The Cycorp Leadership Team
Founder & Co-CEO
Dr. Douglas B. Lenat is one of the world’s leading computer scientists, founder of the Cyc project, and founder and Co-CEO 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 bi-annual 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 & Co-CEO
Stephen Garrison is President and Co-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.
VP of Sales & Marketing
With more than 20 years of experience conceptualizing, selling, and delivering creative, technology-driven solutions to mission-critical business challenges for some of the world’s largest companies, Daniel leads Cycorp’s Sales and Marketing division.
Prior to joining the Cycorp team, Daniel spent five years building and leading high-performing sales, marketing, and product development teams for Ayata, a startup that invented and successfully commercialized the concept of Prescriptive Analytics. Daniel was instrumental in the introduction and adoption of machine learning technologies to the energy industry, conceiving, developing, and delivering the first commercially-successful AI software applications for optimizing drilling and completions operations in unconventional resource basins. Daniel also pioneered the successful application of AI technologies in the property and casualty insurance industry, utilizing machine learning to improve commercial- and personal-lines insurance policy pricing. He has been granted several provisional patents based on his work in the oil & gas and insurance spaces.
Prior to Ayata, Daniel led a personal identity security startup to a successful IPO and ultimate acquisition by Equifax (EFX) as the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer. Daniel has also held leadership positions in direct sales, channel sales, and business development functions at a number of public and private software companies, including Aurea Software, CallidusCloud (acquired by SAP), and Trilogy Software.
A former US Air Force officer, Daniel holds an MBA from The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, with dual concentrations in Finance and Strategic Management, as well as a B.S. in Accounting from The Pennsylvania State University.
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.