2021 Women's Entrepreneurship Symposium – Speaker biographies



Headshots of Womens Entrepreneurship Symposium speakers

Wynn Coggins
Acting Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce

On January 20, 2021, Wynn Coggins was tapped by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. to temporarily lead the U.S. Department of Commerce. In this role, Ms. Coggins will continue to further the Department’s mission of creating the condition of economic growth and opportunity. 

Prior to this appointment, on February 3, 2020, Ms. Coggins was named Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration to implement and execute the management, mission-enabling, and administrative functions for the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Commerce Department has an $8.9 billion annual budget, 12 operating units, and 47,000 employees.

Ms. Coggins has over 30 years of Federal government experience and has held a variety of leadership and operational roles throughout her career. Notably, she served as the Department’s Acting Executive Director for Enterprise Services, overseeing human resource, information technology, and acquisition shared-service solutions across the Department where she was responsible for delivering a Department-wide Talent Acquisition solution. Ms. Coggins also served as the Chief of Staff and principal advisor to the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), supporting the implementation and execution of the operations, policies, priorities, and programs for the agency. Prior to her Chief of Staff role, she held multiple leadership roles within the USPTO, including serving as the USPTO Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, overseeing the development and delivery of all administrative functions for the agency including human capital and human resources, performance management, customer experience, union relations, space and facilities, physical security and telework programs.

Ms. Coggins has been a frequent public speaker on topics related to leadership, strategy, human capital, Intellectual Property, and advocacy for expanding entrepreneurship and STEM opportunities. Ms. Coggins co-founded the USPTO’s Network of Executive Women. 

Ms. Coggins received an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Clemson University and a Master of Science in Information Systems Technology from The George Washington University School of Business and Public Management. She also received a Certificate of Advanced Public Management from The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She is married to Wallace Coggins and has two children. 

Coke Morgan Stewart
Performing the functions and duties of the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO

Coke Morgan Stewart is performing the functions and duties of the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, supporting the Office of the Under Secretary and the USPTO on a wide variety of legal, policy, and operational matters.

Ms. Stewart’s permanent role is Senior Counsel to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. As Senior Counsel, she advises the Director on legal, policy, and operational issues, including patent eligibility, America Invents Act (AIA) proceedings, and artificial intelligence. She also serves as a liaison between the Office of the Under Secretary and USPTO leadership, helping to ensure that programs and operations are administered in accordance with agency goals and objectives.

Ms. Stewart has worked at the USPTO since 2011 in a number of important roles, including as Associate Solicitor (2011-2019), Acting Deputy Solicitor (2019), Senior Advisor to the Director (2017), Senior Policy Advisor to the Director (2019-2020), Senior Counsel for Patent Law and Litigation (2020), and Acting Chief of Staff (2017 and 2020).

At the USPTO, Ms. Stewart has served as lead counsel in over 20 patent cases before the Federal Circuit and has appeared as counsel of record in at least 30 other patent cases. She has also advised the Department of Justice Civil Appellate Staff and the Office of the Solicitor General on patent, trademark, and copyright cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. She has handled numerous administrative law cases, defending agency practices and procedures in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

At the USPTO, Ms. Stewart has received four Special Act Awards, including most recently for work supporting the agency during the pandemic, a Director’s Award for Excellence in Litigation, a Department of Commerce Award for Exceptional Service, and a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal.

Prior to joining the USPTO, Ms. Stewart practiced law for 14 years—most recently at Kaye Scholer LLP in Washington, D.C., litigating complex patent infringement cases on behalf of patent holders and accused infringers. Among other matters, Ms. Stewart participated in two successful jury trials, one in the Eastern District of Texas and one in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Ms. Stewart is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Virginia School of Law, where she served as Executive Editor of the Virginia Tax Review and Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Law Weekly. After law school, Ms. Stewart clerked on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which primarily hears monetary claims against the U.S. government.

Cara Duckworth
Chief Corporate Communications Officer, USPTO

Cara Duckworth is the Acting Chief Communications Officer of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic communications for the USPTO in coordination with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the White House, and she supports and advises the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.

Ms. Duckworth's permanent role is Chief Corporate Communications Officer, where she directs a team of communications, education, and outreach professionals focused on promoting the agency's goals and objectives. She also oversees the USPTO's partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame and management of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, which is issued annually by the White House.

Prior to joining the USPTO, Ms. Duckworth served as Vice President of Communications at the Association of American Publishers where she helped manage the day-to-day operations of communications department for the trade organization representing the $25 billion U.S. book publishing industry. Previously, Ms. Duckworth served as the Senior Vice President of Communications at the Recording Industry Association of America and as Director of Communications at the Motion Picture Association.

An experienced communications veteran of the creative industries and a modern-day storyteller, Ms. Duckworth’s broad skillset includes media relations, public speaking, social media expertise, stand-up comedy and theatre acting. She has been at the forefront of many innovative and groundbreaking campaigns that have helped define the transitions of the music and movie industries to the digital age.

Elizabeth Dougherty        
Eastern Regional Outreach Director, Eastern Regional Outreach Office, USPTO

Eastern Regional Outreach Director Elizabeth Dougherty carries out the strategic direction of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and she is responsible for leading the USPTO's East Coast stakeholder engagement. Focusing on the region and actively engaging with the community, Dougherty ensures the USPTO's initiatives and programs are tailored to the region's unique ecosystem of industries and stakeholders.

Dougherty has more than 25 years of experience working at the USPTO. She began her career as a patent examiner after graduating from The Catholic University of America with a bachelor's degree in physics. While a patent examiner, she went on to obtain her J.D. from The Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America and served as a Senior Legal Advisor in the Office of Patent Legal Administration for a significant part of her career. Over the years, she has also served in the USPTO's Office of Petitions, the Office of Innovation Development, and the Office of Government Affairs. She served as a Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. In this role, she worked closely across the agency's leadership to implement the policies and priorities of the USPTO.

Dougherty has dedicated much of her career to the USPTO's outreach and education programs focusing on small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs. In this effort, she has developed, implemented, and supervised programs that support the independent inventor community, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and the intellectual property interests of colleges and universities. Similarly, she spearheaded a number of special projects with federal, state and local governments, and private organizations to promote and support invention and innovation in the United States.

Dougherty is a member of the Virginia Bar, the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court, the Pauline Newman American Inn of Court, the American Bar Association, the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the U.S. Intellectual Property Alliance, the Patent and Trademark Office Society, the Supervisory Patent Examiners and Classifiers Organization, Women in Science and Engineering, Federally Employed Women, and the Network of Executive Women.

Jennifer Camacho 
Founder and Principle Member, Taitle LLC and Member, Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC), USPTO   

Jennifer Camacho is a founder and principal member of Taitle, a next-gen law firm working with companies and investors in the life sciences industry. Previously, she was the Chief Legal Officer for Torque Therapeutics until its acquisition by Cogen Immune Medicine (now Repertoire Immune Medicines) in December 2019, and prior to that, she was the Chief Legal Officer for Gen9 until its acquisition by Ginkgo Bioworks in January 2017. She is a member of the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) to the USPTO, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce in 2015. Before joining Gen9, Camacho was a partner in the international law firms of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, and Proskauer Rose, LLP. In that capacity, she represented clients in the life sciences industry, including biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical companies, and venture capital and institutional investors. She is a frequent speaker and has authored numerous publications on issues in intellectual property and life sciences.

Camacho  is routinely recognized for her leadership and work, particularly in the fields of intellectual property and licensing, and has received multiple awards and honors, including the Tech Luminary and Innovation All-Star Award granted by the Boston Business Journal and Mass High Tech Business News.

Kimberly Meckwood
Owner and Inventor, Click & Carry, Inc. 

Kimberly Meckwood is the owner and inventor of Click & Carry, a unique bag handle/carrying apparatus. Meckwood comes from a background in medical device and pharmaceutical sales. She worked for Medtronic, ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Schwarz Pharma, and Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals.

Meckwood  had a life-altering experience when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. The journey through cancer gave her the faith and determination to quit her stable job and attempt to bring her product to market. She has been seen on Shark Tank, Food Fortunes, and The Bethenny Frankel Show, and she has been a guest on QVC numerous times on “In the Kitchen with David” and “Down-home with David."

Meckwood holds Utility Patents #8,182,008 and #7,874,602 and U.S. Trademark #77667140

Mollybeth (Molly) Kocialski
Regional Director, Rocky Mountain Regional Office, USPTO 

As the Regional Director of the Rocky Mountain Regional USPTO, since January 2016, Mollybeth (Molly) Kocialski carries out the strategic direction of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and is responsible for leading the Rocky Mountain regional office. Focusing on the nine states within this region and actively engaging with the community, Ms. Kocialski ensures the USPTO’s initiatives and programs are tailored to the region’s unique ecosystem of industries and stakeholders.

Ms. Kocialski brings more than 20 years of intellectual property experience to the USPTO. Most recently, Ms. Kocialski was the Senior Patent Counsel for Oracle America, Inc., where she was responsible for managing an active patent prosecution docket and was also responsible for all of the post-grant procedures and patent investigations for Oracle and its subsidiaries. Prior to Oracle, she worked at Qwest Corporation and was also in private practice in both New York and Colorado focusing on intellectual property litigation for multiple high-tech companies while maintaining an active prosecution docket. 

Ms. Kocialski is a recognized intellectual property leader in the Rocky Mountain region. Ms. Kocialski currently serves on the Colorado Federal Executive Board’s Executive Committee. Ms. Kocialski is the Vice President of the Colorado IP Inn of Court and was previously the Chair of the Planning Committee and a member of the Board of Directors of the Colorado IP Inn of Court. Further, Ms. Kocialski is a member of the Planning Committee for the Rocky Mountain Intellectual Property Institute, an annual two-day conference on intellectual property that attracts over 500 attendees. She was the Chair of the Intellectual Property Section of the Colorado Bar Association and served on the Colorado Bar Association’s Board of Governors. Ms. Kocialski served as the head of the IP Committee and was a member of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and served on the National IP Committee of the Association of the Corporate Counsel. In 2015, Ms. Kocialski was recognized by ManagingIP magazine as one of its North America Corporate IP Stars. 

Ms. Kocialski is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law and received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Mexico. Ms. Kocialski is a registered patent attorney and is admitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the New York and Colorado state bars as well as to the United States Courts in those jurisdictions. 

Valencia Martin Wallace
Deputy Commissioner for Patents, USPTO

As Deputy Commissioner for Patents, Ms. Martin Wallace manages and leads the Patent Organization’s efforts related to international intellectual property harmonization and oversees patent examining functions in Technology Centers that examine the technologies of communication, mechanical engineering, manufacturing and medical devices and processes and design. Regarding international intellectual property harmonization, she specifically provides executive leadership on international patent legal issues and various work sharing efforts with international partners.

Ms. Martin Wallace is currently the Executive Lead for the USPTO’s new initiative the National Council for Expanding American Innovation (NCEAI). The NCEAI, comprised of representatives from industry, academia, and government, will help guide the USPTO in developing a comprehensive national strategy to build a more diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem by encouraging participation demographically, geographically, and economically.

As part of her twenty-eight year career at the USPTO, she recently served as Deputy Commissioner for Patent Quality where she was responsible for sustaining the high quality of the USPTO’s patent examination processes and products. She also served as Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations, where Ms. Martin Wallace oversaw operations in the software technology centers, served as executive co-lead on the implementation of the AIA First-Inventor-to-File statutory framework, and led the implementation of the Office of Patent Examination Support Services.

Ms. Martin Wallace is a graduate of Howard University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, and The George Washington University School of Law, where she earned a Juris Doctorate. She has also received a certificate in Advanced Public Administration from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Public Administration.

Holly Fechner         
Partner, Covington & Burling, LLP       

Holly Fechner is Executive Director of Invent Together and a Partner at Covington & Burling LLP. Through Invent Together, she leads efforts to understand gender, race, and income gaps in invention and patenting to support public policy and private initiatives to close them. Nationally ranked by Chambers, Fechner is co-chair of Covington’s technology industry group and received the 2019 American Lawyer Magazine "Dealmaker of the Year." Prior to Covington, Fechner was Policy Director for Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Chief Labor and Pensions Counsel for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. She graduated from Oberlin College and received her law degree from the University of Michigan.

Suzanne S. Harrison          
Founder of the Gathering

Suzanne S. Harrison is an author, patent futurist, and economist. She works with companies to help them realize the true value of their intellectual property. Harrison works with technology-driven companies at both transactional and strategic levels. Her specialties are quantifying legal risk, forecasting patent trends, and helping companies place intellectual property bets now to ensure access to innovation and markets in the future.

She is a Founder and Principal of Percipience LLC, a board-level advisory group focused on intellectual property strategy, management, and quantifying and mitigating intellectual property risk.

Her work with clients gives her a unique view of the inner workings of the public market for patents, as well as the ability to see patterns and predict ways in which markets will fluctuate and develop.

Since 1995, she has led a group called the ICM Gathering, an invitation-only group of 20 companies that meet regularly to define, create, benchmark and test best practices in intellectual property management. Her books draw on her work with the Gathering, and feature success stories of companies leading the way in innovative intellectual property management.

She holds an undergraduate degree in economics from UC Davis, and an MBA from the University of Chicago. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.

Dara Kendall           
Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Global Fabric & Home Care at The Procter & Gamble Company 

Dara Kendall leads the legal team supporting The Procter & Gamble Company’s (P&G) global Fabric and Home Care businesses. Her work spans advertising, regulation, trademarks, and patents. Her career at P&G has spanned over 20 years, six of which she spent in Asia, where she led the patent teams in China, Japan, and Singapore that handled P&G’s businesses in Greater China and the Asia Pacific region. Over the course of her P&G career, Kendall has supported all of P&G’s businesses.

Kendall holds a B.S. in chemical engineering and an M.S. in engineering, both from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. She received her J.D. from North Carolina Central University.

She is an alumni Fellow of the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity and has volunteered with the Adopt-A-Class program sharing STEM concepts with youth. She enjoys giving back to the community as First Vice President of the Cincinnati Queen City Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and as a board member of Cincinnati’s Taft Museum. She is also a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Cincinnati Intellectual Property Law Association, and the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati.