Dr. Felicia McClary
Senior Program Manager at Amazon
AWIS Chapter Advisory Committee Member
AWIS Member since 2017
“Self-doubt can be paralyzing and stop forward progress. In recent years I have learned and inspire others to exercise gumption when seeking opportunities outside our comfort-zone.”
What do you consider to be your most important career achievement or milestone?
My most important career milestone is earning my Ph.D. It has been an avenue for doors opening and taught me to be a stronger self-advocate.
Describe an amazing opportunity in your STEM career.
This was when I was a US Delegate to the Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates. Each year, a group of Ph.D. candidates from around the world are nominated to travel to Lindau, Germany for a week of engaging meetings, dinners, and cultural events with Nobel Laureates. I still don’t know who nominated me.
How has AWIS helped you professionally and/or personally?
I came to know AWIS when I was a member of the STEM-to-Market DC cohort. AWIS has connected me to amazing STEM professionals who share the same passion and who have taken similar career paths and pivots like me. This has strengthened my confidence in my journey.
What is your favorite word?
How do you define it?
I define gumption as taking a bold initiative without fear of rejection or judgement. It is ignoring the inner voice of self-doubt and leaping into action.
How has this word influenced or inspired your career?
Self-doubt can be paralyzing and stop forward progress. In recent years I have learned and inspire others to exercise gumption when seeking opportunities outside our comfort-zone.
What are you currently reading or listening to?
I am currently reading The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris.
What do you consider the best professional or personal advice you’ve ever received?
I take as advice a Napoleon Hill quote that my parents included in my high school yearbook my senior year, and has stuck with me ever since. “Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
Felicia McClary, PhD is a Senior Program Manager in Amazon’s Alexa Developer Experience and Customer Trust organization. In her role, Dr. McClary leads third-party Alexa privacy and security product launches. She has a background in Materials Chemistry and started her career designing microprocessors. She is passionate about STEM equity, is a workplace advocate for such initiatives, and enjoys mentoring students. Outside of work, Dr. McClary collects local art pieces during global travels.