The Team

Dr. Spiros Dimolitsas 

Senior Vice President for Research & Chief Technology Officer, Georgetown University

Spiros Dimolitsas was appointed Senior Vice President for Research & Chief Technology Officer at Georgetown University in July 2011. In this newly created role, he leads Georgetown’s development of innovation alliances and partnerships with industry, universities, and national laboratories domestically and overseas to address complex socio-technical problems of our time in such fields as health, security and sustainability. He works collaboratively with leaders across the University to promote research, secure investments in University-based programs, and oversee multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional research programs, and the Office of Technology Commercialization.

Prior to this role, Dr. Dimolitsas was Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Georgetown University from November 2001 until July 2011. In that role he was responsible for a number of functions that included facilities, information technology, public safety, technology commercialization, human resources, and student dining and housing among others.

Dr. Dimolitsas held other positions before joining Georgetown University. Between 1995 and 2001, he served as Senior Executive for Engineering and Associate Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), an applied-science national security organization. In this capacity Dr. Dimolitsas’ 2,500-person division led the engineering design of the world’s largest laser nuclear-fusion facility (the National Ignition Facility); and the design, fabrication and fielding of systems for cyber operations, environmental, energy and counter-proliferation related to nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

Prior to LLNL, Dr. Dimolitsas held a variety of management positions with the Communications Satellite Corporation (Comsat), where he pioneered technology related to voice and data communications over fixed and mobile networks. At Comsat, he also led the development and implementation of several international telecommunication systems and standards. Prior to Comsat, Dr. Dimolitsas worked with the United Technologies Corporation and the Mayo Clinic in the semi-conductor and biomedical industries, respectively, in the United States and Europe. He also consulted with the Smart Technology Venture Fund, and has served on the Board of Directors of Maxoptix Corporation and Breece-Hill Technologies.

Dr. Dimolitsas’ expertise in large-scale science and technology, high-tech/high-risk project management and technology commercialization has formed the basis for advice that has been provided on innovation and on complex-systems risk management to the US Government and others. He also represents Georgetown University in a variety of fora on climate issues, including the World Economic Forum’s Global University Leadership Forum on Sustainability.

Dr. Dimolitsas holds a B.S. in Theoretical Physics with Honors from Sussex University in England; a M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Imperial College and Queen Mary College –London; and a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Sussex University. In 1992, he received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers outstanding achievement medallion, and in 1995 was elected Fellow of the Institute. In 2013, he was inducted to the National Academy of Inventors. He has published more than 60 peer reviewed scientific papers and holds eight patents in the field of data and encrypted mobile communications.

Eric Burger, Ph.D. 

Research Professor of Computer Science, Director of the Georgetown Center for Secure Communications, Co-Director of the Security and Software Engineering Research Center, Georgetown University 

Dr. Eric Burger is Research Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, Director of the Georgetown Center for Secure Communications, and Co-Director of the Security and Software Engineering Research Center. He serves on the Board of Directors of Ascension Technology Group and on various advisory boards. He is a consultant to the Internet, telecommunications, legal, and financial services industries. Dr. Burger contributes to and holds leadership positions in several standards bodies, including having written most of the SIP media RFC’s in the IETF and contributing to VoiceXML and CCXML in the W3C. Dr. Burger co-founded SnowShore Networks, where he invented the SIP-controlled, multi-function media server and served as CTO. He has also held senior positions at companies such as MCI, Texas Instruments, Brooktrout, Centigram, and Cable & Wireless. He holds sixteen U.S. patents and has numerous patents pending. He has taught at George Mason University and George Washington University and holds degrees from MIT, Catholic University of Leuven, and Illinois Institute of Technology. Dr. Burger was Chairman Emeritus of the Board of the SIP Forum. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society and the founding Chair of the Audit Committee; was a Trustee of the IETF Trust; and was a member of the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee. Dr. Burger's current research areas include cyber security, information sharing, massive data, real-time interactive multimedia protocols, carrier-friendly peer-to-peer networking, sensor networks, SDN security and attribution, cloud computing, and edge computing.

Jeff Collmann, Ph.D. 

Director of Use Case Development for the AvesTerra Project, Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, Georgetown University

Dr. Jeff Collmann obtained his Ph.D in Social Anthropology from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in medical ethics at the University of Tennessee. His research focuses on understanding the effect of bureaucracy and other complex forms of organization on everyday life. The results of his research on social change among Australian Aborigines have been published in numerous articles and as a book, Fringedwellers and Welfare: the Aboriginal response to bureaucracy. He joined Georgetown University in January 1992 where he developed a national reputation in the area of assuring organizational compliance with health information security regulations, including work on the HIPAA security program for the Military Health System. He received the National Intelligence Medallion for helping develop a novel approach to biosurveillance. He has taught the anthropology of Australian culture, biodefense and infectious disease at Georgetown. He was promoted to the rank of Research Professor in the Department of Microbiology in Fall 2011. He currently serves as Director of Use Case Development for the AvesTerra Project, a “Big Data” project sponsored by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, Georgetown University.

Mary Beth Fargo, J.D. 

Senior Advisor, Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, Georgetown University

Mary Beth Fargo received her undergraduate degree from Providence College in 1984 and her law degree from Georgetown University in 1988. She has been affiliated with Georgetown for many years and returned to Georgetown University Hospital on a full-time basis in 1989 after working in the juvenile courts of the State of Maryland for a private law firm. At the Medical Center, Ms. Fargo served in several roles, including budget analyst, contracts administrator, and Y2K Compliance Director. In May 2000, she began working for the University as the Manager of Financial Analysis and became the CFO for University Services in October 2003. She began her current role as Senior Advisor for Strategic Research Development & Operations in July, 2011.

James Giordano, Ph.D.

Chief Scientist, Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, Georgetown University

James Giordano Ph.D., is Chief Scientist in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research at Georgetown University, Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Biochemistry, and Chief of the Neuroethics Studies Program in the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA. He serves as an appointed member of the Neuroethics, Legal and Social Issues Advisory Panel of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and is Senior Science Advisory Fellow of the Strategic Multilayer Assessment Group of the Joint Staff of the Pentagon. Dr. Giordano is also Distinguished Visiting Professor of Brain Science, Health Promotions and Ethics at the Coburg University of Applied Sciences, Coburg, Germany, and was 2011-2012 Fulbright Professor of Neuroscience and Ethics at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich.

He received a BSc (physiological psychology; cum laude) from St. Peter’s College, MA (neuropsychology) from Norwich University, VT, and MPhil (philosophy of psychology), MS (biopsychology), and PhD (biopsychology) degrees from the City University of New York. He was NIEHS post-doctoral fellow in neurotoxicology and neuropathology at the Johns Hopkins University, and completed post-graduate training in bioethics and health policy at the Neiswanger Institute of Loyola University, Chicago, IL.

The author of over 230 peer-reviewed papers, 7 books, and 9 governmental whitepapers in neuroscience, neurotechnology and ethics, Prof. Giordano is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Philosophy, Ethics and Humanities in Medicine, Associate Editor for the Cambridge Quarterly of Heath Care Ethics, Executive Editor-in-Chief of the book series Advances in Neurotechnology: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (published by CRC Press), and Executive co-Editor in Chief for the book series Brain Science, Ethics and Philosophy (Brill Press).

Dr. Giordano is a Senior Member and Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE, and was elected to the European Academy of Science and Arts in recognition of his work in science, technology and ethics. His ongoing research addresses neurological mechanisms of pain and moral cognition and behavior, and ethical issues arising in and from research and use of advanced bioscience and technology in medicine, public life, and national defense.

Sam Hodges 

Executive Assistant, Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, Georgetown University 

Sam Hodges is the Executive Assistant for the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research and helps to manage the day to day details and scheduling for the office.  He was previously a Research and Analysis Assistant at Human Rights First and also held various administrative roles for Senators Max Baucus and John Walsh.  Sam received a Bachelor of Arts in History and International Relations with a Theater minor from Lehigh University.

Lara Kinne, M.A. 

Research Project Manager, Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, Georgetown University

Lara Kinne is a Research Project Manager with the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research and the Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) at Georgetown University. She received a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies from the School of Foreign Service, along with a Certificate of Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies from ISIM at Georgetown in 2011. Her undergraduate work at Boston College was in Political Science and Latin American Studies. Lara’s current research focuses on complex humanitarian crises in the Horn of Africa, unaccompanied minors in the Mexican- US corridor, and human trafficking in Central America and Mexico.

Peter J. Luger 

Chief of Staff, Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, Georgetown University

Peter Luger joined Georgetown in 1997, first as the office manager and later as an assistant administrator of the Center for Child & Human Development. He then served as executive assistant in Medical Center Finance, followed by executive assistant to the senior vice president & chief administrative officer. Peter left Georgetown briefly in 2004, but returned as director of special projects for the chief administrative officer, then interim director of operations of Georgetown University Medical Center. In 2007, he returned to University Services as director of university safety operations and executive director of university safety finance & administration. Finally, prior to his current role, he served as chief of staff to the senior vice president & chief administrative officer. Beginning in July 2011, Peter took responsibility for overseeing all administrative and operational functions of the nascent Office of the Senior Vice President for Research. Peter is also serving his fourth year as president of the Staff & AAP Advisory Council.

Joshua A. Ripple, M.S. 

Research Project Manager, Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, Georgetown University

Joshua A. Ripple is a research project manager with the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research at Georgetown University. He received a Master of Science in Mathematics and Statistics from Georgetown University, where he performed data analysis part-time for students in the School of Medicine. While completing his graduate studies, he also worked as a post baccalaureate fellow in the Laboratory of Neuropsychology at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Before working at the National Institutes of Health, he received a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from Bucknell University, where he worked as a research assistant in the biology department. He presently teaches mathematics and statistics part-time at Montgomery College. Joshua’s current research focuses on statistical analysis and modeling for various projects—including factors affecting the long-term care of women with HIV and the behavioral economics of urban resilience with respect to climate change—and on the development of tools for integration and analysis of big data in the natural and social sciences.

J. C. Smart, Ph.D. 

Chief Scientist of the AvesTerra Initiative, Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, Georgetown University

Dr. J. C. Smart ( is a Research Professor at Georgetown University where he serves as Chief Scientist of its AvesTerra Initiative for the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research. In this role, Dr. Smart is responsible for the technical leadership and strategic oversight of Georgetown's multidisciplinary, integrative science activity to build an extreme-scale knowledge representation of the planet to address issues of sustainability, global health, and global security. Starting in 2011, Dr. Smart transitioned to Georgetown from Raytheon where he had served as the Chief Technology Officer for the Intelligence and Information Systems (IIS) business. In this prior role, Dr. Smart was responsible for managing advanced technology research, development and partnerships for the Intelligence Community and Homeland Defense/Security sector. Prior to joining Raytheon in October, 2007, Dr. Smart served as the Senior Technical Director of the National Security Operations Center (NSOC) at the National Security Agency (NSA), Fort Meade, Maryland. Among his contributions there were the computer science theory and technology for a series of significant large-scale projects stemming from his original graph theoretic approach to knowledge representation and reasoning systems. Dr. Smart began his technical career at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where in 1996 he founded the Information Operations, Warfare, and Assurance Center (IOWA), serving as both its first Director and Chief Scientist. This work subsequently led to the creation the "BAG" system that was heavily leveraged at NSA and in DARPA's Total Information Awareness (TIA) program. His current independent research interests include the theory, design, and implementation of an innovative, dynamic knowledge processing architecture for high analytic yield, secure computing, privacy assurance, and real-time distributed mission management and decision support, all at global scale. His specialties include advanced analytics, high-assurance cyber security, graph-theoretic knowledge representation, and high-performance computation. Dr. Smart completed his undergraduate studies at Northwestern University in 1980, earning a B.S. in Electrical Engineering with special emphasis in computer science and logic. He completed his M.S. in computer science in 1986 and his Ph.D. in computer science in 1994, both at the University of California - Davis through the Department of Applied Science.

Nili Sarit Yossinger, M.A. 

Nili Yossinger

Research Project Manager, Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, Georgetown University

Nili Sarit Yossinger is a Research Project Manager with the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research and the Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) at Georgetown University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Loyola University Chicago and a Master of German and European Studies from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, along with a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies from ISIM. She previously worked with the United Nations Refugee Agency, Human Rights First, and the Capital Area Food Bank of Washington DC. Nili's current research focuses on complex humanitarian emergencies, with an emphasis on food security, environmental degradation, and forced migration in the Horn of Africa and Persian Gulf regions.