Startups

Power Moves: Meet UMD’s new CIO and research head

Plus, Renee Forney has a new role at Meta, FiscalNote added a new C-suite member ahead of its plans to go public and more leadership changes around the DMV.

The Capital One Tech Incubator at University of Maryland's Discovery District.

(Courtesy photo)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, gig or promotion? Email us: dc@technical.ly.


The new faces of UMD

For those seeking collegiate-level assistance in entrepreneurship, there’s a new face to meet: Dean Chang is the interim chief innovation officer at the University of Maryland’s research division.

In the new role, Chang will be overseeing the university’s work in innovation, entrepreneurship, intellectual property and technology commercialization. This includes UM Ventures, its funding entity, and the Discovery District, which assists local founders. Chang previously ran the school’s Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The university system also has new leadership in its research arm. Gregory Ball is the new VP of research, which means he’ll take over the $1.3 billion research enterprise at UMD’s College Park and Baltimore campuses. He’ll replace Laurie Locascio, who left in 2021 after she was nominated by President Joe Biden as the Department of Commerce‘s undersecretary for standards and technology.

Meta Moves

Renee Forney. (Courtesy photo)

Renee Forney, a former senior director at Microsoft, just nabbed a C-Suite-level role at Meta.

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Forney, who is local to DC, was recently named the tech giant’s deputy chief information systems officer and head of fintech governance, risk and compliance. Before coming to Microsoft, she held power roles at the General Services Administration and Department of Homeland Security. She was also a deputy CIO for the Department of Energy and a senior director at fintech company Capital One.

Forney told Technical.ly for a 2021 How I Got Here column that throughout her years in tech, she always advises those looking to get ahead to pay attention to the whole company, not just the tech side.

“Learn the business. That’s my best advice to anybody in the technology field,” Forney said at the time. “Learn the business so that you can help them let technology enable the business.”

FiscalNote has some new help as it prepares to go public

FiscalNote, the DC policy tech company that’s recently made other major moves, promoted Josh Resnik to the new role of president and COO.

Resnik previously served as the company’s senior VP of general counsel and chief content officer. In the new role, he’ll be assisting CEO Tim Hwang in day-to-day operations. The announcement comes after several other major developments at FiscalNote, which acquired 10 companies in 2021, signed an agreement for another this year and plans to go public before the quarter is done.

In a statement, Hwang said that this is a critical role at a pivotal time for the company.

“FiscalNote continues to set an aggressive pace as we approach the public markets, especially as we accelerate our growth, drive greater efficiency and expand the variety and nature of solutions we offer to our customers,” Hwang said. “Josh has made an incredibly positive and impressive impact at FiscalNote, and I look forward to continuing to work with Josh by my side as we become a public company and further strengthen our relationships with our global customers, investors and shareholders.”

Here’s who else is moving around DC

  • Cybrary, the College Park cyber education company, added a slew of new hires. Rob Usey is the new CTO, alongside fellow hires Charlie Booth as CFO, Mary Fad as VP of marketing and Tonya Butler as VP of people.
  • Rockville, Maryland-based Autosled, a digital retail space for the automotive industry, appointed Leon Keshishian as CEO. Keshishian previously worked as an executive at Tesla and SolarCity.
  • Cheryl Powell was added in a leadership role in business operations to Ad Hoc, a DC company that provides government software.
  • Hitachi Vantara Federal, an IT services company based in Reston, Virginia named current CFO Mark Serway to the role of interim president and CEO.
  • Maryland edtech company StraighterLine added Heather Combs as its new CEO. Combs was previously the COO at 3Pillar Global.
  • Tech and engineering services company Amentum, based in Germantown, Maryland, has named John Heller as CEO. Current CEO John Vollmer will become chairman of the company’s board.
  • Reston government contractor Noblis Inc. will be under new leadership this fall. After 15 years, CEO Amr ElSawy is stepping down in October. Senior VP Mile Corrigan will take on the top role.
  • Jennifer Tisdale is the new CEO of Grimm, a cybersecurity company in Arlington, Virginia.
  • NexImmune, a Gaithersburg, Maryland-based biotech company, named Kristi Jones as CEO.
  • Zephyr AI, an algorithm-based healthtech company in Tysons, Virginia, appointed David Morgan as its new CEO.
  • WaveDancer, a Fairfax, Virginia-based blockchain developer, appointed Gwen Pal to the role of chief administration officer.
  • Morning Consult, the DC decision intelligence firm, added Sonnet Frisbie as a geopolitical risk analyst and Maia Hansen as AVP of engineering.
  • Michael Scruggs is the new applied intelligence lead for Accenture Federal Services, the IT giant based in Arlington.
  • Samsung Electronics America appointed former US ambassador Mark Lippert to the role of EVP and head of North American Public Affairs. Lippert will head up the company’s DC office.
  • Digital transformation company NetImpact Strategies, based in Falls Church, Virginia, named former AWS employee Naren Dasu as CTO.
  • Marketing automation platform DemandBridge, based in Hunt Valley, Maryland, promoted Michelle Bengermino to chief product officer.
  • Happyly, a mental and physical healthtech company in Arlington, appointed Jordan Cohen as chief commercial officer.
  • The Chesapeake Conservancy, the environmental agency HQ’d in Annapolis, added Michael Evans as a senior data scientist focused on remote sensing and artificial intelligence.
  • Hendon, Virginia franchise management software firm FranConnect promoted Chris Shelley to the role of chief revenue officer.
  • Cargo and supply chain tech company CakeBoxx Technologies, based in McLean, Virginia, appointed James Campbell to the role of COO.
  • Curbio, a real estate tech company in Potomac, Maryland, added Darren Stewart at CTO. In January, the company completed a $65 million Series B, which it said it would use to bolster its tech.
  • Vienna, Virginia’s SourceAmerica, a company that connects government entities to nonprofits that hire people with disabilities, added Wes Tyler as COO.
  • Guidehouse, a DC management consulting company, added Dan Hushon as CTO.
  • Chantilly, Virginia systems engineering company Arcfield named Robert Gallegos as COO and Chris McCall as chief administration officer.
  • McLean satellite company Intelsat named David Wajsgras as CEO. The firm recently announced that it had moved past Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • Technology, engineering, management and professional services company Serco, based in Herndon, promoted Don Styer to the role of enterprise technology officer, a newly created position.
  • Renewable energy tech company Arcadia, based in DC, added Benjamin Stein as chief product officer.
  • DC-based fintech company MPOWER Financing named Gabriel Bustamante as executive VP.
  • Former Virginia Assistant Attorney General Erin Witte is the new director of consumer protection for the Consumer Federation of America.
  • Quantum Xchange, a quantum company in Bethesda, Maryland, added Vincent Berk as chief revenue and strategy officer.
  • Stardog, a data management tech company based in Arlington, named Steve Fuller to the role of VP of solutions consulting and engineering.
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