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Programs & Professional Development, Pacific Northwest

Callista Chen, Pacific Northwest Executive Director

Callista Chen is a leader, entrepreneur, and community builder.  As the Executive Director of Techbridge Girls in the Pacific Northwest, Callista works tirelessly to expand Techbridge Girls’ game-changing programs to reach more girls, families, and educators. Callista’s enthusiasm for her work is contagious, and she is exceptionally skilled at inspiring others to join her in eliminating the opportunity gap for girls and women in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.  Prior to joining Techbridge Girls, Callista spent several years managing international development programs for the World Bank in Liberia and Swaziland. During her time overseas, she co-founded a small foundation that provided micro-grants to students and entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Callista also has worked as a management consultant and editor at McKinsey & Company, advising multinational nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies.

Callista holds a BA from Stanford University in Human Biology, as well as a MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.  She and her husband are now living in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle, with their two children and bizarrely small cat.


Claire Plourde, Program Manager

Claire Plourde has committed each of her professional, academic and personal choices to challenging sexist systems and creating spaces to empower women and girls. As the Program Manager for After School, Claire is dedicated to equipping girls to thrive with confidence that they have every career path open to them – especially STEM.

Prior to Techbride Girls, Claire created and taught a self-designed class entitled Leadership & Social Justice at the Science and Math Institute in Tacoma. In addition to this, she led professional development workshops for educators and youth development advocates in building equitable classroom strategies and curriculum. Her passion for education and social justice was also the focus of her work in graduate school where she trained and supervised undergraduate students to provide feminist mentorship to high school girls at the Young Women’s Studies Club in San Diego.

Claire holds a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies and English Literature from Pacific Lutheran University and MA in Women’s Studies from San Diego State University.

Outside of work, Claire enjoys taking walks with her partner Cameron, connecting with close friends and reading feminist literature (preferably in nature!).


Emily Mavaddat, Program Coordinator

Emily is committed to improving access and eliminating barriers to quality education for all. As the PNW Program Coordinator, and a woman with a STEM background, Emily is particularly passionate about Techbridge Girls’ work to inspire and equip future generations of young girls to pursue STEM pathways.

Prior to Techbridge Girls, Emily was a Fulbright grantee and educator in a rural Taiwanese community where she worked to improve education outcomes for her students and address disparities in education quality. Emily holds a B.Sc. in Mathematics & Psychology with a minor in Medical Physics from the University of Denver, where she assisted research on how sociocultural cues reinforce gender and racial inequality. During this time she also worked for a youth development nonprofit while leading research on improving facial mimicry in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Emily is a self-proclaimed spreadsheet and database enthusiast, and enjoys getting outside whenever possible to ski or hike in the beautiful PNW.


Tessa Nelson, Program Facilitator

Tessa is committed to empowering all girls to realize their full potential as leaders and innovators. As a part time program facilitator, Tessa supports 7th and 8th grade girls inventing, redesigning, and thinking critically through STEM projects in an afterschool setting. She uses her background as an educator to advocate for girls and encourage them to explore their future aspirations.

Tessa received her bachelor’s degree and teaching certification from Western Washington University and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Urban Environmental Education from Antioch- Seattle. Outside of work, Tessa enjoys being outside, reading, and spending time with animals.