Poorva Dharkar, PhD
Independent STEM consultant
AWIS Professional Member since 2015
“Being the AWIS Bethesda Chapter president has provided me with a stepping stone to build my STEM career and my work as an advocate for women of color.”
What is your favorite word?
How do you define it?
Excellence is an attitude and way of life for me professionally and personally. Be it research work, consultancy or AWIS projects and programs, I put in sincere efforts to achieve my goals. Excellence defines me, shapes me and helps me grow into the person I want to be. In challenging situations, I seek to be strategic in ways that will produce high-quality results. It is important for me to leave a positive impact on whatever I do and every person I meet.
Has your word influenced you during your career, or is it a word that you have chosen retrospectively?
I choose to excel under any circumstance, and I have adapted the word as a way of life. People who have positively influenced me in my career have always stressed that it is important to put the best foot forward while delivering a good outcome. I continue to practice excellence today in my consulting projects and in the past as I conducted research at the NIH and pursued an MBA from the University of Delaware. Excellence has contributed to me leading the efforts to convene the inaugural Leadership Business Conference at the Lerner College and, as a result of my work, being awarded the MBA Alumni Leadership Award in 2018.
How does AWIS impact your career journey?
AWIS provides various resources for leadership development, support and access to a national network of smart STEM women who are impacting other women and the world around us. Being the AWIS Bethesda Chapter president has provided me with a stepping stone to build my STEM career and my work as an advocate for women of color. Together with my chapter colleagues, we work as a team to be a valuable support network for other professional leaders in STEM where we can connect and grow with talented people from diverse backgrounds, disciplines, and experience.
What are you reading? (or what’s your favorite book?)
The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live – and How You Can Change Them.
Poorva Dharkar, PhD, is an independent STEM consultant focused on attracting, retaining and expanding businesses in the US and India in the biotechnology, biopharma and STEM Education sectors. Dr. Dharkar has been involved in journal editorial boards, teaching & training positions, scientific societies, universities and colleges for designing curriculum for graduates, doctorates and advisory boards for organizations. Dr. Dharkar earned her doctorate from the University of Pune (National Chemical Laboratory) (2010), where she where she studied biochemistry and crystallography. She has an MBA from the University of Delaware where she received the MBA Alumni Leadership Award in 2018. As the AWIS Bethesda (MD) Chapter president for the past three years, Dr. Dharkar is focused on mentoring, broadening STEM participation, science outreach and promoting all women in STEM programs and leadership positions. She has been an AWIS Member since 2015.