Vice President- International Activities

Jorge Antonio Samayoa headshot

Jorge Antonio Samayoa

Director and founder of the OR Institute at Galileo University, Guatemala.

Biographical Profile


  • Ph.D. in industrial engineering, Purdue University, 2014
  • M.Sc. in applied mathematics, Texas A&M University, 2009
  • M.Sc. in operations research, Galileo University, 2006
  • B.Sc. in electronics and computer science, UFM, 2003

Professional & Academic Experience

  • 2018-present: Director and founder of the OR Institute at Galileo University. Creator of the first decision sciences master’s program in Central America, and director of other academic programs.
  • 2016: Co-founder, Data Science Consulting firm, SciLambda.
  • 2006-present: Consultant in operations research and decision sciences.
  • 2004-present: From assistant professor to professor of mathematics and O.R. Instructor in universities in Guatemala and the United States.

INFORMS-Related Activities

  • 2020: Chair of the first Virtual Conference: Advances in DS & OR, presented by INFORMS and Galileo University
  • 2019: Co-created the first INFORMS Student Chapter of LATAM
  • 2018-present: International Activities Committee Member
  • 2015-2018: SAC Member
  • 2012-2013: President, INFORMS Student Chapter, Purdue University
  • Poster Judge and volunteering positions at INFORMS Annual Meetings

Selected Awards

  • 2021 Volunteer Service Award nominee
  • Fulbright–LASPAU Scholarship, 2007-2009
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Galileo University, 2006

Publications and Presentations

  • Numerous keynotes, local and international talks at international conferences and universities. Publications in data analytics, O.R. and engineering education.

Vision Statement

I am honored to be nominated for the position of Vice President of International Activities of INFORMS. One of the advantages brought by the pandemic was the acceptance and promotion of virtual activities around the world. This suggests a great advantage for our field because we can easily share with the O.R. community all the different applications found internationally and the solutions we are proposing to those situations – internationalization is vital for the proper development of an area, particularly the broad area of operations research (O.R.).

I have worked in O.R. for more than 18 years and INFORMS was the organization that gave me ownership of the area in the early stage of my career and has helped me to pass along that ownership to my students at the institute I chair in Guatemala. I had the opportunity to create, together with my team, the first INFORMS student chapter in Latin America. With the activities INFORMS has organized, the perception of O.R. in our members has changed and, according to our students, the need of applying O.R. to the industry is more vibrant – we need more chapters and more international community.

I have been promoting INFORMS in other countries for many years, and I have realized that there is a lack of understanding and recognition of what INFORMS is all about. I would like to continue the internationalization of INFORMS and help the organization grow its leadership in the areas of O.R./analytics and management science globally. As VP of International Activities, I will be able to bring the INFORMS experience to others who do not know about it, and potentially help INFORMS members to have access to other practitioners or scholars working internationally.

There have been several initiatives leaded by the International Activities Committee (IAC) that have been successful, and we should continue those. Moreover, we need to create more activities that include members (scholars and industry leaders) who are leading or promoting O.R. & analytics in their countries. We need to clearly promote the benefits of being part of a global INFORMS and promote the involvement in our communities and chapters.

Even though we have had a great participation in IFORS, I would like to continue with such endeavor and grow our presence and leadership with other societies around the world. For example, I recently had the opportunity to help some members of other societies who are organizing international virtual conferences. Attending a virtual meeting in Bahrain, to one in South Africa and then one in Guatemala on the same day, was fantastic and time-efficient. We need to take advantage of the epoch we are in, and collaborate internationally to improve the lives of people, using O.R. and analytics.

I lived in the U.S. for about eight years, I have experienced the importance of diversity and inclusion, and I understand American culture. I am a Fulbright Scholar; this scholarship promotes understanding among nations and the United States. The fact that I am from Latin America and have taught and given talks in many countries, giving me the chance to understand other cultures, will definitely enrich the diversity of the board.

I am thrilled to potentially have the opportunity to be at the heart of INFORMS and help the internationalization of the community. If elected, I will work hard, with passion, jointly with the INFORMS community to promote the internationalization of O.R. & analytics and help more people to gain ownership of the area.