CEO of JC2 Ventures
Former Chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting
Former CTO Compaq & MD Sternhill Partners
Dr. Ron Sugar
Former Chairman and CEO of Northrop Grumman Corporation and current Chairman of Uber
Secretary Robert O. Work
Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense & Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security
Gen. John R. Allen, US Marine Corps (Ret.)
Executive Board Member
General John R. Allen serves on SparkCognition’s Board as Executive Board Member. As one of the United States’ leading and most seasoned wartime commanders, Gen. Allen served the nation as a Marine Corps four-star General, and as Commander of the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A). On 13 September 2014, President Barack Obama appointed Gen. Allen as Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.
Steve Nordlund serves on SparkCognition’s Board as Chairman. Mr. Nordlund is vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt, a business division building the ecosystem that will define the future of urban, regional and global mobility. Boeing NeXt is driving the company’s approach to next-generation airspace management and global airspace integration, working with regulatory agencies and industry partners to ensure a future where autonomous and piloted air vehicles safely coexist. Prior to this, Mr. Nordlund was Vice President, Strategy, for Defense, Space and Security at Boeing. He has formerly served as Vice President, Unmanned Airborne Systems Programs; and Director of Business Development for the Global Strike Division of Boeing Military Aircraft.
Pankaj Patel serves on SparkCognition’s Board as a Board Member. 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 August 2012 to August 6, 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 L. Thornton is Professor and Director of the Global Leadership Program at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He is also Executive Chairman of Barrick Gold Corporation, Non-Executive Chairman of PineBridge Investments, and Board Member of the Ford Motor Company. Thornton serves as advisory board member of China Investment Corporation and China Securities Regulatory Commission. He retired as president and co-chief operating officer of The Goldman Sachs Group in 2003.
Sumant is Managing Director and co-founder of LA-based March Capital Partners, in addition to being co-founder of two leading technology incubators in the San Francisco Bay Area; The Hive, focused on AI and Blockchain driven companies, and The Fabric, focused on cloud, IoT and network infrastructure companies. He has been part of incubating more than 25 companies. Sumant leads investments in Cloud Computing, IoT, AI/ML, and Network Infrastructure as well as companies supporting the Indian market.
Founder & CEO
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. Amir 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, and is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He 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.”
Lord John Browne
About Lord John Brown
Lord Browne has enjoyed an illustrious career that began at BP as a university apprentice in 1966. He subsequently held top leadership positions at the company, including as Group Chief Executive for 12 years. He was voted Most Admired CEO by Management Today, a United Kingdom business publication, every year between 1999 and 2002. He has also held board positions with a wealth of corporations and other organizations, including President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Chairman of the Trustees of the Tate Galleries, and Chairman of the Francis Crick Institute.
Founder & CEO
CEO Amir Husain founded SparkCognition with the desire to build a company that would be at the forefront of the “AI 3.0” revolution. An undisputed tech leader in Austin and in the industry at large, Amir built multiple venture-funded startups between 1999 and 2009, at which point he took over as President and CEO of VDIworks. For his inventions, Amir has been awarded 22 US patents and has over 40 pending patent applications. He serves as advisor and board member to several major institutions, including IBM Watson, University of Texas Department of Computer Science, Makerarm, ClearCube Technology, uStudio and others; and his work has been published in leading tech journals, including Network World, IT Today, and Computer World. In 2015, Amir was named Austin’s Top Technology Entrepreneur of the Year.
Chief Business Officer
Vijay Doradla brings over 20 years of diverse experience in innovation to his position as the Chief Business Officer (CBO) 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. Previously, 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. As the CBO at SparkCognition, Doradla utilizes his multifaceted skill set to lead the company’s business strategy.
Chief Technology Officer
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.
Jeffrey R. Lass
Chief Financial Officer
About Jeffrey R.
Jeffrey R. Lass is the Chief Financial Officer of SparkCognition and in this role he provides leadership and direction in connection with our finance and operations efforts. Over the course of his 25+ year career, Jeff has held a number of executive leadership and advisory roles across the technology, energy, and industrial sectors most recently serving as Chief Financial Officer of Chart Industries (Nasdaq: GTLS). His experience includes executive-level positions with CognitiveScale, Dover Corporation, GE, and Trilogy Software, and has focused on leveraging technology differentiation, disciplined execution and consistent financial performance to help build thriving businesses in all regions of the world.
Dr. Bruce Porter
Chief Science Officer
A two-time Chair of the University of Texas Computer Science Department, Dr. Bruce Porter serves as SparkCognition’s Chief Science Officer, where he leads the company’s many R&D initiatives. As 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 has 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.
Vice President of Human Resources
Susie Dvorak is the Vice President of Human Resources for SparkCognition. She is responsible for managing the company’s HR initiatives including recruiting, benefits, and the development and growth of the company’s culture and employees. Previously, Susie served as VP of People for Social Solutions. Her prior experience includes human resources leadership roles with: Accruent, Wayne Fueling Systems, PPD, and Green Mountain Energy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business & Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco.
Vice President, Marketing Demand Generation
Susanne Rodriguez brings more than 15 years of experience driving demand in B2B software environments to SparkCognition. In her position as VP, Marketing Demand Generation, Rodriguez is responsible for driving awareness and interest in all SparkCognition products. Previously, she led demand generation efforts across the entire suite of solutions at Planview. Prior to that, Rodriguez held various marketing roles at SolarWinds, including: Global Customer Marketing, SolarWinds Cloud, and Americas New Logo Demand Generation. Her experience also includes partner channel marketing at NetSpend, as well as roles in acquisition and retention marketing at D&B Hoover’s. Rodriguez holds an MBA from the University of Texas.
Executive Vice President, Global Sales
Curt Richtermeyer serves as SparkCognition’s Executive Vice President of Global Sales leading commercial teams across all geographies and verticals with a focus on creating a world-class sales organization to accelerate growth and identify ways to expand our global footprint. With more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of the software industry, Curt has developed a passion for helping companies leverage leading-edge technology to unlock high levels of business value and performance.
Prior to joining SparkCognition, Curt was SVP Global Sales and General Manager for Aurea. He has also served as VP North America Sales for CallidusCloud (now SAP Sales Cloud) and has held senior management positions with Trilogy, Oracle, BDO, and Grant Thornton.
Curt earned an MBA and a BA in Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin.
VP, Marketing Communications
Michelle Saab is the VP of Marketing Communications (MarCom) for SparkCognition. She is responsible for the overall communication, product-based messaging, event planning and branding activity for the Company. Previously, she led a global communications team at Dover Fueling Solutions where she directed all marketing initiatives including: multiple product launches, company and product branding, corporate hospitality and tradeshow events as well as employee communication and engagement initiatives. Prior to Dover, Michelle worked for a nonprofit organization promoting the use of alternative fuels in the US Congress and designed and edited the Disaster Recovery Journal magazine publication. Michelle holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Media, Communication and Journalism from Missouri State University.
VP & General Counsel
Talia Jarvis joined SparkCognition in December 2018 and serves as Vice President and General Counsel. She is responsible for SparkCognition’s global legal team and provides counsel to SparkCognition’s executive team on a variety of legal and compliance matters, including technology transactions, intellectual property, privacy and security, export control, domestic and international joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate matters. Previously, Talia served as general counsel and chief operating officer at Bedrock Funding, LLC, a consumer debt fintech startup, and as an associate at Latham and Watkins, LLP and Vinson & Elkins LLP, where her practice focused on private equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate matters, including, in particular, for participants in the oil and gas industry. Talia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Anthropology from the University of Texas and a Juris Doctor degree from University of Houston School of Law.
Vice President, Services
As Vice President of Services, Mike Hubbard is responsible for the customer journey. The global Services and Support teams engage with our customers to deliver SparkCognition solutions and maintain a high level of support throughout the relationship to achieve value. Before joining SparkCognition, Hubbard led worldwide Services for eCommerce at IBM, responsible for global delivery of software including WebSphere Commerce. Hubbard has significant experience leading both On Premise and SaaS software services at companies like DemandTec and SeeCommerce as well as Consulting leadership at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Supply Chain industry experience at Sara Lee Corporation.
Vice President, Oil & Gas Solutions
Philippe Herve joined SparkCognition as the VP of Solutions. He is a multilingual executive with U.S. and international success in operations, technology, business development, marketing, sales, and client relations. Herve started working with artificial intelligence in 1985. Herve’s comprehensive experience in oil and gas spans large-scale project leadership, IT, engineering, manufacturing, and operations. Herve holds multiple patents for the use of ultrasonic energy in well inspections, and has authored many technical papers. He is a member of professional organizations including the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Over the years, Herve has frequently been published in Bloomberg, Oil & Gas Journal, Journal of Petroleum Technology, World Oil, The Houston Chronicle, Drilling Contractor, and is a frequent speaker on diverse management and engineering subjects.
Vice President, Engineering
Randy Groves is an experienced technical executive, having held C-level and VP positions at some of the most prestigious technology companies in the world, including IBM and Dell. Groves holds a Masters of Electrical Engineering from University of Texas at Austin, a Masters in Management of Technology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelors of Electrical Engineering from Kansas State University.