The Cycorp Leadership Team
In Memoriam – Doug Lenat (1950-2023)
Dr. Douglas B. Lenat is one of the world’s leading computer scientists, founder of the Cyc project, and of Cycorp.
Dr. Lenat has been a Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie-Mellon University and Stanford University, and has received numerous honors. These include being awarded the biennial IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, which is the highest honor in artificial intelligence; being named the first Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI); and being named a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Cognitive Science Society.
He has authored over one hundred publications primarily in the areas of machine learning, automatic program synthesis, knowledge based systems, representation, and automated inference, and he is an editor of the J. Automated Reasoning, J. Learning Sciences, J. Applied Ontology, J. Applied Artificial Intelligence, and the Springer Artificial Intelligence series of books.
In addition to being a professor at CMU and Stanford, he was Principal Scientist at MCC, where he founded the Cyc Project in 1984 – something he dubbed “ontological engineering”. At the end of 1994, the Cyc project spun out of MCC, becoming Cycorp, Inc., and he has served as its CEO since that time.
Dr. Lenat is a founder and Advisory Board member of TTI Vanguard, where he continues to co-run four conferences each year, and he holds the distinction of being the only individual to have served on the Scientific Advisory Board of both Microsoft and Apple. Dr. Lenat received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford, investigating automated discovery based on “interestingness” heuristics, for which he received the bi-annual IJCAI Computers and Thought Award in 1977, and in 1980 he was one of the co-founders of AAAI and of Teknowledge.
President & CEO
Stephen Garrison is President and CEO of Cycorp. He brings strategic and operational experience from both the public and private sectors.
At the White House, he served as Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy under President George W. Bush. During his time in the West Wing, he focused on a range of domestic policy issues. Earlier, he also served on President Bush’s Presidential Campaign policy staff and as Deputy Director of Rapid Response as well as on the policy staff of then-Governor George W. Bush.
While at Bain and Company as a Principal, he served clients across industries, launched a new regional industry practice, and was a member of the Performance Improvement practice area. Later, after starting a hospital management company and serving as its CEO, he led a successful hospital turnaround and strategic transaction as CEO of the hospital and General Partner of the 83 member ownership group. Garrison was also previously named one of Becker’s Hospital Review national 25 Rising Stars Under 40 in Healthcare.
Immediately before joining the Cyc team, he served as CEO of Cooper Wellness Strategies, the corporate and technology affiliate of the world-renowned Cooper Clinic.
Stephen has a B.A. from Stanford University in Public Policy and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Heath Hindman is Cycorp’s CFO. Heath brings over 25 years of broad-based financial and operational experience to our executive team. Heath has built his career as a finance executive around helping technology companies scale through market and international expansion, organic growth, and acquisitions. Heath leads all aspects of the company’s financial strategy including operations, financial planning, accounting, human resources, financial systems and treasury.
Prior to joining Cycorp, Heath has held various operational and financial leadership roles at Overhaul Group, Bridgepoint Consulting, and LifeSize Communications and was an auditor at Ernst & Young.
Heath is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Bachelors of Economics from Louisiana State University.
Vice President, Sales
With more than 25 years of global healthcare sales and marketing leadership experience, Richard has spent the last 15 years as a Growth & Strategy Officer for several prominent Venture Capital and Private Equity-backed early-stage Healthcare sales and consulting companies.
Prior to joining Cycorp, Richard was the Global GM, Healthcare & Lifesciences at Hortonworks, where he led the healthcare Industry solutions marketing, partnerships, and sales teams across the US and EMEA. As the Industry Practice lead, Richard had responsibility for developing and supporting the companies: vision, capabilities, solutions and direction across the global healthcare verticals and broad partner ecosystem.
Richard is a former european challenger tennis tour player and NCAA Division 1 athlete. He is a dual citizen (Great Britain and the US) and has spent significant time living in Europe and the Middle East. He currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his wife and kids and is a rabid Liverpool FC fan.
Keith Goolsbey is Cyc’s System Architect, responsible for the design and primary implementation of Cyc’s inference mechanism, its 1000+ reasoning modules, truth maintenance, and database interoperability mechanisms.
Over the course of his multi-decade career, Keith has been a consistent driving force behind the maturation of the Cyc platform, engineering solutions to dozens upon dozens of showstopping bottlenecks and challenges that make Cyc’s commonsense knowledge representation and formal logical reasoning not just possible, but possible at scale.
Keith holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Computer Science, both from the University of Texas at Austin. In his spare time, Keith is passionate about helping young athletes acquire and develop skills to help them succeed at sports and in life as a basketball and soccer coach.
Dr. Blake Shepard heads up ontological development at Cycorp, extending Cyc’s knowledge base.
Over the course of his 20-year Cycorp career, Dr. Shepard has directed a wide range of extensions of the Cyc platform for government and commercial applications and has published numerous articles on Cyc. Some areas in which Dr. Shepard has led Cyc platform development include computer network risk assessment, abductive reasoning and scenario generation for terrorist threat anticipation, military and commercial intelligence analysis support, decision support for space launch facilities, learning-by-teaching, simulation of realistic emotional engagement with fictional characters in rich fictional universes, and root cause anomaly understanding for complex systems including deep-sea and unconventional oil wells.
Dr. Shepard holds a Ph.D. in analytic philosophy from The University of Texas at Austin and an A.B. in Philosophy from Hamilton College.
Natural Language Development
Dr. Diana Felder leads Cycorp’s work on natural language understanding and natural language generation.
Dr. Felder has been the driving force behind Cycorp’s development of a context-based, compositional approach to natural language understanding. She has also led an expansion of the scope of Cyc’s natural language generation capabilities concentrated on increasing the variety of ways in which Cyc can express its reasoning in English. During her 5 year tenure at Cycorp, Dr. Felder has also worked extensively on dynamic user modeling, conversation modeling, and contextualization of data.
Dr. Felder holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown University, where her research focused on conversational pragmatics and utterance interpretation.