Bhavna Chhabra (CompSci’95) grew up in India and Dubai before moving to the U.S. to graduate with a computer science degree from CU Boulder. After graduation, Chhabra worked as a software engineer, spending 17 years at Qualcomm and eventually becoming a senior director of engineering. One of her key roles at Qualcomm was leading a software team tasked with developing processes for managing the exploding complexity of smart phone software — processes that would prove vital to the company’s business success.
Chhabra joined Google in early 2016 as an engineering manager on the payments platform team, and today is a senior director leading Drive’s engineering organization. She is also the Google Boulder site lead, overseeing operations and employee satisfaction for the Boulder office. Outside of work, Chhabra enjoys spending time with her husband and children, hiking, biking, knitting and volunteering in her community.
On top of her demanding career, Chhabra always has shown a great dedication to serving the community and CU Boulder. Much of her impact has been oriented at encouraging girls, girls of color, and young women in India to explore STEM fields and to provide mentorship to them. She facilitated the Google partnership with Boulder Country YWCA STEM E3 program focused on girls of color, organizing visits to the Boulder Google campus participants. She is also part of a tech mentorship program for young women in India. Chhabra has also supported the Boulder community through her leadership role in a Google.org fellowship that helps underserved Boulder neighborhoods and residents gain easier access to city services and programs online. For these contributions, she earned the 2022 “Women Who Light the Community” award.
Chhabra’s contributions to CU Engineering are too many to list comprehensively. She has been a member of the Engineering Advisory Council since spring 2021 and recently became vice chair. She is a member of the Computing Advisory Board, which she joined in spring 2019. Chhabra regularly volunteers to speak with students and at student events. In 2022, she helped the college’s alumni engagement team organize a Women in Engineering event and served as a panelist for a session attended by over 100 students, staying for hours after the panel to talk with students. In 2019, she helped arrange a partnership between Google Boulder, B-Cycle and CU athletics to open a B-Cycle station at the CU Rec Center.