Our Team

Andrew McLaughlin
Andrew McLaughlin

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Things Andrew has done with his life: co-founded Higher Ground Labs, been a partner at betaworks, served as Deputy Chief Technology Officer of the United States under President Obama, led global public policy for Google, run business operations at Medium and Tumblr, been CEO of Digg and Instapaper, helped launch and manage ICANN, taught at Stanford and Harvard Law Schools, worked in the U.S. House of Representatives, and helped litigate the first major Internet free speech to reach the Supreme Court.

Andrew chairs the board of Access Now, is a board member of Public Knowledge and Chartbeat, and has been a director of Code for America and the Sunlight Foundation. He co-chairs the digital strategy committee of the Brooklyn Public Library, and is involved in some capacity with Data & Society, New York Public Radio, the New America Foundation, and the Open Technology Fund.

He is an advisor to Swing Left and Ragtag.org, and was a member of the human rights and tech & innovation advisory committees of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2015-16.

Peter Schulam
Peter Schulam

FACULTY CO-DIRECTOR

Peter Schulam, MD, PhD, is Professor of Urology and Chair of the Department of Urology at Yale School of Medicine. He is also the Chief of the Department of Urology atYale-New Haven Hospital and the Clinical Program Leader for the Prostate and Urologic Cancers Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital. He graduated from the Medical Scientist Training Program at Baylor College of Medicine with an MD and a PhD in Immunology. His surgical and urologic training was at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Following a brief period at Baylor in Houston, he was recruited as the Chief of Minimally Invasive Surgery in the Department of Urology at UCLA. At UCLA, he developed laparoscopic and robotic surgery programs for prostate and kidney cancer. He was also the Surgical Director of the Living Kidney Donor Program and performed over 1,200 laparoscopic living donor kidney procedures. At UCLA, he became the vice chair of the department and was actively involved in improving the patient experience throughout the hospital. In January of 2012, he became the Chair of the Department of Urology at Yale. His focus is to build a program that can offer every patient with any urologic condition state of the art diagnosis and treatment in an environment that is patient centered.

Dr. Schulam has been very active in medical device development. He has been an advisor to Computer Motion, Intuitive Surgical, Karl Storz, ACMI and Cook. He is currently a scientific advisor to SurgiQuest, Suture Ease and MedicaMetrix. In addition, he holds the patent for the second-generation ureteroscope that is now the standard in urologic endoscopy.

While at UCLA, he founded the Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology (CASIT) for the development of next-generation surgical technology and for the enhancement of surgical education and training. It is because of this passion for improving patient care through the advancement of medical technology that he co-founded CBIT at Yale with Dr. Mark Saltzman.

Kassie Tucker
Kassie Tucker

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Kassie is the Program Director at CITY where she focuses on engaging students and fostering conversations around entrepreneurship and innovation across Yale’s campus through programing that includes the Startup Accelerator and Startup Advisors. Prior to joining CITY, she served as Program Director for the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute. She has launched and managed a wide variety of programs and served as an academic advisor to graduate students at MIT and Boston University. She holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Mary Washington and a MBA from Babson College.

Cass Walker-Harvey
Cass Walker-Harvey

PROGRAM DIRECTOR, SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Cass Walker works as the Program Director for Social Entrepreneurship at CITY and the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY) and is developing the Social Entrepreneurship landscape across campus. Cass is a social entrepreneur and educator. Originally from England, she has over eight years of experience working in social entrepreneurship and business development, non-profit management, and education in Latin America, USA and UK. She has founded two non-profits: SelvaKids, which aims to provide sustainable solutions to increase educational resources in the Amazon, and Girls Thinking Global, which aims to increase collaboration and best practices in the non-profit sector to improve opportunities for adolescent girls worldwide. Cass has also worked extensively with RUNA, a social enterprise that works with indigenous farmers to create sustainable livelihoods in the Amazon. She has coached and mentored students in Ecuador, USA, and UK, and is passionate about gender equality, and creating change through social innovation. Cass has a Masters in International Education Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education and received the Harvard Graduate School of Education Entrepreneurship Fellowship in 2014.

EMMA FUNK
EMMA FUNK

SOCIAL INNOVATION FELLOW

Emma Funk is the Social Innovation Fellow at Tsai CITY, where she builds accelerators, intensives, and workshops that support students in creating and contributing to innovative projects that address pressing social issues. Her previous work includes roles with +Acumen and Ashoka U, working as a 2015 KPCB Design Fellow, and helping to redesign Brown University's social entrepreneurship curriculum. She has also been a solopreneur designer for the last seven years (emmafunk.com). She holds a BA in Science, Technology, & Society from Brown University, with an emphasis on social impact design and the intersection of ethics and data visualization. She has also studied at the Design & Technology program at Parsons the New School for Design in NYC, and the Graphic Design program at Rhode Island School of Design. Emma was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Nya Holder
Nya Holder

INNOVATION FELLOW

Specializes in: general brainstorming, career planning, social entrepreneurship, grant/application writing, presentation development, public speaking, public health, health care management, health reform, high school programs, mindfulness, empowerment programs, consulting, project management

Nya is a proud native of the Bronx, NY. At Yale, she earned a joint degree—a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree of Public Health in Health Care Management. As a first generation American, she grew up in a Caribbean family who believes that with each opportunity comes the great responsibility to improve the lives of those around you. From an early age, Nya has been passionate about using business strategy to make a difference in the world. In 2017, she launched a project in her hometown to introduce mindfulness practices and creative self-expression to help young women better navigate the high-pressure environment of high school with grant funding from Yale. In 2017, she also worked for a health reform consulting firm to develop strategic plans to support New York City's public hospital system. She is currently building a new program to enable financial sustainability and professional development for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Nya uses her leadership opportunities, academic endeavors, and professional experiences to continue to promote positive social change.

Sophie Janaskie
Sophie Janaskie

ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATION FELLOW

Sophie Janaskie is an Environmental Innovation Fellow who works with both the Yale Center for Business and the Environment and the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale. In this position, she works to advance Environmental Entrepreneurship across Yale’s campus via programming, coaching, and outreach. As an alumna of Yale College and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, she is passionate about working closely with partners, leaders, and students to build meaningful innovation and entrepreneurship programs on Yale’s campus. Previously, Sophie served as a Fellow with Venture for America, a two-year program that provides intensive training for entrepreneurs committed to building impactful companies. During this time she worked at a Philadelphia-based greentech startup, where she led the development of their Customer Success and Operations departments.

Martin Wainstein
Martin Wainstein

OPEN INNOVATION FELLOW

Martin is the 2018 Open Innovation Fellow at the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale, and research associate at the Yale department of Electrical Engineering. He is an advisor and collaborator at the Digital Currency Initiative of the MIT Media Lab. Martin did his PhD at the Australian-German Climate & Energy College in the University of Melbourne, Australia and holds an undergraduate degree from The University of Southern California where he focused on Geo and Astrobiology. Thinking holistically about big picture sustainability and translating this into innovative entrepreneurial action is by far what he enjoys the most!

After his undergraduate studies he returned to Argentina, his home country, to start a social enterprise that provides products and services for the low-carbon transition. As an entrepreneur, Martin has developed projects in renewable energies for the built environment, biofuel projects for large agriculture farms, forest conservation initiatives, marketing and corporate social responsibility campaigns for multinationals and established a network of sustainable architecture to engage in social innovation. Prior to starting his PhD in Melbourne, he co-founded a startup on wellness living in New Zealand. If he is not thinking about the planet, new social startups and the evolution of humankind, he’d rather be on a surfboard, snowboard, kitesurf or wakeboard. He likes to communicate his ideas through graphic design and visual art.

Learn more at martinwainstein.com

Abby Winslow
Abby Winslow

SENIOR ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Abby Winslow is the Senior Administrative Assistant at Tsai CITY and as a relative newcomer to higher education, she is excited to lend her entrepreneurial skills to the center and Yale University as a whole. Abby is a long-time resident of the greatest small city in America (New Haven) and deeply passionate about the Yale-New Haven community. With 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry, she is entrenched in the local and national food scene and has helped open and operate more than 20 restaurants including Barcelona Restaurant in New Haven. After a stint in Johnson & Wales University’s Culinary Arts program, she studied Spanish and Women’s Studies at Southern Connecticut State University, furthered by Accounting at UConn, and speaks fluent Spanish as well as un petit peu de French.

Wendy Maldonado D'Amico
Wendy Maldonado D'Amico

NETWORK BUILDER

Wendy brings a broad range of contacts and experience to her work as she builds the network of mentors, advisors, and partners for the Tsai Center. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize, and worked for Chemonics International on international development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean through USAID and the World Bank. She has consulted to nonprofits and served as a board member to three nonprofit organizations. Her corporate experience includes management consulting at Booz Allen Hamilton, and internal marketing in the investment banking division at Merrill Lynch. At SAP, the global enterprise software giant, she provided strategic business development and partner marketing expertise. As the Class Secretary to the Yale College Class of 1993, she has worked with fellow alumni to innovate and transform the concept of a Yale alumni class community. She is pleased to bring her vast network of relationships to Tsai CITY from her professional and academic circles. Wendy holds a B.A. in English from Yale University, a Master in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Rick Hunt
Rick Hunt

MENTOR IN RESIDENCE

Richard Hunt (SOM ‘81) is Managing Partner, 77 West Consulting, and Assistant Adjunct Professor at NYU, teaching Marketing. Previously, Mr. Hunt was Vice President, Marketing, for SharedBook Inc., a publishing technology startup; he brings over 30 years of consumer marketing experience from roles of increasing responsibility in publishing, advertising, entertainment, and online retailing. Mr. Hunt was also Vice President, Account Director, with McCann Relationship Marketing/Princeton. During his career, he has held positions with Time Warner, Sony, Universal Music and Kraft Foods. His work for nonprofit organizations includes entrepreneurship mentoring at NYU-Stern and at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, along with work for the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, The Harvard Club of New York City, and The First Tee. He holds an MBA from Yale University and an AB from Harvard College.

Peter Boyd
Peter Boyd

MENTOR IN RESIDENCE

Specializes in: social and environmental entrepreneurship

At Yale, Peter is a Mentor-in-Residence at Tsai CITY and an Executive Fellow at the Yale Center for Business and the Environment. This involves guest-lecturing on selected courses, helping accelerate social and environmental entrepreneurship across campus, offering career advice for students, and hosting a new Net Zero Action Group.

Outside Yale, Peter’s work spans strategy, marketing, climate change solutions and entrepreneurial opportunity. He recently moved from launch director and COO of the Carbon War Room to advising The B Team on their Net-Zero initiative leading up to COP21 in Paris, and is now focused on launching his own company Time4Good. Peter’s private sector experience includes more than 10 years with Virgin Group (including time as CEO of Virgin Mobile South Africa) and McKinsey & Co.; after graduating BA Hons. from Oxford University reading Philosophy, Politics & Economics.

In his hometown of Westport, CT he is a member of the board of trustees at Earthplace and serves on the town’s Green Task Force.

Ony Obiocha
Ony Obiocha

MENTOR IN RESIDENCE

Specializes in: equity participation, arts & culture, and social justice

Onyeka Obiocha is the Director of Innovation at Dwight Hall where he focuses on developing trainings, programs, and partnerships to support members of the Yale and Greater New Haven communities dedicated to creating social change. Outside of Yale, Ony’s work spans community development, social entrepreneurship, and civic consulting. He recently moved from President and Co-Founder of A Happy Life, a social enterprise dedicated to creating a happier world for all, to launching Breakfast Lunch & Dinner a design studio that aims to build social cohesion through economic and cultural development. Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavors Ony consulted for Special Olympics International and launched a microcosignment program in South Africa.

Margaret Cartiera
Margaret Cartiera

MENTOR IN RESIDENCE

Specializes in: biotech and technology commercialization

Dr. Margaret Cartiera is the Investment and Innovation Director at the Yale Center for Biomedical Innovation and Technology (CBIT) and has worked at the intersection of science and business for more than 15 years. Roles in investment, competitive intelligence, regulatory affairs and management have given her a unique perspective on the innovation life cycle, shifts in the bioscience industry, and the potential of what is to come.

Throughout her professional career, Dr. Cartiera has built a reputation for developing effective business strategies, forming solid partnerships, and solving problems creatively. She currently serves as the Investment and Innovation Manager at Yale University’s Center for Biomedical Innovation and Technology (CBIT), where she works in close collaboration with Yale New Haven Hospital. During her time as Vice President and Fund Manager at Connecticut Innovations, Dr. Cartiera managed the Regenerative Medicine Research Fund and Connecticut’s pioneering $200M Bioscience Innovation Fund.

Dr. Cartiera earned her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. While there, she learned about the fundamentals of science, as well as its rigors, which fueled her to pursue her graduate degree. She caught the innovation bug while pursuing her Master of Science degree at the University of Pennsylvania, where her studies focused on translating innovation from bench to bedside, and led to her desire to work in the startup community. Dr. Cartiera completed her formal training in biomedical engineering with doctoral studies at Yale University.

Dr. Cartiera has embraced living at the intersection of the business and scientific worlds—understanding the novelty and promise that only scientific discovery can bring, while also appreciating the challenges of fundraising, the pains of company growth, the hurdles of FDA regulation, and the unpredictability of the markets. In her spare time, Dr. Cartiera mentors young inventors and entrepreneurs working at the earliest stages of commercialization.

Ellen Su
Ellen Su

MENTOR IN RESIDENCE

Specializes in: product development, pitching and funding strategies, building stakeholder relationships, building a healthcare startup, accounting/ finances/ other operations questions

Ellen is the co-founder and CEO of Wellinks, a wearable medical device company, and handles product design, general operations, and fundraising. She graduated from Yale University and has a background in Product Design, Graphic Design, and Software UI/UX. She is passionate about human-centered design and healthcare and has applied HCD principles in the development of Wellinks, her past work as a UI/UX designer in startups, her work at the CEID, and past research human-machine interaction. As CEO of Wellinks, she has established and negotiated partnerships, built relationships with surgeons, researchers, and patient support groups, and pitched for and raised over $1 million in funding for Wellinks.

Levi DeLuke
Levi DeLuke

MENTOR IN RESIDENCE

Specializes in: hardware design and development, software architecture and implementation, launching a startup in the medical field, FDA and HIPAA regulations, grant and award applications

Levi is a Mentor in Residence at CITY, where he provides guidance to startups and compiles resources for technology based startups. He grew up along the Mississippi gulf coast before attending Yale, where he received a B.S. in mechanical engineering. Levi is a co-founder and the CTO of Wellinks, a wearable medical device startup that has developed a sensor and software platform for the orthotic and prosthetic market. He had two major back surgeries as an adolescent that sparked a deep interest in the medical field and strongly influenced the direction of his career.

Konstantine Drakonakis
Konstantine Drakonakis

MENTOR IN RESIDENCE

Specializes in: general entrepreneurship, inception, and early stage investing

Konstantine is an experienced early-stage entrepreneur and investor focused on proprietary IMPACT technologies. As an “Entrepreneurial Engineer,” he gravitates to technology companies within the software, med-tech and green-tech markets. He has led over 40 investments for LaunchCapital and the Pritzker Vlock Family Office to date and serves as a strategic adviser for many of his portfolio companies. He represents LaunchCapital as a board member on the following portfolio companies: Amastan Technologies, EpiEP, Biorez, TearSolutions, and Affinimark Technologies. Konstantine is actively involved in the incubation stage of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and serves as an adviser to CURE’s Bioscience Clubhouse, the Entrepreneurship Foundation and the Donaghue Foundation. He is also the chief strategy officer for Amastan. Before joining LaunchCapital, Mr. Drakonakis was the manager of new technology investments and infrastructure development at Connecticut Innovations. He holds a master's degree in environmental management from Yale and a bachelor's degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Vermont. He is a board certified Professional Engineer and is a member of the National Civil Engineering Honors Society.

Justin Freiberg
Justin Freiberg

MENTOR IN RESIDENCE

Justin Freiberg founded and directs the Yale Landscape Lab. The lab seeks to utilize the whole of Yale West Campus to create fascinating new venues and support structures for game-changing applied research. This includes directing efforts at the Yale West Campus Urban Farm and the Experimental Grassland, which like the rest of the natural environment of the campus, are used to spur innovations through experimentation and collaboration. He also co-founded and directs Yale Cultivate Health, which seeks to build new ways of teaching within the health sciences through partnerships with the Yale School of Nursing and Yale School of Medicine. Justin serves on the Board of the New Haven Land Trust.

Justin’s background is in building environmental collaborations: he co-founded Encendia Biochar, as well as the Urban Foodshed Collaborative, both of which aimed to close material and social loops to create resilient, sustainable systems. Past work with the Wildlife Conservation Society, Added Value, the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, the US-Asia Institute, and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture has taught Justin to create programming that engages communities around shared interests in the natural environment, food and farming, and entrepreneurship. Justin holds a Masters from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, an M.A. and B.A. in psychology from Wesleyan University, and a Certificate in Conservation Biology from Columbia University. He has apprenticed under farmers in Italy, France, and the U.S.

Nick Quah
Nick Quah

PODCAST & DIGITAL MEDIA FELLOW

Nick Quah is currently a Podcast and Digital Media Fellow at Tsai CITY. He is the founder, writer, and publisher of Hot Pod, the leading trade publication for the emerging podcast industry. He is also a contributing critic for New York Magazine’s Vulture entertainment vertical. In the fall of 2017, he was a visiting fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. Quah holds an MA in Social Science Research from the University of Chicago, and a BA from the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University.

Micaela Blei, PhD
Micaela Blei, PhD

STORYTELLING FELLOW

Micaela Blei, PhD, is Director of Education and Community Programs at international storytelling nonprofit The Moth. She is also a two-time Moth GrandSLAM winner, PhD recipient from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education, and a co-founder of the storytelling-for-advocacy collective Speech/Act. She has facilitated storytelling workshops and directed performance programs in schools across New York City and nationwide, as well as at Google, Intuit, The Atlantic, Lincoln Center Institute, SXSWEdu, Columbia University, Brown University, School of Visual Arts, and many others. Her solo storytelling show, "The Secret Life of Your Third Grade Teacher," was a sold-out FringeFAVE at the 2016 NYC Fringe Festival. She recently completed her doctorate in Education at New York University, focusing on personal narrative performance.