Who We Are
At the helm of SparkCognition are some of the most distinguished and experienced leaders across all global industries.
Amir Husain is the Founder and CEO of SparkCognition. He has been named Austin’s Top Technology Entrepreneur of the Year, listed as an Onalytica Top 100 Artificial Intelligence Influencer, and received the Austin Under 40 Technology and Science Award, among other accolades recognizing his work in artificial intelligence. He serves on the Board of Advisors for The University of Texas at Austin Department of Computer Science and on the NATO Maritime Unmanned Systems Innovation Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Husain has been awarded over 30 patents and has several pending applications. His work has been featured in world-leading outlets such as Foreign Policy, Fox Business News, and Proceedings from the U.S. Naval Institute. He is the author of the best-selling book “The Sentient Machine: The Coming Age of Artificial Intelligence” and a co-author of the compilation “Hyperwar: Conflict and Competition in the AI Century.”
Vijay Doradla brings over 20 years of diverse experience in innovation to his position as President at SparkCognition. He has previously served as an engineer, industry analyst, and investor in the field of technology, working with major corporations like Bell Labs. Prior to that, he was the Founder and CEO of SilverString Capital, a crossover fund focused on innovative technology investments in both the public and private sectors, with a focus on emerging technologies and startups. Before joining SparkCognition, he also led several successful investments as a Director at Verizon Ventures.
Stephen Gold serves as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), bringing over 30 years of experience, including B2B application software development, AI and data science, and IoT services. He previously was the General Manager of Honeywell’s $2.5B Connected enterprise, where he led the digital transformation and IoT advancement of this century-old $40B manufacturer. As Group CMO of IBM Watson, Gold was one of the principal business architects who delivered next-generation AI technology, driving over 10,000 engagements. Prior positions included CCO of HZO, CMO of SPSS, President of Aberdeen Group, and President & CEO of Azerity. Gold has also served on various private and public boards, and has been featured on various media outlets, including CNN, CNBC, Today Show, and Fox News.
As CTO, Sridhar Sudarsan drives SparkCognition’s product and technology strategy, leveraging next-generation AI systems to secure and optimize assets across key industries. With over two decades of technology leadership experience, Sudarsan has been at the helm of complex products and projects, collaborating with global customers on cutting-edge technologies. Previously, Sudarsan was the CTO of IBM Watson Platform and Partnerships, where he led the technology strategy and architecture of the IBM Watson platform. Sudarsan is recognized as an expert on the business potential and application of advanced technologies. He provides thought leadership on AI solutions for clients, partners, academics, and R&D teams, and holds over 14 patents in the areas of AI and distributed computing.
Dr. Bruce Porter
A two-time Chair of the University of Texas Computer Science Department, Dr. Bruce Porter serves as the company’s Chief Science Officer, where he leads the company’s R&D initiatives. As a university professor, Dr. Porter's research focused on machine reading, a technology that holds tremendous potential for capturing knowledge for automated inference, question answering, explanation generation, and other AI capabilities. Dr. Porter also directed UT’s Knowledge Systems Research Group, an AI organization with the goal to develop methods to build knowledgeable computers. He won the Best Paper Award at the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, the College of Natural Sciences Teaching Excellence Award, the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award, and the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award.
Peter Seibold is the Chief Financial Officer of SparkCognition. Seibold brings over three decades of experience in corporate strategy to SparkCognition, with expertise in M&A, capital markets, partnerships, and joint ventures. Before joining SparkCognition, Seibold served as CFO for Churchill Capital II, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Managing Director of M. Klein and Company, a top boutique investment bank, and held senior roles at Goldman Sachs and Evercore.
Logan Jones is the President and General Manager of SparkCognition Government Systems (SGS). He has over a decade of national security and defense experience in the U.S. and globally, in which he’s worked extensively with the DoD and with commercial defense companies. He is the former Vice President and founding member of the largest aerospace venture fund and innovation group, Boeing HorizonX.
He has been interviewed by Inside Defense, Aviation Week, and Janes and has spoken at numerous events, including ICAO and GMFUS Brussels Forum, on how artificial intelligence and machine learning are readying government and defense for the future. He is a proud member of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA).
Jones has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Montana State University and a master’s degree in program management from Boston University. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis.
Michael Hubik is the Chief Accounting Officer, providing leadership and direction in connection with finance, accounting, tax and treasury efforts. Over the course of his 30+ year career, Michael has held a number of leadership roles across the technology and industrial sectors for both public and private companies, most recently serving as Global Controller for Dover Fueling Solutions. His experience includes senior-level positions with Dell, Clear Channel, American Airlines and KPMG, and has focused on leveraging technology differentiation, disciplined execution and consistent financial performance to help build thriving businesses on a global basis.
Aakash Parekh is the General Counsel and Secretary of SparkCognition. In this role, he oversees global legal affairs for SparkCognition and its subsidiary companies. Parekh’s responsibilities include corporate governance, legal compliance, IP strategy, M&A, litigation, corporate financing, public company readiness, and more. Prior to joining SparkCognition, Parekh spent over a decade in private legal practice, where the IP assets he authored, licensed, or litigated generated hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients.
Parekh holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from The University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor degree from The University of Texas School of Law.
Lord John Browne
Lord Browne is Chairman of BeyondNetZero, a climate growth equity venture established in partnership with General Atlantic. He served as Group Chief Executive of international energy company BP from 1995 to 2007, having joined the company in 1966 as a university apprentice. He led BP through a period of significant growth and transformation, including a merger with Amoco in 1998. His landmark speech at Stanford University in 1997 established BP as a global leader in the way it thought about and sought to address climate change. In 2007, Lord Browne joined Riverstone, where he was co-head of the world’s largest renewable energy private equity fund until 2015.
Lord Browne is independent co-Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Council on Science and Technology, Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, Chairman of the Courtauld Institute of Art, and a past President of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
John Thornton is the Executive Chairman of Barrick Gold, the leading gold mining company in the world, the Co-Chairman of The Asia Society, and Chairman of PineBridge Investments. He retired in 2003 as President and member of the Board of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. He serves as a Director of the Ford Motor Company. Thornton is Chair Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Morehouse College and a trustee, advisory board member, and member of the China Investment Corporation (CIC), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, McKinsey Advisory Council, and Schwarzman Scholars. Thornton holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard College, a degree in jurisprudence from Oxford University, and a master’s degree from the Yale School of Management.
The Honorable Lisa Disbrow is currently a Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and serves on several boards including Blackberry, CACI, and Mercury Systems. Disbrow was previously Under Secretary of the United States Air Force, where she directed strategy and policy, risk management, human resources, and technology investments across government and defense with an annual budget of more than $132 billion. Before that, she was the Vice Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's J8 Force Structure, Resources and Assessment Directorate, and served as a Special Advisor for Policy, Implementation, and Execution to the National Security Advisor on the National Security Council at the White House.
Amir Husain is the Founder and CEO of SparkCognition. He has been named Austin’s Top Technology Entrepreneur of the Year, listed as an Onalytica Top 100 Artificial Intelligence Influencer, and received the Austin Under 40 Technology and Science Award, among several other accolades recognizing his work in artificial intelligence. He serves on the Board of Advisors for The University of Texas at Austin Department of Computer Science and on the NATO Maritime Unmanned Systems Innovation Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Husain has been awarded over 30 patents and has several pending applications. His work has been featured in world-leading outlets such as Foreign Policy, Fox Business News, and Proceedings from the U.S. Naval Institute. He is the author of the best-selling book “The Sentient Machine: The Coming Age of Artificial Intelligence” and a co-author of the compilation “Hyperwar: Conflict and Competition in the AI Century.”
Sumant Mandal is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of March Capital, as well as the co-founder of two leading technology incubators in the San Francisco Bay Area: The Hive and The Fabric. Sumant leads investments in cloud driven enterprise platforms, cloud
infrastructure, AI/ML, and network infrastructure as well as companies supporting the Indian market. He currently serves on the boards of numerous market-leading companies. Sumant has an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University. He is a Charter Member of TiE.
Steve Nordlund is vice president and general manager of Phantom Works for the Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) unit of The Boeing Company. Previously, Nordlund was vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt, a business division he launched, dedicated to building a safe, sustainable and seamless future mobility ecosystem, ranging from electric air taxis to high-speed transport. Since joining Boeing in 2009, Nordlund has held business development, business line, and strategy leadership positions across the enterprise. Nordlund has a Bachelor of Science degree in aviation management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Florida.
Pankaj Patel is a seasoned technology leader with more than 25 years of experience developing highly scalable products and services by building and leading high-performance global engineering organizations. Patel served as the Chief Development Officer of Global Engineering and Executive Vice President at Cisco Systems, Inc. from 2012 to 2016. Patel held multiple executive leadership roles throughout his tenure at Cisco since first joining the company in 1996. Prior to Cisco, he held senior management positions at Apollo Computer/HP, Digital Equipment Corporation, Stratacom, and Redback. Patel holds director positions with multiple technology companies where he is focused on incubating, building, scaling, and advising startups with their strategy and go-to-market.
John Chambers is the founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures, where he focuses on helping disruptive startups from around the world build and scale. He served as CEO, Chairman, and Executive Chairman at Cisco for 25+ years where he received numerous awards for his leadership. Chambers is the author of “Connecting the Dots: Lessons for Leadership in a Startup World,” published in 2018. He holds a bachelor of science/bachelor of arts degree in business, and a law degree from West Virginia University, as well as a master of business administration degree in finance and management from Indiana University.
Jim Moffatt has close to 40 years of business experience, 32 of which were spent at Deloitte Consulting. During his tenure at Deloitte, he held many roles, including Vice Chairman, CEO of Global Consulting, and Deputy CEO of the U.S. Through his career, Moffatt advised numerous Fortune 500 clients, and has extensive experience with strategy, growth, innovation and transformation. Moffatt currently serves as an advisor to various private equity and venture capital firms, and also serves as an advisor to, or on the advisory boards of, a number of their portfolio companies, including Icerti, and Kyriba. He currently is a board member of First Hawaiian, Inc., Digital Transformation Opportunities Corp., Optiv, a cybersecurity solutions integrator, and AmplifAI Solutions, Inc. He is Vice Chairman and executive committee member of UCLA Anderson School Board of Advisors, and is an advisory board member at the Centre of Neuro Skills. He was awarded the 2016 John E. Anderson Distinguished Alumni Award and the 2020 UC San Diego Alumni Changemaker Award. He has also been recognized by UCLA Anderson as one of its "100 Inspirational Alumni."
Bob Stearns is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Stearnhill Associates, which provides private investment capital and management consulting services to early-stage companies in classic high tech, medical science, and energy ventures. Stearns serves as an advisory member of Boards and Councils for organizations including LiquidPiston, Statum Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and more. Previously, he has held leadership positions across organizations including Compaq Computer, McKinsey & Company, and Motorola. Stearns holds a degree in Chemistry and Sociology from Brown University and a Master of Science in Physical Chemistry from MIT.
Dr. Ronald D. Sugar
Dr. Ronald D. Sugar served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Northrop Grumman from 2003 until his retirement in 2010. Prior to joining Northrop Grumman in 2001, Dr. Sugar held senior operating, technical, and financial positions at TRW Inc. and Litton Industries. He serves as the Chairman of Uber Technologies, and sits on the boards of Chevron, Apple, and Amgen. Dr. Sugar is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, trustee of the University of Southern California, member of the UCLA Anderson School of Management board of advisors, and former Presidential Appointee to the National Security Telecom Advisory Committee (NSTAC). He is a fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Royal Aeronautical Society, and has also been honored as UCLA Alumnus of the Year.
Secretary Robert O. Work
Mr. Robert Work is the President and Owner of TeamWork, LLC, which specializes in defense strategy, policy, programming and budgeting, military-technical competitions, revolutions in war, and the future of war. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Center of a New American Security, Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and MITRE Corporation, and Senior Counselor at the Telemus Group. He was the thirty-second Deputy Secretary of Defense, serving alongside three Secretaries of Defense from May 2014 to July 2017. In 2001, he retired as a Colonel in the United States Marine Corps after 27 years on active duty. He subsequently was a Senior Fellow and then Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). In May 2009, he was confirmed as the thirty-first Under Secretary of the Navy in the first Obama administration. Mr. Work stepped down as the Under Secretary in March 2013 to become the Chief Executive Officer for the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He remained in that position until he assumed the role of Deputy Secretary of Defense in May 2014. He is Chairman of the Board of Govini, a decision science company and on the Board of Directors of Raytheon Technologies. He most recently was Co-Chair of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.
Mr. Work holds a B.S. from the University of Illinois; an M.S. from the University of Southern California; an M.S. from the Naval Postgraduate School; and an M.I.P.P. from the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies.
Bernard J. Dunn
Mr. Bernard J. Dunn brings an extraordinary background and set of skills to his position as Founder and CEO of BJ Dunn & Associates. He retired in January 2022 as President of Boeing Middle East, Turkey and Africa, culminating a career of over four decades of leadership and managerial experience – nearly all of it international – in both the United States Army and in Corporate America. Well over three decades of that period was spent living and working in the Middle East region, holding positions of increasing responsibility and scope during his military career in Jordan, Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and The Pentagon, with combat experience alongside Arab Forces in Kuwait, and separately in Iraq. This was followed by long years as the senior regional executive for two U.S. Fortune-500 corporations in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates during his business career.
Mr. Dunn is a charter member of the Advisory Council of the Dubai International Chamber of Commerce and sits on the Advisory Boards of Fortem Technologies and the Bauer Aviation Advisory. He has bases in both the United States and Dubai, which provide him a platform from which to operate globally and with the agility and responsiveness that clients need.