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Our team has broad experience spanning epidemiology, wargaming/serious gaming, company building, sales and operations. Our scientists have been widely published, won several awards and are acknowledged leaders in their fields.

FOUNDERS

Lauren Ancel Meyers

Lauren is a professor of biology and statistics at the University of Texas at Austin and the founding director of the UT COVID-19 Modeling Consortium. Trained in mathematics, philosophy and biology at Harvard and Stanford, she is internationally recognized for her two decades of pioneering works in network epidemiology and the application of machine learning to improve the detection, surveillance, forecasting and control of emerging viral threats including COVID-19, pandemic influenza, Dengue, Zika, HIV and Ebola.

She has built pandemic decision-support tools for the CDC, BARDA, DTRA and state and local agencies, and has provided global leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Meyers was named as one of the top 100 global innovators under age 35 by the MIT Technology Review in 2004 and received the Joseph Lieberman Award for Significant Contributions to Science in 2017.

Molly Pieroni

Molly is Partner and President at Yacktman Asset Management. Prior to Yacktman, Molly founded MC2 Institute, an executive advisory firm based in Dallas serving technology, investment management and business services companies.

Prior to MC2, Molly was a Co-Founder and Managing Director of JatoTech Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm investing in Texas and California. JatoTech’s portfolio companies were acquired by Broadcom, Silicon Labs, Intel and Qualcom. She also served on the management team of Highside Capital, a $5B global equity long short hedge fund based in Dallas and New York.

Molly was a Principal at BCG as part of the initial team in the Dallas office. Molly began her career as an investment banking analyst in New York.

Molly holds a BBA from William and Mary and an MBA from Harvard.

Phil Siegel

Phil is a Founder and Managing Partner of Tritium Partners, an almost $1.5B private equity firm. Phil has been an entrepreneur and investor in Texas for over 20 years. He is a founder or first investor of several Texas success stories including Newgistics, HomeAway, RetailMeNot, Vida Capital, RVShare, Giact Systems and Century Payments.

Previously, Phil was a partner in the Dallas office of BCG. He is currently a BCG Senior Advisor aiding their Central COVID response team. In that function he has co-authored several articles on COVID response and strategies.

Phil is a Professor at the Acton School of Business and a former Professor of Entrepreneurship at UT

Phil is the co-founder of MathHappens Foundation which provides mathematics education outside the classroom in partnership with museums, libraries, cultural centers and other informal education groups in Austin and the US. MathHappens Foundation partners with the UTeach internship program.

Phil holds a BA in Chemistry and Mathematics and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

TEAM

Francesca de Rosa – Chief Scientist

Before joining CAPTRS, Francesca de Rosa has been with the NATO STO – Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation for 12 years. At the center she served as scientist in the Maritime Security and Data Knowledge and Operational Effectiveness programs. Her main research areas include simulation games, wargames, cognitive systems, knowledge engineering and human-system interaction, with a special focus on surveillance and situational awareness. She is part of the board of the Serious Game Society and in 2021 she chaired the international Game & Learning Alliance conference. She has been involved in several NATO wargames related activities, including design and deployment of wargames and digital game platforms. She is assisting in the creation of national wargaming capabilities as part of the NATO Wargaming Initiative and supports the advancements of the discipline.

Francesca is an adjunct professor in Computer Games and Simulations at the University of Genoa, Italy and holds a BA in Civil and Environmental Engineering, a Master Degree in Water and Soil Management Engineering and a Ph.D. in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering, with a curriculum in Interactive Cognitive Environments.

Georgia Thomsen – Executive Vice President

Prior to CAPTRS, Georgia helped launch The Acton School of Business, with Phil Siegel, in 2004 and grew the MBA for entrepreneurs from business plan to nationally ranked program in less than five years.  In addition, Georgia served as the Chief Operations Officer at Capital Factory, one of the largest startup incubators in Texas and was the Chief Programs Officer at Notley, an investment engine for nonprofits. A passionate fundraiser with over a decade of experience helping philanthropic organizations, Georgia has helped some of the largest nonprofits in the world develop key relationships and grow their donor bases, including The March of Dimes, Philanthropitch, DivInc and Habitat for Humanity.

Georgia holds a BA in Eastern European History from Texas Tech University and a MA in Russian History from Texas State University. 

Amy Ballew – Senior Vice President

Prior to CAPTRS, Amy was a Relative Value Equity Analyst at Surveyor Capital, a division of Citadel, one of the largest hedge funds in the world. While at Surveyor, Amy covered healthcare services companies. Amy was a Portfolio Manager at Carlson Capital in Dallas, Texas. Amy covered healthcare for 10 years at Carlson, managing a relative value healthcare products portfolio. Amy was also a Product Manager at enterprise software company 10Fold and an Associate at The Boston Consulting Group.

Amy holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Erin Huddleston – Senior Vice President

Prior to CAPTRS, Erin was the VP of Growth and Partnerships for Notley. Erin led Notley’s growth from Austin to three new cities, and managed a team of market directors as they launched programming and partnerships in their markets. Erin also grew Notley’s donor base and partnerships nationally. Prior to Notley, Erin spent 15 years in various roles at The University of Texas at Austin. She worked in communications, fundraising and program management at the Dell Medical School, McCombs School of Business and the Texas Exes. She is a past president of Women Communicators of Austin, a graduate of Leadership Austin’s Emerge Program and Leadership Women’s Leadership Pipeline Program, and currently serves on the Steering Committee for the San Antonio Women & Girls Development Fund.

Erin holds a BS in Communication Studies from The University of Texas at Austin.

Sarah Jane Gillett – Senior Vice President

An attorney and nonprofit consultant, Sarah Jane was formerly a shareholder at the Hall Estill firm where she worked with a team in the defense of class action lawsuits in the energy, antitrust and consumer protection fields. Sarah Jane also developed and led Hall Estill’s electronic discovery and information governance practice group. Prior to Hall Estill, Sarah Jane was an associate attorney with Hunton Andrews Kurth in New York and served as law clerk to the Hon. Sven Erik Holmes in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma. Sarah Jane subsequently founded Gillett Consulting and now spends her time engaging nonprofit organization leaders in capacity-building work, such as resource development, strengthening board governance and engaging stakeholders.

Sarah Jane received a BA from Wellesley College and a JD from Boston College
Law School.

Ashwin Ramaswamy – Game Scientist

Before joining CAPTRS, Ashwin worked as a designer and developer of serious games for STEM education in the industry, as well as the non-profit sector, of India. He also has interdisciplinary research experience in cognitive science, social simulation, and the learning sciences. Ashwin is broadly interested in applying principles and analytic techniques informed by cognitive science research to solving complex real-world problems such as in education and training.

Ashwin holds a Master’s degree in Computational Biology from Pondicherry University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai.

Micael Sousa – Game Designer

Prior to joining CAPTRS, Micael worked as a civil engineer managing private and public projects, and as a consultant and advisor for environmental, regional, and urban planning. He also has experience as a researcher for the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria (Portugal) and the CITTA—Research Centre for Territory, Transports and Environment, Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Coimbra (Portugal). Since 2015, he has been developing game-based approaches and research for European projects (Urbact, Horizon), Portuguese Government, Foundations, and Municipalities, fostering participation, citizen engagement, and collaborative decision-making. He has been a guest lecturer on the subject of game design, gamification, and serious games at Polytechnic of Leiria, University of Aveiro, Lusófona University, IADE – Creative University, and IPAM. He is a member of multiple gaming organizations, and a postdoctoral researcher at the Spatial Dynamic Lab in the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy at the University College Dublin.

Micael earned Bachelor’s degrees in Civil Engineering from the Polytechnic of Leiria and History from Aberta University. He also has Master’s degrees in Energy and Environment from the Polytechnic of Leiria, and Heritage Studies from Aberta University, as well as a Ph.D. in Spatial Planning from the University of Coimbra and the University of Porto.

Alayna Wilson – Game Developer

Prior to joining CAPTRS, Alayna graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a BA in Game Design. Alayna focused her education on designing interesting game spaces and the ways players interact with them. During school, she worked on the game Carpathian Night as a level design intern and put her minor in geosciences to good use as an animator and video editor for the University of Texas at Dallas’ Geoscience Studios, a team of graduate and undergraduate students who make educational geoscience videos. Post graduating, Alayna has focused her time on growing as a designer by studying skills such as graphic design, game scripting, and game development.

Mathieu Muratet – Gaming Expert

Mathieu is assistant professor of computer science at INS HEA (a french institute that trains all parties involved in assistance and professional, social, and educational accessibility). He is member of the Mocah research team from the LIP6 lab that depends on Sorbonne University and the French National Center for Scientific Research. His research topics focus on Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) associed to Serious Games. He trains Serious Game design at Sorbonne University and use a lot of Serious Game in his teaching methods. He designed and programmed the game Covid-25.

Eliana Patt – Contributing Writer

A current student at the University of Texas at Austin, Eliana is a speculative fiction writer with a deep fondness for science communication. As a biology undergraduate, she was fascinated by how ecology and culture impact epidemiology prior to joining CAPTRS, a fascination compounded by the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and its many similarities with the pandemics of yesteryear. Eliana has contributed to the Universe of Threats project.

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