First-of-its-Kind Capitol Hill Summit on May 21 Will Showcase How Policymakers Can Best Use Operations Research and Analytics to Save Lives, Save Money & Solve Problems


Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator

First-of-its-Kind Capitol Hill Summit on May 21 Will Showcase How Policymakers Can Best Use Operations Research and Analytics to Save Lives, Save M...

INFORMS 2018 Government & Analytics Summit will feature keynote remarks from former DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx; former CIA/NSA Director General Michael Hayden 

 Key experts in national security, transportation and healthcare will showcase Operations Research and Analytics solutions for government


CATONSVILLE, MD, May 10, 2018 – In Washington, opportunities exist to better leverage data and analytics to enable the government to achieve more efficient and effective outcomes for the American people. 

The Administration’s recently released Management Agenda noted that, “Government agencies do not consistently apply data-driven decision-making practices. Smarter use of data and evidence is needed to orient decisions and accountability around service and results.” Democrats have echoed similar sentiments, stating, “Government cannot rely on outdated systems to meet today’s rapidly changing needs and critical challenges,” and reforms can be taken to “provide more effective and responsive solutions.” 

That’s why leaders and senior managers in Washington need to understand how a robust, holistic approach to the use of data, particularly through Operations Research (O.R.) and Analytics, can present solutions to the government’s most complicated challenges. 

On May 21, a first-of-its kind Summit sponsored by INFORMS, an association of over 12,000 O.R. and Analytics professionals, will provide a unique forum for attendees to hear rich, non-technical perspectives on how O.R. and Analytics can be more broadly utilized by policymakers and federal government leaders. The INFORMS 2018 Government & Analytics Summit will be held at the Reserve Officers Association Building with check-in starting at 8:30 a.m. and keynote remarks to begin at 9:00 a.m. 


Following keynote remarks from former U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and former Director of the CIA and NSA General Michael Hayden, the Summit will host three concurrent panel discussions with leading experts from academia and industry about how O.R. and Analytics are being used in three specific domains—healthcare, transportation and national security.                                                                         

Healthcare Panelists

  • Don Kleinmuntz, PhD, Kleinmuntz Associates (Moderator)
    Don Kleinmuntz is a leading authority at the intersection of industry and academia. He is a respected analytics consultant and an Adjunct Professor of IT, Analytics and Operations at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. Don has collaborated with hospitals, academic medical centers and multi-hospital healthcare systems, primarily on financial decision support, strategic financial planning and resource allocation.
  • James Bagian, M.D., P.E., University of Michigan
    Jim Bagian is a former NASA astronaut and physician, U.S. Air Force flight surgeon and leading official at the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) and Environment Protection Agency (EPA).  Currently, he is the Director of the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety and is a Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. He previously served as the first Chief Patient Safety Officer and Founding Director of the National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He has also held positions as an engineer at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Navy and Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Sommer Gentry, PhD, U.S. Naval Academy
    Sommer Gentry builds O.R. models to improve access to organ transplantation and is a highly-sought after expert. Her widely publicized research, which is funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, has contributed to substantial improvements in organ transplantation. She presently serves as a Professor of Mathematics at the U.S. Naval Academy and is also on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is a senior investigator with the U.S. Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients. 
  • Eva Lee, PhD, Georgia Tech
    Eva K. Lee tackles challenging problems in health systems and biomedicine through systems modeling, algorithm and software design and decision theory analysis. She is a world-renowned expert at the intersection of O.R. and healthcare. She currently serves as a professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Director of the Center for Operations Research in Medicine and HealthCare. She is also a Senior Research Professor at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. 
  • Julie Swann, PhD, North Carolina State
    Julie Swann is a research leader in using mathematical modeling to enable supply chain systems and health care to become more efficient, effective and equitable. She currently heads the North Carolina State University Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering as Department and is the A. Doug Allison Distinguished Professor. 

National Security Panelists

  • Colonel Greg Parlier, Retired (Moderator)
    Greg Parlier is a retired U.S. Army colonel and a combat veteran with five deployments and service in over 20 countries who has led five different O.R. organizations in major commands and the Pentagon. He is currently adjunct Professor of O.R and President, GH Parlier Consulting. With nearly 34 years of service, he was the Army’s senior, most experienced O.R. officer on active duty.
  • David Alderson, PhD, Naval Postgraduate School
    David Alderson helps answer questions that government officials often grapple with, including how to invest limited resources and the tradeoffs as the work to protect critical infrastructures and public cyber-physical and public systems. He is an Associate Professor in the O.R. Department and serves as Director for the Center for Infrastructure Defense at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). He is also a member of the NPS Cyber Academic Group, which has academic oversight of interdisciplinary cyber curricula on campus. Dr. Alderson has been the Principal Investigator of sponsored research projects for the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
  • Natalie Scala, PhD, Towson University
    Natalie M. Scala is a tenure-track assistant professor in the College of Business and Economics at Towson University and her primary research is in decision analysis, with focus on military applications and cybersecurity. Dr. Scala frequently consults for government clients and has extensive professional experience, including positions with Innovative Decisions, Inc., the U.S. Department of Defense and the RAND Corporation. 
  • Harrison Schramm, CAP, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments
    Harrison Schramm had a successful career in the U.S. Navy, where he served as a Helicopter Pilot, Military Assistant Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School and as a lead O.R. Analyst in the Pentagon. He has been a leader in the O.R. community for the past decade and joined CSBA in 2017. 

Transportation Panelists

  • Jose Holguín-Veras, PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Moderator)
    Jose Holguín-Veras has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2013 White House Champion of Change Award for his contributions to freight transportation and disaster response research. He is a leading expert in freight transportation demand modeling, sustainable freight policy and humanitarian logistics. He currently serves as the William H. Hart Professor and Director of the Center for Infrastructure, Transportation and the Environment; and the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) Center of Excellence on Sustainable Urban Freight Systems at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 
  • Saif Benjaafar, PhD, University of Minnesota
    Saif Benjaafar is a leading expert on the sharing economy at a time when Congress has taken an active role in oversight on these issues. His recent work on collaborative consumption is among the first to layout the foundation for the economic and environmental analysis of the sharing economy. He is currently the Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota and Director of the Initiative on the Sharing Economy.
  • Pooja Dewan, PhD, BNSF Railway
    Pooja Dewan is the Chief Data Scientist at BNSF Railway where she has led the O.R. and Advanced Analytics group for the past 13 years. She has also worked as an internal consultant for several groups, managed the O.R. group and led two regional teams for Locomotive Distribution and Planning. 
  • Peter Frazier, PhD, Cornell University & Uber
    Peter Frazier is a Staff Data Scientist at Uber and managed the data science group for Uber’s carpooling service, UberPOOL. He is also an Associate Professor at Cornell’s School of Operations Research and Information Engineering and conducts research in O.R. and machine learning.  
  • Steve Sashihara, Princeton Consultants
    Steve Sashihara is the CEO of Princeton Consultants, which he co-founded in 1981 to blend advanced analytics and data science with management consulting to help companies in transportation and other industries achieve transformational improvement in service and efficiency. He is the author of, “The Optimization Edge: Reinventing Decision Making to Maximize All Your Company’s Assets” the first non-technical book to explain optimization to the busy business executive.

For those who cannot attend the INFORMS 2018 Government & Analytics Summit, Secretary Foxx’s and General Hayden’s keynote remarks will be livestreamed on INFORMS’ Twitter and Facebook. Tune in at or to watch. For more information about the INFORMS 2018 Government and Analytics Summit, and to RSVP for the free event, visit



With 12,500 members, INFORMS is the largest association of O.R. and Analytics professionals and students. INFORMS provides a variety of resources and opportunities for individual professionals and organizations to better understand and use O.R. and Analytics tools and methods to save lives, save money, and solve problems. For more information please visit or @informs.