President-Elect

Stefan E. Karisch

Director, Analytics, The Boeing Company

Vision Statement

Our profession is undergoing dramatic changes that INFORMS needs to be ready for. We must ask ourselves how INFORMS will stay relevant in this fast-moving environment for operations research and analytics. This is an important question for me as an academically-minded practitioner, and as someone for whom INFORMS has been a professional home for more than 20 years.

Critical needs. My answer to how INFORMS will remain the premier professional organization boils down to three areas. INFORMS needs to be successful in:

  1. Bridging the remaining gap between academia and industry by widening the scope of analytics
  2. Ensuring the future analytics workforce receives an education based on academic rigor
  3. Enabling meaningful and successful engagement with organizations, and not just with individual

    members

These needs are in line with INFORMS’ strategic goals, and we must address them now and accelerate their implementation to ensure the future success and viability of INFORMS as the leading professional organization in our field.

A successful future. We need to build on the strength of the diversity within INFORMS, as evidenced by our numerous subdivisions, which represent a variety of disciplines and application areas. While sometimes viewed as a challenge, the diverse and multidisciplinary nature of our organization is essential for staying successful and relevant. To enable value in the rapidly-changing field of operations research and analytics, we need to build on the strengths we gain from both academia and practice. We need theory, methodology, and application.

It is precisely the depth and breadth of what we do that gives INFORMS a unique opportunity to continue to lead the next generation of our profession into the future. If elected, I would, in close partnership with INFORMS staff and board, lead the pursuit of two major efforts to address our above-mentioned needs.

INFORMS must embrace the whole analytics ecosystem by increasing and expanding the diversity of our membership base and intensifying partnerships between academia and industry. As companies transform their businesses digitally, INFORMS needs to be their partner through all analytics maturity levels. We need to lead them through their analytics journeys with support from our university researchers and industry practitioners, thus enabling broader channels for collaboration. As we build on these relationships, we will see an increased demand for our research, our programs, our publications, our profession, and our people. It is time for INFORMS to recognize and include all constituents of the end-to-end analytics process.

We also have to focus on recent and current student members and on growing global participation. We need to modernize INFORMS to meet the needs of future generations of the organization, wherever they may be located in a global environment. We need to be welcoming to these important constituents by embracing and staying current on new ways to communicate, collaborate, and work in our field, staying in lockstep with their evolving needs. If we do this — and broaden our organizational scope — we will see even more demand for our graduates. As the next generation chooses their career paths and looks to support and guidance, INFORMS needs to provide them with mentorship and a professional home as their analytics careers evolve.

Fortunately, we have the financial strength to invest in these areas and position INFORMS as the preeminent professional society in our field for years to come. I invite you to join me on this journey, which will benefit all our members across both academia and industry.

Personal commitment. I am passionate about the important role INFORMS plays in our profession, and I am well-equipped to lead the implementation of these strategic goals. Through my tenure in leadership positions on the INFORMS Board of Directors and in subdivisions, publications, and multiple committees, I have gained a deep understanding of the scope and complexity of our organization. Professionally, I have held executive leadership roles — including O.R. groups — at Jeppesen and The Boeing Company, where I have guided organizations through significant growth and transformation. I excel at collaborating, bridging different interests, and promoting successful outcomes.

My international work experience in both academia and industry will serve INFORMS well. I have lived and worked in five different countries and can draw from a diverse set of personal and professional perspectives. Those who have worked with me know my passion for INFORMS and my commitment to our success. I am honored to be nominated for president-elect of INFORMS, and I am excited about the role INFORMS will continue to play in the future of our profession.

Biographical Profile

Education

  • Dr.techn. in Mathematics, Graz University of Technology, Austria (1995)
  • M.Math. in O.R., University of Waterloo, Canada (1992)
  • Dipl.-Ing. (M.Eng.) in Mathematics, Graz University of Technology, Austria (1990)

Professional Experience and Accomplishments

  • Director, Analytics, Boeing Global Services (since 2017)
  • Director, Analytics, Boeing Commercial Aviation Services (2015-2017)
  • Director, Optimization and Value Strategy, Jeppesen (2013-2015)
  • Director, O.R. and Optimization, Jeppesen (2008-2013)
  • Vice President, O.R., Carmen Systems/Jeppesen Systems (2003-2008)
  • Managing Director, R&D and Technical Services-Americas, Carmen Systems (2000-2003)
  • Senior Optimization Specialist, Carmen Systems (1998-2000)
  • Research Assistant Professor, Technical University of Denmark (1997-1998)
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (1996-1997)
  • Research Professional, Graz University of Technology, Austria (1992-1996)

INFORMS Activities

  • Analytics Society, VP/President-Elect (2016), President (2017), Past-President (2018)
  • Interfaces, Associate Editor (2014-2016)
  • UPS George D. Smith Prize Committee, Member (2014-2016)
  • 2015 Annual Meeting Committee, Practice Co-Chair (2013-2015)
  • INFORMS Prize Committee, Member (2011-2012), Chair (2013), Past Chair (2014)
  • Conference on Business Analytics Committee, Member (2010-2012)
  • Board of Directors, Vice President Chapters and Fora (2010-2011)
  • Rocky Mountain Chapter, Past Chair (2010)
  • Subdivisions Council, Member (2009-2010, since 2018), Chair (2011)
  • Aviation Applications Section, Vice Chair (2005-2006), Chair (2007-2008), Past Chair (2009-2010)
  • INFORMS Roundtable, Company Representative (2004-2013, since 2016), Vice President Meetings (since 2019)

Publications and Presentations

Chapter on Operations in Quantitative Problem Solving Methods in the Airline Industry and journal articles; special issue of Annals of Operations Research; invited presentations in academia and industry.

Professional Honors and Awards

  • INFORMS Moving Spirit Award (2012)
  • INFORMS Prize with Jeppesen (2010)

Other Professional Activities

  • AGIFORS, Secretary (2005-2008), Vice President (2008-2011), President (2011-2014), Past President (2015-2017)
  • Fields Institute Industrial Optimization Seminar Advisory Committee, Member (2004-2008)

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LinkedIn Profile