 years here. I still get a lot of satisfaction from the work I do, but it all starts with a dream. To pursue my dream, I had to leave the country, study engineering, do many things, and prepare. You don’t know the panic I felt when I got on that plane to leave Costa Rica! But it’s jumping into the water, starting to swim, and eventually learning to swim. To be afraid, but to do things anyway,” said Cauffman in a recent interview with La Nación.

In her new position, the Costa Rican will coordinate the execution of the annual budget of the Astrophysics Division, of US$2 billion. At the time of the interview on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, Cauffman was at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida, United States, supervising the launch of the IXPE mission, which will study changes in the polarization of ray X light from some of the most extreme sources in the universe, including black holes.



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