Dayana Cope headshot

Dayana Cope

Director, Simulation and Data Analytics, Engineering USA

Biographical Profile


  • Ph.D. in industrial engineering, University of Central Florida, 2008
  • M.S. in modeling and simulation, University of Central Florida, 2002
  • B.S. in industrial engineering, University of Central Florida, 2000

Professional Experience

  • 2013-2020: Senior Manager, Advanced Analytics, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products
  • 2008-2013: Manager, Supply Chain Center of Excellence, Eastman Chemical
  • 2002-2008: Director of Simulation, Productivity Apex

INFORMS and Related Activities

  • 2021: General Chair, Business Analytics Conference
  • 2021: Co-chair, INFORMS Doctoral Student Colloquium
  • 2019: INFORMS, President Selection Committee
  • 2018-present: Chair, Committee on Organization Support Resources
  • 2020-present: INFORMS Ambassador Program
  • 2014-2016: Volunteer Award Committee
  • 2017-2019: INFORMS Prize Selection Committee
  • 2014-2021: Member of the Business Analytics Planning Committee
  • 2013-2020: Roundtable member


  • INFORMS Volunteer Award, 2020
  • INFORMS Prize, 2017

Vision Statement

I am honored to be nominated for the position of Vice President of Practice in INFORMS. Today, as I prepare to write this, I recall my early years as a member of INFORMS and the admiration that I felt towards the leaders that held positions like this one at INFORMS. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to serve the community that has given so much to me. I am also eager to put my experience, background, and unique perspective to use as we prepare INFORMS for the next chapter. 

I believe the next chapter is a chapter of growth and inclusivity. Clearly, the field of O.R. and analytics has experienced a period of growth and flourishing. More and more companies, government, and not-for-profit organizations are implementing or starting to consider O.R. and analytics to help with their most difficult problems and make better decisions. The number of industries where O.R. and analytics is applied has grown tremendously. It is important for INFORMS to, likewise, grow to support these new industries in their search for starting, maintaining, and proliferating their analytic journey. Growing our offering and membership base to practitioners in fields like healthcare, cybersecurity, robotics and autonomy, as well as establishing a stronger base in technology companies, will allow INFORMS to reach a growing base of practitioners who will benefit from what our community has to offer. As the general chair of the Virtual 2201 Business Analytics Conference, I supported the introduction of a healthcare and life science track to the conference as a small step in reaching out to a broader community. In addition, as chair of the committee on organizations support resources, I have personally contributed to the development of resources that aim at identifying and targeting new industries and a new practitioner base. The committee on organization support resources developed a white paper designed to help companies that are new to analytics start on their analytics journey. In addition, the committee is also designing a program to place distinguished speakers in different venues, outside the INFORMS sphere, to broadcast the message of INFORMS to untapped industries and practitioners. If elected, I will continue to pursue opportunities like these that position INFORMS as a brain trust of expertise and know-how that would be a valuable asset to organizations.

The field of O.R. and analytics has also expanded into other areas like machine learning (ML) and AI. It is now interchangeable in the vernacular within organizations to refer to ML an AI as analytics or vice versa. INFORMS must embrace this expansion in techniques, innovation, and applications and become more inclusive in our branding and offerings. Perhaps beginning in academia, by establishing INFORMS as a community that supports and welcomes programs and students in nontraditional areas to providing venues for innovative discussion of AI and ML topics to enticing sponsorship of vendors that provide tools in the whole spectrum of analytics and users. 

I have been a practitioner for my entire career and have observed how our field and our community has evolved and grown over the years. I look forward to continuing to contribute; as well as leveraging the network and experience that I have collected over the years to make sure that our community remains relevant and strong over the years.