Roger joined the bord in 2022, and, with a background in data and analytics brings much-needed technology expertise. He writes:
I caught the travel bug early. I was born in London to American parents, while my father was serving in the Air Force. On returning to the States, my parents moved between various locations related to my father’s job with the FAA: Atlantic City, Columbus, Cleveland, Roanoke, Rochester and Oklahoma City. We eventually settled in southern Connecticut – close enough to NYC that, from age 14 on, I took the train into the city to explore its arts, music, and street scene.
Soon after graduating in finance from the University of Connecticut, I moved to a houseboat in Sausalito. My career started in insurance, but the Bay Area’s technology industry inspired me to get a degree in computer science from what’s now called Cal State East Bay, and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley.
I launched my technology career at Pacific Bell and pivoted to focus on data and analytics. As a consultant, I developed the data infrastructures for a wide range of organizations including the San Francisco Opera, The Alberta Motor Club, Sybase, Columbia (Sony) Pictures, and O’Reilly Media. Beyond my analytics work at O’Reilly Media (Sebastopol), I wrote about technology adoption and other trends, popularizing the term “Big Data,” and served as chair of Strata, a world-wide data and analytics conference with events in New York, Santa Clara, London, Barcelona and Singapore.
I relished the opportunity to consult on a diverse set of projects. For the U.S. Intelligence Community, I analyzed technology issues and innovation related to operations in the U.S. and abroad – work that significantly impacted long-term planning at multiple operational and analytic organizations. Based on that work, I was invited to give a keynote talk at an Intelligence Community symposium on advanced technologies. In the healthcare field, for the Department of Health and Human Services, I studied the impact of the Affordable Care Act on technology jobs; and for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, I developed processes to keep patient data confidential while available for research.
I have had the good fortune to speak at public and private events on technology and data topics throughout the world including Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Krakow, London, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Athens, Istanbul, New Zealand, and Lima. The chance to meet and learn from others has truly enriched my life and provided indelible experiences, expanding my understanding of people, politics, and culture. Most recently, I gave a keynote address in Leon, at the annual convention of Canacintra, the National Chamber of Industrials of Mexico.
I work as the Senior Director of Data Strategy at Astronomer, a startup commercializing open source software. Outside of work, I lend my expertise to a few worthy causes. During the early pandemic, I volunteered on the California governor’s COVID data insights task force. For a Healdsburg-based non-profit, I built a General Index that makes historic scientific publications available to the public, a project featured in Nature. I serve as an advisor to Farmacy Foods, a startup making healthy meals available to underserved communities.
I split my time between The Sea Ranch and Petaluma with my wife and dog, enjoying the wonderful outdoor activities Sonoma county offers, including biking, hiking and tennis.
In Istanbul, I was invited to participate with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project on how to incorporate data and analytics into their reporting, mostly focusing on corruption in eastern Europe and Russia. I’ve remained in contact with the Co-Founder and editor, Drew Sullivan, last seeing him just before the pandemic. They have been doing incredible, and I’m sure dangerous, work to report on Russia, Ukraine and the oligarchs swirling around the invasion.
Phone: (707) 573-6014
P.O. Box 1433
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
All information on this website is Copyright (c) 2023 World Affairs Council of Sonoma County
World Affairs Council of Sonoma County is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit educational organization.