Myra Nawabi

Myra Nawabi: Expanding Networks and Possibilities
Sr. Program Manager, Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Twitter: @myranawabi


Myra is a Senior Project Engineer & Program Manager for Advanced Technology Center Lockheed Martin Space Systems. Founder of the largest and most active LeanIn Circle in the US (Palo Alto).

Innovating in Field of Work:

  • Myra is putting advanced weather technology into space to save lives on earth. She is introducing the next generation of weather satellites to better predict tornadoes and provide greater warning time for evacuations.
  • Her extra-curricular activities contribute to a more diverse and inclusive workforce at Lockheed Martin, promote professional advancement and career sustainability for women in Silicon Valley, elevate and inspire women in STEM from around the globe, and foster the next generation of women leaders and coders locally.


  • Nawabi has grown LeanIn membership to 1,200 active members. Their bi-monthly newsletter announcing upcoming events has an astonishing 40.4% open rate compared to U.S. average open rate of ~20%. Nawabi’s well attended LeanIn Office Hour events are targeted at recently graduated women who are starting out their careers – offering guidance brought together by more senior members of the LeanIn circle alongside other professional women who specifically attend the event to pay it forward.     
  • Her progression through the ranks in a very male dominated, military oriented culture as an engineer is testament to the tenacity that she endeavors on her own personal journey through corporate America. In a work environment where less than 10% of the engineers are female, Nawabi has also acted as an internal champion for building workplace diversity.

Role Model:

  • Nawabi volunteers her time to the Techwomen, a State Department initiative that brings aspiring women leaders from across Africa and the Middle East every year to Silicon Valley for work placement at leading Silicon Valley companies.
  • Nawabi is involved with The Technovation Challenge, an initiative focused on Middle/High school girls who develop a Mobile App and Pitch their App as a business.

Reinvention / Risk / Momentum:

  • From a challenging personal journey from Afghanistan to United States and going from royal lineage and luxury to refugee without resources, Nawabi is a role model of resilience and determination. She and her family lived through the horrors of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, finally escaping to the US in 1987.
  • She has a fluidity of thought that is constantly looking at ways to break the proverbial glass ceiling, not only for herself but for those around her.

Though discouraged from pursuing her interest in aerospace engineering as a girl, she found ways to pursue her passion and make her mark in the field.