Discover cutting-edge insights and strategies at the Society of Decision Professionals 2024 Annual Conference with our expert speakers. Join thought leaders from diverse fields as they share practical wisdom and real-world applications to elevate your decision-making skills. Don't miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in a dynamic learning experience and connect with the forefront of decision science.



  • Brendon is a DQ practitioner driving the energy transition at RWE, a global renewable energy developer, here in the US with a focus on Offshore Wind. Prior to joining RWE, he worked for a decade at ExxonMobil, developing, applying, and building organizational capabilities in DQ. Applications ranged from exploration and appraisal strategy in Guyana, country level strategy across the globe and business line strategies for low carbon solutions.



  • Sri Vaidyanathan brings over twenty years of international expertise to the energy industry, specializing in technology, strategy, and supply chain management. As the Global Architect and Process Quality Leader for the Lubricants supply chain at Shell, Sri is passionate about integrating Decision Analysis and Quality into supply chain operations. An active member of the Houston Society of Decision Professionals (SDP) chapter, she is deeply committed to learning from decision enthusiasts and advancing these methodologies in the supply chain. Recognized as a thought leader, Sri frequently speaks at industry events. Through her engaging contributions on LinkedIn under the alias 'Supply Chain Strategist,' Sri Vaidyanathan consistently drives innovation and thought leadership, striving to build competitive, resilient, and sustainable supply chains.



George Nsoribe is an IT Planning, Performance management and Partner engagement professional with over two decades of experience in the energy industry, half of which was spent in the field, planning, deploying and managing telecommunication circuits across locations of diverse terrains while over a decade was spent deploying decision assurance activities to support major capital projects as well as working on budgeting, performance and engaging funding / regulatory partners on IT spend of over $100MN annually in the energy industry. He has witnessed several organizational transformations aimed at fostering more collaboration, empowering employees, leading at the right level, with streamlined and simplified work process to enable more agile decision-making.



Heather began working in the energy industry in 2010 while pursuing her undergraduate studies and starting working as a staff geologist for Aera Energy LLC in 2013 after completing her Masters of Science in geology from California State University, Long Beach. Her journey in decision analysis began in 2019 when she started taking executive education courses from UT Austin, earning the Strategic Decision and Risk Management certificate in 2022. Since 2022, Heather has integrated DQ to her daily workflows and is actively working to build DQ skills throughout the organization.



Dr. Hong Yang is a senior advisor on Benefit-Risk in the Office of Biostatistics and Pharmacovigilance, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, US Food and Drug Administration. She was a member of FDA Benefit-Risk Guidance Working Group and FDA Benefit-Risk Framework Implementation team. She led many benefit-risk assessments to inform regulatory decision in CBER. She currently actively participates and contributes to CIOMS (COUNCIL FOR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS OF MEDICAL SCIENCES) Working Group XII for Benefit-Risk Balance for Medicinal Products, and the BRAP (Benefit-Risk Assessment Plan) and the BRATS (Benefit-Risk Assessment Tool Suite) Taskforces of ASA Safety Evaluation Working Group.



Leila Lackey is the Program Lead for Decision Support at FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Decision Support and Analysis Staff (DSAS). This group provides benefit-risk and decision analysis expertise for regulatory and policy decisions at the Center and led development of the Draft Guidance for Industry on Benefit-Risk Assessment for Human Drugs and Biologics. She has a Master of Health Science from Johns Hopkins in Environmental Health Sciences and a doctorate from UCLA in Environmental Science and Engineering and currently serves on the ASA/DIA Benefit-Risk Assessment Planning Taskforce as well as the Bayesian Scientific Working Group Benefit-Risk Subteam.



Paul Gordon is a highly accomplished business leader with over fifteen years’ experience leading decision-making transformation. He has facilitated key decision points for major programmes and strategic planning initiatives across a wide range of sectors, including extensively with the Defense and Security sectors in Australia, NZ and the UK.

Paul is committed to collaborative, value-focused decision-making with clear, open communication. As CEO, he leads and inspires the Catalyze team and frequently works with public- and private-sector leaders to build decision capability.



Dr. Spetzler, Chairman of Strategic Decisions Group, has been an innovator and leader in the application of Decision Science for decades. He is a recipient of the Ramsey Medal of the DA Society, the Pioneer Award of SDP, and was inducted into the SRI Hall of Fame for his contributions to the world of financial services.



Eric Johnson supports drug development decision making at GSK, where he is helping the new DA practice to grow. Previously he had done DA work at BMS, and for consultancies. He is co-author of the Handbook of Decision Analysis, and a Fellow of SDP.



Patrick Elder is the Director of the Data and AI Center of Excellence at ECS, supporting both DoD and Federal Civilian programs. He has over 19 years of experience in federal consulting focusing on data management, analytics, and solution architecture. Patrick also hosts and produces the ECS StoryPoints podcast, showcasing interesting stories and lessons learned to help build community in our increasingly geographically distributed workplace.



Fadi Micaelian is a seasoned enterprise software executive. Over the past three decades he has served in a number of senior positions at industry leaders like Oracle, BroadVision, Intellectual Ventures, and DataBeam (now IBM). He is also a serial entrepreneur, currently serving as a CEO at Sparkdit, the 3rd start-up he founded. Fadi is a distinguished scholar. He lectures at MIT, ASU and USF. As an inventor, his work has been published extensively and he was awarded 8 highly cited AI/ML patents by the USPTO. He is passionate about Technology, Physics and Track and Field. Fadi holds a BS of Physics, a BE of Engineering, and obtained an MS from MIT, and an MBA from INSEAD.



Bill is an award winning strategy and decision-consultant with companies in North America and a global clientele. He has over 36 years of diverse strategy, decision and uncertainty management experience in several industries. While he is now a Vancouver-based independent consultant, you may remember him from his 25-year stint in Texas or his many appearances at DAAG starting back in 1995. He has taught decision and uncertainty management across 6 continents, and will sacrifice to help Australian projects. In addition to decision support, astronomy, astrophotography, and learning American Sign Language, Bill continues to contribute his spare time to emergency medical response and firefighting fields where he trains and provides planning and real-time emergency decision support. Diversity matters in our work. Bill is an SDP Fellow and the current President of the Vancouver Chapter of SDP.



Patrick Leach is a Professor of Practice at the Colorado School of Mines and an independent strategy consultant. He is the author of Why Can't You Just Give Me the Number? - An executive's guide to using probabilistic thinking to manage risk and to make better decisions, now in its Second Edition, and is a Past President of the Society of Decision Professionals. He has written numerous pieces about the need to move toward sustainable business practices and how to use the principles of decision science and behavioral economics to develop strategies to do so.



Sheldon Bernard is the founder of A440 Management LLC, a firm specializing in handling special situations and complex decisions. With over a decade and a half of experience assisting Fortune 100 boards and executive teams, he is a strong advocate for the utilization of Bayesian methods in strategic problem-solving. Sheldon has managed large projects in special situations, R&D, and corporate strategy, among others. He leads the Society of Decision Professionals’ Knowledge Sharing Council and holds several business qualifications, including an MBA from UNC Chapel Hill and the Strategic Decision & Risk Management certificate from Stanford.


Niki Arya

Niki Arya is an Associate Director of Biostatistics at AstraZeneca in the Respiratory & Immunology division. She is based at the Durham, NC office. She has been a statistician in the pharmaceutical industry for 20 years. She has a prior statistical experience in the Cardiovascular/Metabolic, Infectious Diseases, and Oncology therapeutic areas. She has a masters degree in Biostatistics from UNC-Chapel Hill.


Michael Kane

Michael Kane is an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at Yale University and the Director of the Biostatistic's Department's Data Science Pathway. He received his PhD and MA in Statistics at Yale University and his MS in Electrical Engineering and BS in Computer Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. He is a Co-Founder and Scientific Advisor at Telperian Inc., which provides machine learning tools, designs, analyses, and strategic guidance to drug developers. His current reasearch interests are in characterizing prognostic heterogeneity in patient populations to maximize clinical trial success along with the developements of AI agents to augment human understanding and effort in the development, monitoring, and evaluation of clinical trials.


Chris Spetzler

Chris is passionate about bringing decision skills to young people. In addition to teaching and developing decision skills programs, Chris supports educators and organizations in realizing and evaluating the benefits of decision education. Chris completed a Masters at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and an MBA at Thunderbird. Prior to joining DEF, Chris was a Project Manager for Johnson & Johnson and a consultant for Pharsight applying decision analysis in the pharmaceutical industry.


Amy Day

Amy specializes in teaching young people and the adults who care about them how to make good decisions. With over two decades of experience in Decision Education and a Stanford certification, she teaches courses through corporate partnerships, community organizations and schools, and Clarity4Action-hosted classes. Amy is the co-founder and Executive Director of Clarity4Action.org and an SDP Board Member.


Steve Begg

Steve Begg is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Adelaide. His focus is on tools and processes for decision-making under uncertainty; bias identification, impact quantification and mitigation; project/asset and portfolio economic evaluations. Prior to academia he spent 19 years in industry in a variety of technical and management roles related to uncertainty assessment/modeling, economic evaluation and decision-making. He has twice been a Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) on uncertainty & decision-making topics. In 2016 he received the SPE’s global award for his work on biases in decision-making. Steve is a founder member of the SDP and served on its Board 2014-2017. He is co-author, with Reidar Bratvold, of the book “Making Good Decisions”, and has given many industry short courses and workshops on decision-making topics.


Terry Karner

Terrence Karner is on a mission to help everyone improve the way they make decisions. He is Director of Portfolio & Decision Analysis at Astellas Pharma where his group continually seeks to lead with best practices in Decision Quality and portfolio analysis. He has over 30 years of industry experience in pharma, big four management consulting, and wireless telecom where he has focused on deploying the best tools of strategic decision-making: Decision Quality, portfolio analysis, and scenario planning. Terrence is dedicated to continually teach and practice the ideals of Decision Quality at every opportunity such that this approach will become the standard for strategic thinking across every organization.


Kuno Huisman

Kuno Huisman is Head of Strategic Capacity Preparation Decision Quality and Strategic Programs. Next to that he is part-time full professor of decision making under uncertainty at Tilburg University where he teaches courses on professional skills and investment under uncertainty. Kuno believes that decision quality can assist individuals and institutions to make better decisions that will lead more often to desired outcomes. Kuno has worked as a quantitative consultant at CQM for 10 years before joining the Decision Support team of ASML for 8 years. Next he worked for 3 years as head of Finance for the TWINSCAN Factory, one of the integration factories of ASML and 1 year as head of Strategy Coordination at ASML. Kuno earned the Strategic Decision and Risk Management Certificate from the Stanford Center for Professional Development. Kuno has a Ph.D. and master degree in Operations Research from Tilburg University.


Dr. David Gebben

Track Chairs

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