Accelerator cohorts



Our second Day One Accelerator cohort spans a diverse range of science, technology and innovation interests and expertise, including both veteran policy experts and those new to the process. Each member of the cohort is developing a catalytic proposal for action.



Ashley Holub is a post-doctoral fellow in medical devices epidemiology at Johnson & Johnson. She completed her PhD in epidemiology at the University of Rochester and holds a masters degree in psychology. She has also completed training in regulatory science and has an interest in the intersection of epidemiology and advancing regulatory science. Ashley has conducted research in a range of topics including pediatrics, emergency medicine, and mental health and has worked previously in clinical trials for both pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Ashley is also an active advocate for improving science communication.



Brian Cassidy is a patent attorney and engineer. He has worked as an intellectual property legal analyst for Bloomberg Law, a patent examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a transportation engineer at Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer. He holds an J.D. from Rutgers Law School and a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech.



David Lin is a software engineer at Amazon developing self-learning algorithms to make Alexa more friction-free. He previously authored policy proposals related to affordable housing, public transportation expansion, and small business financing in the Office of Berkeley City Councilmember Rigel Robinson. David researched computer vision techniques for autonomous driving with the Berkeley DeepDrive Industry Consortium. With his experience designing artificially intelligent systems and policy proposals, he aims to encourage AI adoption and regulate its risks. David holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California, Berkeley.

Proposal: Regulating Facial Recognition Use within Law Enforcement Agencies to Protect Civil Rights, Data Security and Data Quality.



Dorcas Lin is an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design studying Design for Environments with a minor in Cybersecurity & International Conflict. As an environment designer, she is interested in the integration of creative and civic technology as a platform to serve communities at scale within government innovation. Previously, Dorcas was a Civic Digital Fellow at the U.S. Census Bureau developing a Tangibility Outreach Campaign for the 2020 Census. Whether it is designing social systems that foster meaningful engagement or rethinking how we approach data privacy, she enjoys working through complex problems to better shape and share her interpretation of our built environment.

Proposal: Advancing the Role of Design in Policymaking and Government Innovation.

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Grace Collins is the CEO and founder of games and education research firm Liminal Esports and Snowbright Studio, a game and educational tech development studio. Previously, Grace led game-based education policy for the U.S. Department of Education and coordinated the Federal Games Working Group across the executive branch under the Obama and Trump administrations. Grace is a former educator and was recognized for their work as an educator with a 2020 Educator Award from the National Center for Women & Information Technology and for their advocacy work as a finalist for the 2020 international “Breakthrough of the Year” award in Digital Education from the Falling Walls Foundation. Grace is also an outspoken LGBTQ+ and gender equity advocate who served as a 2019 LGBTQIA+ Fellow for the Union for Reform Judaism. Grace holds two undergraduate degrees in Computer Science fields and a Juris Doctor from Washington & Lee University.

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Kevin Wei is a graduate student in computer science at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research interests include bias and fairness in machine learning and artificial intelligence, content regulation on the Internet, and the social impacts of technology. In addition to his academic work, he is an activist based in New York City.



Sabrina Merlo serves as Local Response Lead at Open Source Medical Supplies, building an international community of practice across engineers, manufacturers, designers, crafters, and medical professionals around the world working in their communities to fill medical supply shortages stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Sabrina was one of the creators of Maker Faire, the internationally recognized festival brand celebrating makers and creative culture. She spent 10 years with Maker Faire, curating content for flagship events, and nurtured a global network of 220 community-driven events in 44 countries reaching 1.4M people annually. Sabrina has developed science and tech experiences for NASA and The Exploratorium, has directed brand building campaigns for MOTO Development Group and Code for America, and has run active transportation policy campaigns for TransForm and Bay Area Bicycle Coalition. Sabrina is a mom of two young adults, Arlo and Ruby, and is a dedicated urban farmer.



Satvika Kumar, a recent graduate of Columbia University, is dedicated to enhancing access to the delivery of digital public services supporting healthcare, education, and finance. To this end, Satvika leverages her experiences working with a variety of leading institutions, including the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Credit Suisse, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Economic Policy, and Accenture. She also contributes her experience from founding and leading the Learning Pathways Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that builds initiatives to increase educational and employment opportunities in technology for underrepresented demographics. Moving forward, Satvika is invested in exploring how her background in finance and technology can be leveraged to build impactful policies and programs that support vulnerable communities. 



Erica Goldman is the Deputy Director at the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). Erica has held diverse positions at the intersection of science, policy, and communication. Previously, she served as the Director of Policy Engagement for COMPASS, and she also served in a six-month position in the White House Council on Environmental Quality in the Obama Administration. Erica received her doctorate in biology from the University of Washington and her bachelor’s degree from Yale University. She will be working on the Day One Accelerator project collaboratively with NCSE Fellow Sudhanshu Mathur, an undergraduate student at Northeastern University.

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Sudhanshu Mathur is the Science Corps Fellow at the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). Sudhanshu holds a deep interest in climate change policymaking as a path towards creating maximum positive impact. In the past, Sudhanshu has worked at Climate XChange, Johnson and Johnson, The Demand Institute, and the Office of Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4). Currently at Northeastern University, he is pursuing bachelor's degrees in politics, philosophy and economics, and in international affairs. He will be working on the Day One Accelerator project collaboratively with NCSE Deputy Director, Erica Goldman.



Dr. Catharine Young is the Executive Director of the SHEPHERD Foundation, an organization seeking to revolutionize the rare cancer system. Prior to this position, Catharine served as the Senior Director of Science Policy at the Biden Cancer Initiative, a philanthropic extension of Vice President Biden’s stewardship of the Cancer Moonshot. There she led several data initiatives including working groups tackling both data sharing and data standardization. Catharine has also served as the Senior Science & Science Policy Advisor for the British Embassy and UK Ambassador.  Her US government work includes serving in the Department of Defense, Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Warfare Division as a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow.



Alicia Sikiric is a graduate student at the Harvard Kennedy School with an interest in health policy. Before graduate school, she was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where she primarily served health systems and pharmaceutical companies and conducted due diligence on pharmaceutical assets. Before consulting, Alicia worked at a provincial government cancer agency, Cancer Care Ontario (now Ontario Health), in a project management capacity across their Cancer Screening, Analytics & Informatics, and Clinical Programs portfolios. She holds an honors bachelor's in health sciences from McMaster University and a master's in management from Western University.



A.R. Siders is an assistant professor at the University of Delaware in the Disaster Research Center, Biden School of Public Policy and Administration, and department of Geography and Spatial Sciences in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. She holds a JD and a Ph.D. in Environment and Resources. Siders previously served as an environmental fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment, a legal fellow at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, and a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Navy. Her current projects focus on adaptive capacity, managed retreat, and adaptation equity. She believes adaptation is opportunity and that we should be ambitious, if not audacious, in dreaming of and planning for a better future. Originally from Duluth, MN, she misses the cold.

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Allison Reilly is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, College Park in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her research focuses on identifying governance systems that enable resilient infrastructure and strong communities. Prior to her appointment at the University of Maryland, Dr. Reilly was a research fellow at the University of Michigan and a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins University. In addition, Dr. Reilly was a research analyst for a federally-funded research and development center in support of the Department of Homeland Security. Dr. Reilly holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Cornell University and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. 



Deb Niemeier is the Clark Distinguished Chair and Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland. She partners with sociologists, planners, geographers, veterinary medicine and education faculty to study such topics as formal and informal governance processes in urban landscapes and how to characterize risk associated with outcomes in the intersection of finance, housing and infrastructure and environmental hazards. She was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for “distinguished contributions to energy and environmental science study and policy development.” She is a Guggenheim Fellow for foundational work on pro bono service in engineering and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.



Hirotaka Miura is a Ph.D. candidate at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He holds a master’s degree in Mathematics of Finance from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics & Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has previously worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, NEC Corporation, GE Japan, GE Healthcare Japan, Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and Harvard Business School.



Philip Lippel is the Assistant Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Washington Office, representing the Institute’s research enterprise and educational mission to federal agencies and Congress. He is interested in the multifaceted role universities play in the innovation ecosystem – educating tomorrow’s workforce, driving discoveries, and helping transition emerging technologies to commerce. Philip received an A.B. in Physics and in Theatre from Williams College, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from Brandeis University. He is a veteran of the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship program, and has worked on a variety of science education, communication and policy issues nationally and internationally.



Thomas W. Malone is the Patrick J. McGovern Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence.  Over many years, Malone’s research has consistently anticipated major business and technology trends by decades, including “gamification,” the “gig economy,” and the “future of work.”  For instance, in 2004, he published his critically acclaimed book, The Future of Work, long before that phrase became common.  And in 2018, he published his newest book Superminds, which describes the potential for even more major developments in our future. Professor Malone has been a cofounder of three software companies, has consulted and has served as a board member for a number of other organizations, and is an inventor with 11 patents.  His background also includes work as a research scientist at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), a Ph.D. from Stanford University, an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich, and other degrees in applied mathematics, engineering, and psychology.



Yara Komaiha is an undergraduate at MIT majoring in Biological Engineering and is an intern at the MIT Washington Office. Komaiha is interested in democratizing innovation and fostering community-led solutions. As a member of MIT Hacking Medicine, Komaiha has partnered with universities and organizations all over the world, from San Francisco to Amsterdam, to lead healthcare hackathons. In response to COVID-19, Komaiha co-founded Amplify Inc., a nonprofit connecting individuals to local hospitals, organizations, and initiatives in order to mobilize community support against the pandemic.

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Jacqueline Greer’s 15-year career in education has been rooted in ensuring every student in the District has an effective teacher, specifically through human capital transformation. She joined Urban Teachers in 2012 as the Executive Director of the DC program, where she has grown the program from 40 aspiring teachers to nearly 400 serving in nearly 100 DC schools.
In 2019, she began her role as Chief Program Officer for Urban Teachers national program. In this role, she works across UT’s operations in three sites, Baltimore, Dallas and DC and prospective future sites to ensure UT’s fellows and residents are effectively prepared for an impactful teaching career in urban public and public charter schools. Additionally, the work of UT’s signature Black Educators Initiative is supported by her office. Prior to joining Urban Teachers, Jacqueline led the talent department of a DC charter school and worked in human capital at the DC Public Schools. In her talent work, she was an inaugural partner for Urban Teachers in 2010. She has worked in professional staffing and educational consulting throughout her career.  Jacqueline was in the inaugural cohort of the Emerging Human Capital Leadership Institute (EHCLI) fellowship and was an Education Pioneers Fellow in Boston Public Schools. She earned her B.A. from the University of Chicago and her M.P.P. from Harvard University.

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Juliane Baron is the Executive Director of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS), a coalition of scientific societies committed to advance the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior. Previously, Juliane was the Director of Government Relations at the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Following several years as a social worker and in the classroom, she has worked to make connections between practitioners, researchers, and policymakers to inform and strengthen policy and practice decisions. She holds a master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.