MIDDvantage: Exploring Careers in Technology's New Frontier header

Exploring Careers in Technology’s New Frontiers is a collaborative series developed by the Center for Careers and Internships and Middlebury in DC with content contribution from members of the Middlebury Professional Network and Middlebury students.

Within five years, there will be over 50 billion smart connected devices in the world connected to the distributed cloud. 5G and increased bandwidth will collect and transfer more data than ever, enabling advances in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT), robots, autonomous vehicles, practical blockchain, and human augmentation, creating geopolitical challenges, data privacy concerns, and cyber security demands. These are just a few of the biggest transformational dynamics that will power new frontiers in technology. This series includes interviews with many professionals who will share their vantage points on new frontiers in technology, their paths from campus to career, and career advice they would have for students interested in this career space.

Technology's New Frontiers Videos

Episode 1: Developments and Directions for AI & Robotics (36 minutes)
Guest Speaker: Bryan Rich ‘86, Partner AI & Robotics, Accenture Federal Services
Interviewer: Charlotte Gray ‘21

Episode 2: Creating Therapies to Treat Diseases Using Predictive Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (27 minutes)
Guest Speaker: Robert Skiff ‘90, CEO and Founder, 3852.ai
Interviewer: Lizeth Lucero ‘21

Episode 3: Automated Vehicles (35 minutes)
Guest Speaker: Alden Woodrow ‘02, CEO and Co-Founder, Ike
Interviewer: Jiaqi Li ‘22

Episode 4: Tracking of Terrorism and Extremism Online (30 minutes)
Guest Speaker: Alex Newhouse ‘17 MIIS ‘17, Research Lead, CTEC
Interviewer: Anthony Sjodin ‘23

Episode 5: Drone Technology as Advance Scout Protecting Soldiers (25 minutes)
Guest Speaker: Adi Raval ‘98, Head of Communications, Shield AI
Interviewer: Charlotte Gray ‘21

Episode 6: Marketing in a Competitive, Clouded World (18 minutes)
Guest Speaker: David Ellis ‘09, Product Marketing Manager, Azure App Services, Microsoft
Interviewer: Serrin Kim ‘22

Episode 7: A Customer-First Approach to Product Management (26 minutes)
Guest Speaker: Nicole Fazio ‘11, Senior Technical Product Manager, Alexa Shopping - Amazon
Interviewer: Adam Wisco ‘22

Technology’s New Frontiers Guest Speaker Biographies

David Ellis ‘09 is currently a Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft where he is helping to grow Microsoft’s cloud business. David currently serves as a VP of the Middlebury Alumni Association, where he has been helping to drive several initiatives between Middlebury and Alumni of Color. Prior to Microsoft, David was the Director of Brand Strategy, Advertising and Digital at Starr Companies, a global insurance and investments organization. Before joining Starr, David helped launch Sunny Field Entertainment, a production company that had a first look deal with Paramount Pictures. Prior to Sunny Field, David worked for International Creative Management, a talent agency whose clients included Drake, Beyoncé, Eminem, Al Pacino and Samuel L. Jackson. David started off his Hollywood career at Universal Pictures as an undergraduate intern during his final J-Term at Middlebury. David graduated from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business in 2018 with an MBA.  He graduated from Middlebury in 2009 with a BA in Film & Media and minor in Economics.

Connect with David on Midd2Midd.

Nicole Fazio ‘11, is a Technical Product Manager at Amazon Alexa building o to 1 products that customers love.  With training in econometrics, she started her career analyzing big data using SAS and Python, translating data-driven insights into strategic recommendations. She currently leads product thinking in the brand new space of voice advertising, launching the first-ever Alexa-actionable TV ad that allows customers to discover and browse products in the ad using their voice. Nicole Fazio mentors aspiring techies through the Built by Girls program. She has an MBA from MIT Sloan and was a Div I captain for the Middlebury Ski Team.

Connect with Nicole on Midd2Midd.

Andrew Howard ‘05, Director, Privacy and Data Policy, Facebook

Alex Newhouse ‘17 MIIS, is the Research Lead at CTEC, where he focuses on right-wing extremism, religious fundamentalism, online extremism and terrorism, and terrorist propaganda. In particular, he collects and leverages large-scale social data to understand how the communities, relationships, and language of extremists evolve. Previously, he was an independent researcher and data analyst for CTEC. He also worked at Sony Interactive Entertainment (PlayStation) on the data governance team, working on data privacy compliance issues. Before that, he spent time fighting credit card and payments fraud on PlayStation’s fraud management team. Prior to PlayStation, Alex spent time at Uber, analyzing and contributing to its responses to natural disasters and terrorist attacks. He also has experience as a journalist. Alex has an MA in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies from the Middlebury Institute, a BA in Political Science and English from Middlebury College, and is currently earning an MS in Analytics from Georgia Tech.

Connect with Alex on Midd2Midd.

Adi Raval ‘98 has spent the past two decades serving as a senior spokesperson for C-Suite level officials in the private sector including for Silicon Valley tech firms, as a diplomat for the US Government, as the communications director for major White House initiatives and as a journalist for two well-respected news organizations. Adi is currently the head of communications for Shield AI, a national security focused startup creating software to help protect the lives of service members and civilians in conflict areas.

Before his experience in Silicon Valley, Adi was based in Washington, DC where he worked as the global corporate head of media relations at Bechtel Corporation, one of the largest engineering and construction firms in the world. Adi also spent several years working for the US Government, including serving as the communications director for President Obama’s “Power Africa” initiative, a unique public private partnership between the US Government and over 100 companies created in order to increase electricity access throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Adi began his career for the US Government as a diplomat based in southern Afghanistan along the border with Pakistan. While in Afghanistan, Adi was recognized for his achievements as he received both the State Department’s meritorious honor and expeditionary service awards. Earlier in his career, Adi was a journalist for 12 years with the BBC and ABC News, including reporting from Iraq, the broader Middle East and Asia. He was also in charge of the BBC’s White House coverage for several years.

Adi has a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University SAIS in international public policy and a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College. He is a recipient of Middlebury’s distinguished alumni award. He lives in Sunnyvale, CA with his wife and young daughter. 

Bryan Rich ‘86, majored in English Literature and Latin American Studies. He joined Accenture Federal Services in 2018 and founded the Applied Intelligence business to build and scale advanced data science, artificial intelligence and robotic process automation into a unified delivery framework. In the last two years, he has expanded the Accenture Applied Intelligence workforce to nearly 700 data scientists and engineers including a team of 70 applied research scientists with deep expertise in NLP, CV, CNN, ML. Bryan also started the Accenture Federal Applied Intelligence Lab (Discovery Lab) strengthening AFS leadership in scientific research. Before joining Accenture, Bryan worked in Europe, The Middle East and Latin America for 20 years leading leveraged data science technology businesses globally.  He founded a decision intelligence software technology business with domain expertise in national security that he sold to the Carlyle Group via Novetta Solutions in 2015.

Robert Skiff ‘90 has three decades of experience in the area of business formation,  education, and consulting. He co-founded the Vermont Commons School and has done consulting work in blockchain, online learning, higher education finance, system dynamics, and drug discovery optimization. Skiff served on the Board of Advisors for the Carnegie Program on the Educational Doctorate.  He has an undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and a doctorate in leadership and policy studies from the University of Vermont.

Alden Woodrow ‘02.5, was most recently the co-founder and CEO of Ike, a developer of automated trucking technology, which was acquired by Nuro in January 2021. Alden has over a decade of experience building industrial technologies in logistics, energy, and aerospace. He previously held senior product management roles at Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group, Google’s X lab, and wind energy startup Makani Power. Early in his career, Alden was an economic and environmental consultant on projects ranging from tradable fishing quotas to dog house manufacturing. At Middlebury, Alden majored in economics and philosophy, wrote the original business plan for the College’s organic garden, and was a captain and four-year starter on the ultimate frisbee team. He holds an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business with a focus on new product development. Alden lives in Oakland, California with his wife Kate (Middlebury ‘02.5) and their 7 and 5 year old daughters.

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