Senior Advisors


Senior Advisor, Data Science (Volunteer)

Ilkay Altintas is the chief data science officer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), UC San Diego, where she is also the founder and director for the Workflows for Data Science Center of Excellence. Since joining SDSC in 2001, she has worked on different aspects of dataflow-based computing and workflows as a principal investigator and in other leadership roles across a wide range of cross-disciplinary NSF, DOE, NIH, and Moore Foundation projects.

Ilkay is a co-initiator of and an active contributor to the popular open-source Kepler Scientific Workflow System and the co-author of publications related to computational data science and e-Sciences at the intersection of scientific workflows, provenance, distributed computing, bioinformatics, observatory systems, conceptual data querying, and software modeling. Ilkay is the inaugural recipient of the SDSC Pi Person of the Year (2014) and the IEEE TCSC Award for Excellence in Scalable Computing for Early Career Researchers (2015).


Senior Advisor, Economic Development (Volunteer)

Meredith serves as Manager of Integrated Advising Analytics at the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. Previously, Meredith was President of SpireWirk, a regional strategy consultancy, where she provided support to regional development projects in NJ and AZ. Prior to this role, she was the director of the NJ Advanced Manufacturing Talent Network and the Associate Director for Economic and Workforce Development at Penn State University. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Arizona and has held positions in corporate research, startups, public office and academia.


Senior Advisor (Volunteer)

Ken Brooks is president of Treadwell Media Group, a publishing operations and strategy consulting firm focused on the higher education and trade publishing sectors. Prior to Treadwell he was the Chief Operating Officer of Macmillan Learning where he oversaw implementation of process, technology and organization changes related to product development, eCommerce, business systems and supply chain functions. Before Macmillan he has held senior positions at McGraw-Hill Education, Cengage Learning, Barnes & Noble, Simon & Schuster, and Random House. Over the course of his career, Ken has founded digital services companies both in the US and abroad; a public domain publishing imprint; and a distribution-center based print-on-demand operation and has worked in trade, professional, higher education and K-12 publishing sectors. He holds bachelor and master’s degrees in Industrial Engineering and a master’s degree in Computer Science from Georgia Tech, where he also mentors graduate students in Educational Technology.


Senior Advisor, Higher Education Markets (Volunteer)

Ryan Craig is a founding Managing Director of University Ventures. Prior to University Ventures, Ryan founded and built Wellspring, the largest and leading organization of treatment programs for overweight and obese children, adolescents and young adults, including boarding schools, summer camps and after-school programs. Ryan headed the Education & Training sector at Warburg Pincus from 2001 – 2004 where he was the founding Director of Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI), one of the largest online universities in the U.S. Ryan has advised the U.S. Department of Education and served as VP Strategic Development for Fathom, the Columbia University online education company, from 1999 – 2001. Ryan began his career as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. He received bachelor’s degrees in Literature and Economics summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University, and his law degree from the Yale Law School. Ryan leads the firm’s investments in Revature, Credly, Portfolium, ProSky and ReUp Education. Ryan is the author of College Disrupted: The Great Unbundling of Higher Education, published by Palgrave Macmillan in March 2015, as well as many articles published in a range of higher education, technology and general interest publications.


Senior Advisor, Information Policy (Volunteer)

Luciano is Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, Oxford Internet Institute; Governing Body Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford; Senior Member of the Faculty of  Philosophy, Research Associate and Fellow in Information Policy at the Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford; and Distinguished Research Fellow of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. Floridi is best known for his work on two areas of philosophical research: the philosophy of information and information ethics. Floridi was UNESCO Chair in Information and Computer Ethics and Research Chair in Philosophy of Information at the University of Hertfordshire; Markle Foundation Senior Research Fellow in Information Policy, Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy, University of Oxford; Francis Yates Fellow of the Warburg Institute, University of London.


Senior Advisor, Information & Data Systems (Volunteer)

Dr. Tyrone W A Grandison is CIO of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.  Dr. Grandison was Deputy Chief Data Officer at the US Department of Commerce (2015-16), and was a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow (2014-15) where he worked with the US Department of Labor and the US CENSUS Bureau. Dr. Grandison has over 20 years’ experience in software engineering, security and privacy.  Dr. Grandison received a PhD degree in Computer Science from the Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine in London (2003). Dr. Grandison is an IBM Master Inventor, a Distinguished Engineer of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a Fellow of the British Computer Society (BCS) and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).


Chief Academic Officer (Volunteer)

Mike entered the education community after a successful career in human resources with a major retailer. The time working in retail supporting worker retention and satisfaction as well as recruiting was important, but not the difference in the world for which Mike aspired. After earning his Master of Arts in Teaching, Mike worked as a middle school and high school teacher, working closely with Title I students, English Language Learners. Mike continued on to serve as a high school assistant principal and principal before his selection as an elementary school principal. During his tenure at the elementary level, the school earned both the No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon and two California Distinguished School Awards. Mike went on to serve as an area superintendent with oversight of both traditional and charter schools. Mike continued his career path serving as a Vice President, Leadership Development with New Teacher Center, a national non-profit. Mike’s work at New Teacher Center focused on inducting and supporting excellent teachers and school leaders, the connection between supervision and evaluation, strengthening professional learning communities and leveraging the principal’s role in educational reform. Mike went to work as the Chief Academic Officer at Carmel Unified School District where he brought coherence to the instructional program through the Local Control Accountability Plan.


Senior Advisor, Community College & Workforce Leadership (Volunteer)

Lee D. Lambert, J.D., Chancellor of Pima Community College since July 2013 is dedicated to leading through academic and resource management, community engagement, fiscal management, relationship building, and strategic planning. Lee served as president of Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, WA.   As a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Community Colleges, Lambert provided executive leadership on the direction of the community college in areas ranging from program development to workforce training. He is former board chair of the National Coalition of Certification Centers, and has presented extensively nationally and internationally on the role community colleges can play in educating and training the workforce of the 21st century.  Chancellor Lambert received his Juris Doctor degree from Seattle University School of Law, and a bachelor degree in Liberal Arts from The Evergreen State College.



Senior Advisor, Labor & Public Economics (Volunteer)

Ioana Marinescu is an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School. She has broad interests in the areas of labor and public economics. What is the impact of public policy on labor markets? How can we understand the linkages between micro-level labor market dynamics and macroeconomic outcomes such as unemployment and economic growth? She is particularly interested in understanding matching and search in the labor market, and how matching mechanisms determine unemployment and productivity. She is currently working with “big data” from to better understand employers’ and job seekers’ online search behavior.  She studied economics at the London School of Economics (PhD) and Harvard University (postdoc). She also holds a master’s degree in philosophy from the Sorbonne, where she specialized in moral and political philosophy.


Senior Advisor, Relevance Science & Engineering (Volunteer)


Senior Advisor, Internet Strategy (Volunteer)

As an executive in high technology, Avanish has grown multiple business from zero to $20-$100M in short periods, while building high performing teams ranging from 5 to 100+ members. Avanish is also an advisor/consultant to boards and executive teams of various venture-backed companies that have had successful M&A exits. Over his career, he has raised over $120M in VC funds from leading investors in Silicon Valley. Avanish got his start at Oracle and was then part of the first McKinsey office in Silicon Valley. From 2009 to 2014, Avanish was a Global Vice President for He has his MBA from UCLA Anderson School; MSCE, Boston University; BSEE, University of Sao Paulo (Brazil).


Senior Advisor, Computational Systems (Volunteer)

Stevens is interested in the development of innovative tools and techniques that enable computational scientists to solve important large-scale problems effectively on advanced scientific computers. His research focuses on three principal areas: advanced collaboration and visualization environments, high-performance computer architectures (including Grids) and computational problems in the life sciences. Stevens teaches courses on computer architecture, collaboration technology, virtual reality, parallel computing and computational science.


Senior Advisor, Neuroscience, Prediction (Volunteer)

Sam Wang is Professor of Molecular Biology and Neuroscience at Princeton University. His work focuses on the neurobiology of learning, at levels ranging from single synapses to the whole brain. An alumnus of the California Institute of Technology, where he received a B.S. with honor in physics, Dr. Wang went on to earn a PhD in neuroscience from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1994. Dr. Wang joined the Princeton University faculty in 2000.  In 2011, he published Welcome to Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College, which is available in 15 international translations.  Dr. Wang is also noted for developing statistical methods to analyze U.S. presidential election polls with unusually high accuracy. His research has been featured by The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio.


Senior Advisor (Volunteer)

Yong Zhao is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas. He is a professorial fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Victoria University in Australia.  His works focus on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He previously served as the Presidential Chair and Director of the Institute for Global and Online Education in the College of Education, University of Oregon, where he was also a Professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership. Zhao was University Distinguished Professor at the College of Education, Michigan State University, where he also served as the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Technology, executive director of the Confucius Institute, as well as the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence.   Zhao was born in China’s Sichuan Province. He received his PhD in 1996 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.