Board of Directors

NOËL BAKHTIAN, board chair and president

Dr. Noël Bakhtian (she/her) serves as Director of Tech Acceleration at the Bezos Earth Fund. Previously, she spent a decade serving in the federal government in energy and climate roles including as a senior policy advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, in critical roles at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and in the DOE national laboratory system at Idaho National Laboratory and Berkeley Lab, where she was inaugural director of the science & technology research center focused on energy storage. She is a member of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) Science Committee and the National Academies’ Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP) Board. A first-generation American, Dr. Bakhtian earned her engineering doctorate in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University; holds master’s degrees from Stanford University and the University of Cambridge where she was a Churchill Scholar; and completed her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Duke University.

Derek Kaufman, Board treasurer

Derek Kaufman (he/him) is actively engaged in philanthropy, public policy, and investing. From 2008 until 2015, he was Head of Global Fixed Income at Citadel and a member of the firm’s Portfolio Committee. Prior to joining Citadel, Mr. Kaufman was a Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase, where was Global Head of Fixed Income in the Proprietary Positioning Business. He started at J.P. Morgan in 1996. He served as a member of the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Investor Advisory Committee on Financial Markets. He is a member of the Economic Club of New York, a member of the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee, on the Board of Trustees for Third Way, an innovative think tank in Washington, D.C., on the Board of Trustees for Temple Sholom of Greenwich, CT (VP of Finance), on the Board of Governors for the Folger Shakespeare Library, on the Board of Trustees for the Institute for the Quantitative Study of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity, and on the Leadership Council of the Robin Hood Foundation, New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization. Mr. Kaufman received a bachelor’s degree in Applied Math/Economics from Harvard College.

Bradley Michael Gayton, Member-at-Large

Bradley Michael Gayton is a corporate attorney and business leader who has a passion for learning, exploring, and innovating. He serves on the board of directors of Vertex, Inc. a tax technology company where he serves on the Compensation and Nominating and Governance Committees. Bradley is recognized as an innovator who holds three patents and is an angel investor in companies applying analytics and artificial intelligence to solve complex legal problems. As an innovator, he has a track record of driving the development and deployment of analytics and artificial intelligence tools to enhance legal operations and substantive legal results. Bradley is nationally recognized for his leading work in the role pro bono plays in creating access to justice. As a proud father of three daughters, he also has a passion for dedicating his philanthropy to making the world a better place for women and girls. Bradley served as the General Counsel of The Coca-Cola Company and Ford Motor Company. He also served as Chief Administrative Officer at Ford Motor Company, where he led Ford Motor Company’s real estate development subsidiary, corporate services, security, and business process service centers.

Haydee Lindo, Member-at-Large

Haydee Lindo (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College.  She is excited about scientific communication, curricular design, and broadening participation in the mathematical sciences.  Haydee is a pure mathematician with research interests in Commutative Algebra, Representation Theory and Homological Algebra. She completed her bachelors degrees in Political Science and Mathematics at Williams College and received her PhD from the University of Utah.  Haydee has previously worked in management consulting at Bain & Company and at Williams College as an assistant professor of Mathematics and Statistics.  Haydee serves on the Board of the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM). She is part of the inaugural class of  MAA-NAM Speakers as part of the Mathematical Association of American (MAA) Section Lecturer Series. Haydee now serves on the QSIDE Board of Directors. 

Chad Topaz, Co-founder and member-at-large

Chad Topaz (he/him), Professor of Mathematics, is an applied mathematician and data scientist at Williams College. Chad received his AB in applied mathematics from Harvard University and his PhD in applied mathematics from Northwestern University. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation since 2006 and his work at the intersection of social justice and quantitative approaches has been covered in The Atlantic, The Guardian, Hyperallergic, MIT Technology Review, Nonprofit Quarterly, Smithsonian Magazine and numerous other outlets. Passionate about scientific communication and discourse, Chad has delivered over 160 talks at colleges, universities, and scientific meetings. His research honors include a New Directions Research Professorship at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, the Outstanding Paper Award of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, a Board of Trustees Award from Macalester College, and a Kavli Frontiers Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences. A passionate advocate for inclusive classrooms, Chad won UCLA’s Sorgenfrey Distinguished Teaching Award in Mathematics and Macalester College’s Rossmann Excellence in Teaching Award. You can follow him on Twitter at @chadtopaz.