Dr. Magaly Spector
News and Events
Diversity and Community Engagement
A noted technology innovator and leader and a passionate champion of diversity in her former position at Alcatel-Lucent Bell labs, Dr. Magaly Spector, one of the most visible Hispanic females in the fields of science and engineering in the United States, was appointed to the newly created position of vice president for Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Dallas in January 2008.
From humble beginnings in Cuba, where her family was very poor, Spector pursued academics with a passion. She graduated with highest honors from high school and won the Cuban Scholar Chess Championship.
As a young mother with an infant daughter, she enrolled full-time as a student at Havana University, where she earned a License in Physics degree in 1977. She continued to hone her chess skills during that period, winning the university's chess championship every year during her undergraduate studies, eventually taking the national Cuban chess crown.
In 2000, she enrolled in business studies at Harvard University Business School. Spector held increasingly responsible research and development positions at Bell Labs, AT&T / Lucent Technologies, including global manager for product quality and reliability. She was responsible for pioneering many new technologies that enabled high-speed internet, and optical and wireless networking communications, and she holds several patents on her work. She was selected to become a Bell Labs Fellow in 2004, one of the highest distinctions worldwide for a scientist.
For years, she has been active in numerous diversity efforts at the Fortune 500 company, including a mentoring program for Hispanic employees, educational outreach programs for women and minorities, and the corporate diversity committee, among others.
Spector has received numerous awards and honors for her achievements. In 2009 she was selected as a member of the Hispanic 100, a Dallas based organization of Hispanic women leaders. She was named to Hispanic Business magazine's list of Elite Women for 2005, Latina Style magazine's 2004 list of greatest Hispanic achievers and Glamour magazine's list of the most distinguished women of the new millennium in 2001. She was Reader's Digest's national Orgullo Hispano Award recipient in 2004, and she received the professional achievement award from the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation in 2000. She also was one of nine women selected by the National Science Foundation to represent the U.S. on a mission to Mexico as a role model for extraordinary accomplishments by women in technology and business.