WiDS NYC 2019
Data Science from the Trenches
March 14, 9AM to 3PM
SAP Next-Gen, 48th Floor, 10 Hudson Yards, New York City
Ann Rosenberg
Senior Vice President & Global Head of SAP Next-Gen

Ann leads SAP Next-Gen, a purpose driven innovation community empowered by SAP Leonardo and an innovation platform for SAP’s 365,000+ customers across 25 industries in 180+ countries. The platform leverages 3,360+ educational institutions in 111 countries as well as startups, accelerators, purpose driven partners, futurists, and 70+ SAP Next-Gen labs/hubs at university campuses in the SAP Next-Gen innovation with purpose network. The platform also leverages SAP’s 100+ innovation and development centers and SAP’s network of 17,000+ partner companies.

Cassie Kozyrkov
Chief Decision Scientist
Google Cloud

As Chief Decision Scientist at Google Cloud, Cassie Kozyrkov advises leadership teams on decision process, AI strategy, and building data-driven organizations. She is the innovator behind bringing the practice of Decision Intelligence to Google, personally training over 15,000 Googlers. Prior to joining Google, Cassie worked as a data scientist and consultant. She holds degrees in mathematical statistics, economics, psychology, and neuroscience.

Jeannette M. Wing
Avanessians Director of the Data Science Institute and Professor of Computer Science
Columbia University

Jeannette M. Wing is Avanessians Director of the Data Science Institute and Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University. From 2013 to 2017, she was a Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Research. She is Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon where she twice served as the Head of the Computer Science Department and had been on the faculty since 1985. From 2007-2010 she was the Assistant Director of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation. She received her S.B., S.M., and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science, all
from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Sinead Kaiya
Chief Operating Officer, Products & Innovation

Sinead Kaiya is the Chief Operating Officer of Products and Innovation at SAP. She is responsible for the efficient and effective operations of SAP development organization, spanning over 27,000 employees across more than 10 countries. Sinead joined SAP in 2007 and has held strategic roles in the Office of SAP CEO, Bill McDermott, and former SAP co-CEO, Jim Hagemann Snabe. She recently spent a year as a strategic consultant within the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Global Industries, on behalf of SAP.

Claudia Perlich
Senior Data Scientist
Two Sigma

I started my career in Data Science at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, concentrating on research in data analytics and machine learning for complex real-world domains and applications. I tend to be domain agnostic having worked on almost anything from Twitter, DNA, server logs, CRM data, web usage, breast cancer, movie rating and many more.My claim to fame is winning data mining competitions, as well as several awards from industry and academia. I am still actively publishing and have so far over 50 scientific publications to my name as well as a few patents in the area of machine learning. In 2010 I joined Dstillery, a NYC based start-up company in the programmatic ad-tech space as chief scientist. After 8 years of thought leadership, public speaking, as well as hands on design of a massive, fully automated machine learning solution for targeting, bid optimization, fraud detection, attribution and causal measurement, I have joined TwoSigma as of January 2018 as a Senior Data Scientist. I received my Ph.D. in Information Systems from Stern School of Business, New York University in 2005 and hold a Master of Computer Science from Colorado University.

Tamar Shapiro
Director of Data Science

Tamar Shapiro is the Director of Data Science at Instagram, leading a team responsible for analytics, experimentation and reporting on Instagram’s core app experiences.  They use data to inform product strategies and new feature development, impacting 1B+ Instagram users’ experience.  Prior to joining Facebook, Tamar was the Head of Analytics at Foursquare, and before that, the Head of Analytics for American Express’s Digital division.  Tamar holds a Bachelor of Science in Statistics and Biometry from Cornell University and a Master of Science in Engineering from Columbia University.  She has volunteered as a mentor for Minds Matter and Women Unlimited, as a speaker for Girls Who Code, and served as co-chair of the Analytics Collective.


Dara Chen
Manager, Advanced Analytics
Ernst & Young – Financial Services Office

Dara Chen is an Advanced Analytics manager in the Advisory practice at Ernst & Young LLP. She brings over 5 years of experience in financial services with a focus on assisting wealth and asset managers with their innovation, automation, and analytics needs. Dara has assisted clients by enabling enterprise-wide cross-border strategy through automation and analytics, conducting multi-year data assessments for regulatory examinations, and providing compliance testing and reporting for fund boards.


Outside of work, Dara is passionate about supporting others’ professional development. For over four years, Dara has played an active leadership role on an EY diversity & inclusiveness initiative called Advancing Pan Asian Executives (APAE), serving in various capacities that span from developing emotional intelligence and leadership workshops with research from Ascend Foundation and Harvard Business Review to expanding APAE’s operations and community engagement by over 2x year-over-year.


Recently, Dara initiated a Social Impact committee for the Women in Advanced Analytics group at EY and currently oversees a ten-person team to organize the first EY NYC Women in Data Science (WiDS) event in collaboration with Stanford University, EY leadership, and industry professionals, scheduled for April 2019.

Nancy Fessatidis
Former Global Data Analytics Leader
Mercer and SAP

Nancy is an award-winning data analytics leader with a track record of building and growing data analytics practices from the ground up and turning them into competitive advantage. Nancy was most recently Global Data Analytics Leader at Mercer, where she managed an Analytics Center of Excellence to deliver AI and Data Science capabilities to internal stakeholders.  Prior to Mercer, Nancy spent 10 years at SAP, where in 2015 her team was recognized by the Association of National Advertisers with the Marketing Genius Award for Excellence in Analytics-Driven Strategy.

Nancy is a frequent speaker on the topic of data and analytics, and is currently a member of the Rutgers Big Data Advisory Board.

She holds a Master’s degree in Operations Research from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from Queens College.

Anna Coenen
Senior Data Scientist
The New York Times

Anna is a Senior Data Scientist at The New York Times. She conducts research to understand user behavior and builds recommendation algorithms that serve more relevant and personalized content to readers. She holds a MS in Cognitive and Decision Sciences from University College London and a PhD in Cognitive Psychology from New York University. In her academic research, she used behavioral experiments and computational models to understand how people learn, gather information, and make decisions.

Reshama Shaikh
Organizer of NYC PyLadies and NYC Women in Machine Learning & Data Science

Reshama is a freelance data scientist/statistician with skills in Python, R and SAS. She earned her M.S. in statistics from Rutgers University. She earned her M.B.A. from NYU Stern School of Business where she studied strategy, business analytics and technology management.


She began her statistical career at Educational Testing Service. She then worked for over 10 years as a biostatistician in the pharmaceutical industry at various companies including PPD, Merck, Thomas Jefferson University and Pfizer, covering Phase I through Phase 4 clinical trials. She also taught math and statistics for 2 years at Temple University.


She is an organizer of the meetups group NYC Women in Machine Learning & Data Science and NYC PyLadies.

Nami Choe
Head of the Platforms Data & Measurement team

She's passionate about driving positive outcomes for marketers through data and technology. Through her work and experience at both the agency and direct marketer businesses, she has learned that we are still just scratching the surface when unleashing the power of data. She believes that people and processes have yet to fully embrace data and it's tremendous value. She received her MS at Columbia University in Biostatistics thinking that she would go into pharmaceutical research, and a BA in Sociology. Nami is married with two active daughters and travels as much as she can. 

Sinziana Eckner
Data Scientist
Digital Intelligence team at JPMorgan Chase

She is responsible for building recommendation systems that enable the personalization of Chase’s websites and mobile apps. Sinziana holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. An advocate for women in technology, Sinziana is the lead organizer of the “NYC Women in Machine Learning and Data Science (WiMLDS)” meetup group. 

Parinaz Vahabzadeh
Blue Boat Data

Parinaz is the founder and CEO of Blue Boat Data , an enterprise technology platform to help companies manage and drive measured value from their data assets. BBD is a New York based company. Prior to launching Blue Boat, Parinaz created and led the Data Labs team at Tapestry, responsible for the 100M+ global consumer database across Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman. Prior to Tapestry, Parinaz launched the Customer Intelligence and Experience Management team at Ralph Lauren and led the digital marketing and analytics function for Nike globally. She graduated from Princeton University and is a resident of NYC.

Johanna Latt
Software Development Lead for SAP Next-Gen

Johanna is a software developer, design thinker, VR-enthusiast and supporter of UN Global Goal 3 - Good Health and Well-Being.

Johanna leads all software development projects for SAP Next-Gen at SAP in New York City. As part of that, she project-managed the full stack development of a hybrid mobile application built on an SAP Cloud Platform backend, she developed multiple software tools in various languages including Ruby on Rails, React Native, Javascript and Python, and led multiple Design Thinking inspired workshops on usability, development and innovation. 

Davar Ardalan
Founder and Storyteller in Chief

Davar Ardalan is the Founder and Storyteller in Chief of IVOW, a cultural storytelling startup powered by AI. Ardalan is also the Deputy Director of the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program in Washington DC. Prior to this, she was a public broadcasting journalist for 25 years, most of those at NPR News, where she designed stories anchored in multiculturalism and steeped in historical context. In 2015, her last position at NPR was senior producer of the Identity and Culture Unit. Realizing that there is a gaping hole in AI algorithms that will define our future stories, she created IVOW, bringing together a team of journalists and technologists to create deeply inclusive stories. Her beta product, My Storyteller, sits at the intersection of audio storytelling and voice-activated chatbots. This cultural bot is crafted with artificial intelligence and a passion for preserving the unique cultural elements that define communities throughout the world. Ardalan, who has also served as Managing Editor at Hanson Robotics, has been recognized with a 2017 NASA Team Leadership award for Space Apps, a Gracie Award from the American Women in Radio and Television and a shout-out in the popular comic strip Zippy. In May 2014, she was the recipient of a United States Ellis Island Medal of Honor, for individual achievement and for promoting cultural unity.

Emily Robinson
Data Scientist

Emily is a data scientist on the growth team at DataCamp, an online, interactive learning platform for data science. After running over 60 online experiments at Etsy, reaching tens of millions of customers, she came to DataCamp to build their A/B testing infrastructure. She enjoys sharing what she's learned on her blog,, where she writes about A/B testing, R, and career advice for data scientists.

Lauren Kennedy
Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Columbia University

Lauren is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Columbia University. She creates survey weights for the New York City Longitudinal Study of Wellbeing, a large longitudinal study which collects detailed information on income, material hardships, and family health and well-being in New York City. Her research focuses on improving survey weight methodologies, focusing on non-probability samples and Bayesian model based approaches. Previous to this position, she completed her PhD at the University of Adelaide, Australia, where she focussed on statistical methods in psychology.


Sara Nadel
Co-founder, Co-CEO and Chief Data Scientist

Sara is the Co-founder, Co-CEO and Chief Data Scientist of StellarEmploy, a predictive analytics platform that helps high-volume recruiters improve hiring outcomes. StellarEmploy’s preference-based survey and learning algorithm improves retention and productivity by one-third for the 40% of the US labor force that earns $20 or less per hour. By reducing bias and enabling employers to increase pay, StellarEmploy has generated over half a million dollars in additional wages for their workers. She previously worked in international economic development in more than ten countries. She holds a PhD from Harvard University and a BA from Stanford University. 

Shira Mitchell
NYC Mayor's Office of Data Analytics