WAT Executive Summary

Women in Automotive Technology (WAT) is a diverse group of female automotive subject matter experts who are passionate to drive advances in the automotive industry. Our members are dedicated to educating each other on the intricacies of the connected vehicle, automotive technologies, and the field, in general.

Summary presentation: Introduction to WAT, Fall 2016

Purpose and Mission

Women in Automotive Technology (WAT) was established to connect, educate, and drive the future of the automotive industry by creating programs, community, and events for women in the automotive industry. Founded in 2012 in Menlo Park, California, WAT is an association of female automotive technology professionals who meet regularly to educate, inform, and empower each other. We foster leadership, deepen industry expertise, and facilitate meaningful connections.


We hold regular events to educate our members and to socialize. And we offer our members the ability to learn more about automotive industry, take leadership roles, and increase valuable skills such as public speaking and organizing.


*Please ask about how to outrank the dog.


We are not a women’s group.

We are an automotive technology group comprised exclusively of women. We hold regular events to educate our members and to socialize. And we offer our members the ability to learn more about automotive industry, take leadership roles, and increase valuable skills such as public speaking and organizing.



WAT was founded by Michelle Avary on a bet from the late Robert Acker. He bet Michelle that she could not find six women in the Silicon Valley who are in automotive, and technologists, like her. She took the bet and on that very same day, she met Linda Campbell. During a discussion in the ladies’ room, a happy hour was formed with the expressed purpose of getting together automotive technologists who happen to all be women for a night of drinks and laughter. It snowballed from there.


Michelle Avary

Michelle Avary

Head of Autonomous and Urban Mobility
at the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution

Michelle Avary is a leader in automotive technologies including autonomous, IoT, and connectivity. Prior to joining the Centre, Michelle was Vice President of Products and Strategy, Global Automotive Io(m)T at Aeris. She held Aeris’ board seat on Future of Automotive Security and Technology Research and was on the LA Auto Show’s advisory board. Michelle has developed and operated embedded and tethered services for Toyota, scouted technologies for Harman, co-founded an automotive data monetization startup, and is the founder and President of Women In Automotive Technology, an advocacy group. Michelle advises two startups, DeepScale and Sfara. She has been called by the FCC and FTC as a subject matter expert on automotive technologies and has lobbied Congress. Mrs. Avary has patents for telematics technologies and several more pending.


A frequent public speaker, Mrs. Avary has appeared at Women In Security And Privacy, Society of Automotive Engineers, Megatrends Connected Car, SXSW, Lesbian Who Tech, gave a keynote at FISTA (global society for executive automotive engineers), Consumer Electronics Show, Telematics Update, LA AutoMobility, and the Future Privacy Forum, just to name a few. She has been interviewed by Reuters, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Fortune Magazine.


Michelle received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Pennsylvania State University, a Masters of Art in Economics from the University of San Francisco, and studied international law and economics at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. She is a certified yoga instructor.


For WAT, Mrs. Avary is responsible for overall vision, mission, and membership.  If you wish to become a member, please fill out an application. For any other questions, feel free to email Michelle at mlavary@gmail.com.


Linda Campbell

Linda Campbell

Director, OpenWay Riva Ecosystem

As director of ecosystem development for Itron, Linda’s current role is focused on driving business and has absolutely nothing to do with automotive; hence her desire to be a leader of the Women of Automotive Technology. Prior to relocating to Silicon Valley, Linda was responsible for building and leading the alliance practice at QNX headquarters in Canada where she was an ongoing key contributor to the company’s overall business strategy. QNX is recognized as a leader in the in-vehicle computing space and in her role as Director Strategic Alliances, Linda has been instrumental in their success for well over a decade. She will be the first to confess that she is not that interested in cars other than driving from point A to B, but she is passionate about the experiences that technology should enable for drivers whilst driving from said point A to B.


Linda has an Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of Ottawa.


For WAT, Ms. Campbell was the absolute driving force and was responsible for events, including marketing. She has moved on to being the most key advisor I’ve ever had and we are in discussions about the future of WAT.


If you wish to volunteer to organize an event, please contact Lynn Keiser at mkeiser1@ford.com.


I would love to expand the leadership team and have help increasing the cadence of events.  Honestly, it takes a lot of work, at lot of dedication, a “take-charge” attitude, and quite a bit of thoughtfulness.  You cannot do this work and be a flake.  I may be taking a break as life heats up in other areas, but I’m still here, I still care, and I’m still dedicated.  Reach out if you are interested and serious.