Member Spotlight | Jeannice Fairrer Samani
Updated: Aug 20, 2020
Founding member of WomenH2H and Member of the Partnership Council, Global Speaker, Technologist, Futurist, PhD, MBA, MDE, CSM
Wife to Hamid and Mother of three daughters. Jeannice loves to travel the globe and learn about various cultures and people. Jeannice is quoted to say, “diversify your contact list”. She has an understanding of seven languages. In her global travels, she was a delegate for the U.S. Department of State TechWomen Initiative, she served as an architect, mentor, and council board chair.
Dr Samani loves making an impact in the global community, as a keynote delegatе and speaker for the ITC for the European Union, Advancements in Leadership in Nigeria and United States, Artificial Intelligence for “Good”; as well as Data Analytics at the STEMM Congress, and Global Entrepreneur Summit as a speaker, advisor and judge.
A lifelong learner, she reads nonfiction about history and business. As an ambivert personality, she is energized problem-solver with the concern for others and building community at the core. Her favorite leisure time is spent walking at the beach and watching the waves, the sunrise, and sunset.
Jeannice Fairrer Samani, PhD, MBA, MDE, CSM is an Executive leader in the world of emerging technology and business integration. As CEO of Fairrer Samani Group, LLC, and founding Director of Fifth Wave STEaM Education Initiative, she has a global impact in analytics and academia. She has 20 years as a technologist in Silicon Valley working with top 100 companies, accelerators, and Universities.
As a leader, Jeannice is a sought-out advisor for Venture Capital acceleration programs, Ignite at Stanford University and School of Engineering at Santa Clara University, and Carnegie Mellon University. She is recognized and honored with numerous awards including recognition by Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, Women Economic Forum, Professional Business Women, Order of Engineers, along with the Cities of San Jose and Los Altos, California.
Fairrer Samani holds a PhD, MBA in management and sustainability from Golden Gate University, Masters City and Regional Planning-transportation/economic development UC Berkeley, BA in Political Economics/City and Regional Planning, UC Berkeley, and Management Development Entrepreneurship from UCLA. Currently, working on her second doctorate in Technology Innovation Management in computer science. Her postdoctoral work from MIT, Northwestern, Stanford universities is in technology and management. Certificates in Design-Thinking MIT and Stanford, AI, computer languages R, Python, and SQL.
Where do you get the energy to do all of the things that you do?
My energy comes from knowing that I am contributing, helping, co-creating, and giving. With an understanding that I will have a positive impact, by making a difference or making a situation better.
How do you keep your focus on projects, business, community separate?
This is a really good question that I recently thought about. Many years ago I decided that I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could about the things that I was interested in learning. It happened about the same time I made a declaration that I wanted to travel the world and experience the fullness of life to meet and interact with people from various cultures.
So I would say...
I live with intent and faith. Everything is possible until it is proved to be impossible.
I want to use as much of my brain that I can. I do this unconsciously. Connecting, creating and compartmentalizing at the same time.
What is an authentic leader? How are you an authentic leader?
An authentic leader is someone who is empathic to others, builds relationships without an agenda, inclusive in diversity of thought in decision-making. When it is appropriate, motivates, empowers others to be their best selves, creates an environment of trust and understanding. Someone who stands on ethics with the best perception, intent and actions with purpose.
When it comes to the role of women at work today, what inspires you and what keeps you up at night?
I’ll start with the later, what keeps me up at night is the lack of access for a woman to soar! The access can be internal or external. If it is internal she may not know what it is that she needs to fulfill her thoughts. The thoughts mark an action or a goal. The lack of access externally can be an ecosystem or support group or mentor or sponsor that can support her to cultivate and sometimes motivate and tell her her strengths and blindspots.
My inspiration for the role of the 21st-century women at work is the boldest that we as women can stand in our purpose and function with no apology. As women knowing what our value is and what we can bring to the organization and to others.
Being aware of the intentions of our action and purpose for doing what we do. Bring a focused diversity of thought and innovative approach, method and solution to a problem. As well as, community and identification that we are better together than apart.
What’s your goal around that and why is it important to you? Why is that a priority for you right now?
It is a priority in my life to continue to share my knowledge and skills. I have always felt the knowledge that I was blessed to obtain is not only meant for me. Give back and share.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve personally had as a woman at work? How did you try to overcome them?
I would say the biggest challenge is time management. There are issues that fall under or feed into that main challenge. First, I believe that there is no such thing as “life, work, balance”. I have embraced “Life, Work, Integration”.
By principle, I have a system or process: I can take on projects that I have a passion for while considering if it will work with other things that I am currently working on. If the new opportunity does not have a connection with what I am currently working on, then is there time in my schedule to start a new project? Can I work on the new project with excellence and give off my best self and skillset? Do I have time to breathe and do something that I enjoy?
Yes, this allows for me to have a schedule that is focused on the projects that I “really” want to work on, work with purpose and intent, and create community and ecosystems that make it enjoyable and empower others as I work.
Who or what would have made it easier? What do you wish you would have done then?
Knowing that time is limited and a high commodity of value; continuing to follow my heart and discern what projects and actions to engage in and who to work within the process.
Always work in your purpose with the right intent for an outcome in mind or rephrasing, start with the goal in mind!
Many women are overwhelmed by the constant changes at work, frustrated with conflicts or disheartened by office politics, drama and draining emotions. What have you done in the past to help you get through such moments?
Lead a conversation! We can identify and discover solutions in the midst of chaos.
Often in the crisis or disruption, there is innovation.
Untangle and simplify to get to the root of the conflict in order to understand in some case or at least see what is causing the discord.
If something is draining you emotionally you can choose not to be a part of the environment and opt out. Empowering yourself to make the best decision for your circumstance. Weigh the pro’s and con’s to determine if it is a benefit or a detriment to you mentally, physically, and spiritually. Seek a trusted console with a mentor, meditation and prayer is a wonderful refuge.
How do you see your role in building this community? And is there anything else you want to add that you think would be helpful for us to know as we are building this community?
I would love to continue with my engagement in the business model development, Acceleration of community projects, and the Partnership Council to contribute to the community’s sustainable infrastructure. Providing my skills set as an innovationalist (TM) , collaborator, systems thinker, entrepreneur, globalist, technologist to the community to develop the accelerator and as a lead contributor to the circles in technology.