Meet The Team

Cogito Leadership

  • Joshua Feast
    Joshua Feast
    CEO & Co-Founder
  • Dr. Ali Azarbayejani
    Dr. Ali Azarbayejani
    CTO & Co-Founder
  • Douglas Kim
    Douglas Kim
    Chief Revenue and Customer Success Officer
  • Dr. Skyler Place
    Dr. Skyler Place
    Chief Behavioral Science Officer
  • Margaret Olson
    Margaret Olson
    SVP of Engineering
  • Kate Gingras
    Kate Gingras
    VP of Strategic Clients
  • Dr. John Kane
    Dr. John Kane
    VP of Signal Processing and Machine Learning
  • Jim Gomez
    Jim Gomez
    SVP of Client Services
  • Steve Kraus
    Steve Kraus
    VP of Marketing
  • Dustin Pederson
    Dustin Pederson
    VP of Finance and Operations
  • Martin Pitkow
    Martin Pitkow
    VP of Client Development
  • Paul Russell
    Paul Russell
    VP of Product Management and Design
  • Lauren Tropeano
    Lauren Tropeano
    VP of People and Culture
  • Steve Wan
    Steve Wan
    VP of Strategic Partnerships
  • Dr. Sandy Pentland
    Dr. Sandy Pentland
    Scientific Visionary and Co-Founder
Joshua Feast
CEO & Co-Founder

Josh Feast is the President and CEO of Cogito. He is a serial entrepreneur and thought leader with a passion for creating innovative technology that helps people live more productive lives. Josh has more than a decade of experience as a senior executive and is regularly quoted in Forbes, Fortune, and the Wall Street Journal. He holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management where he was the Platinum-Triangle Fulbright Scholar in Entrepreneurship and a Bachelor of Technology from Massey University in New Zealand.

Dr. Ali Azarbayejani
CTO & Co-Founder

Ali has 30+ years of experience as a scientist, engineer, entrepreneur, and developer of world-class computational technologies. His pioneering doctoral research at the MIT Media Lab in probabilistic modeling for 3-D vision was the basis for his first startup company Alchemy 3D Technology, which created the market in the film and video post-production industry for camera match-moving software. Before Cogito, he consulted in software development and developed computational algorithms on the research staff at Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs. He is a co-founder of Cogito and has served as CTO since 2009, building the engineering, machine learning, and product teams and leading innovation.

Douglas Kim
Chief Revenue and Customer Success Officer

Douglas brings more than 25 years of marketing, sales, and client services expertise to Cogito.  Prior to joining Cogito, Douglas built and ran the commercial function for Kyruus – a leading enterprise healthcare provider technology company.  Prior to that, he spent 12 years helping commercialize the BPM and CRM business from $2M to $500M annual revenues for Pegasystems, Inc.  Among many roles there, – he designed and built the Cloud / SaaS business and the Strategic Alliances function. Prior to Pegasystems, Mr. Kim was the Founder of Talksender Inc, a pioneer in cloud based rich-media email marketing used by Warner Bros, Sony Music and Grey Advertising.  Douglas began his career at Novasoft – the leader in Electronic Content Management, where he built and ran the channel function and the Latin America and European regions.  He is a graduate of Boston University School of Engineering, where he studied Biomedical and Manufacturing Engineering.

Dr. Skyler Place
Chief Behavioral Science Officer

Dr. Skyler Place combines decades of psychological theory with cutting edge behavioral data to drive positive behavior change. He influences product capabilities and provides thought leadership to clients within enterprise sales and service operations. His team of behavioral scientists, analysts and consultants apply best practice principles and novel insights to ensure higher performance for both organizations and individuals. Skyler has over fifteen years of experience developing and implementing new approaches to better predict and improve human behavior. Prior to Cogito, Skyler led large-scale academic research projects at the intersection of artificial intelligence and behavioral science. Skyler holds a BA in computer science from Colby College, PhDs in psychology and cognitive science from Indiana University, and completed his post-doctoral work in computational social science at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University.

Margaret Olson
SVP of Engineering

Margaret Olson is a seasoned software executive. Prior to joining Cogito she held a number of leadership positions within rapidly growing software companies including an eight-year tenure as the CTO of Constant Contact during which time she helped grow the company from a start-up into a leading provider of SaaS-based marketing technology. She was also CTO of Nix86, a high-growth software company developing frictionless ordering for restaurants and distributors, which she helped co-found. Additionally, Olson co-founded and held the position of CTO at Plum, one of the first web and mobile applications for private social networking and group conversations. She helped grow Plum into a leader in the industry and played a key role in Plum’s acquisition by Nokia.

Kate Gingras
VP of Strategic Clients

Kate is a recognized technology industry thought leader responsible for delivering business value to foster deep long-term client relationships. Prior to joining Cogito, Kate was a Vice President at Appian, where she built out a global business line and was responsible for securing and managing multi-million dollar strategic client relationships. Kate played a pivotal role in growing Appian from a niche technology provider to an industry leader that experienced a successful IPO. Kate also held leadership positions within market leading customer experience software companies including Chordiant Software and Pegasystems. Earlier in her career she led consulting teams with PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM. Kate has a BS in legal studies from Rivier University and law degree from Suffolk University.

Dr. John Kane
VP of Signal Processing and Machine Learning

John Kane is the VP of Signal Processing and Machine Learning at Cogito, and has worked for the past 12 years or so in the area of speech science and technology. At Cogito he leads the research and development of machine learning algorithms to enable real-time processing of audio, speech and other behavioral signals. John is an active member of the speech research community, contributing as a reviewer for leading journals and conferences in the space and as a maintainer of open source speech processing tools.

Jim Gomez
SVP of Client Services

Jim Gomez is Cogito’s Senior Vice President of Client Services, responsible for implementation, support and client retention . He is a Contact Center Professional, with over 30 years of leadership experience, in a wide range of contact center operational and technical roles. Jim began his career as a college student, at MCI Telecommunications, providing customer service. At MCI Jim quickly learned that smart people, armed with the great tools, will deliver amazing results, within a well led contact center operation. After the purchase of MCI by Verizon Jim went on to work with some of the largest contact center enterprises in the world, leading outstanding teams who designed, sold, delivered, and serviced world class contact center services offered through Verizon Contact Center Services. From his success at Verizon, Jim accepted a leadership role at the start up cloud contact center technology company Five9 Inc., where he established Five9 Professional Services as a business differentiator within this space, while helping to grow the Five9 dramatically over five years.

Jim Gomez is a proud husband, the father of five amazing daughters and a US Army combat veteran. His college, military and business careers have allowed he and his family the privilege to live across the US and around the world and they never tire of exploration.

Steve Kraus
VP of Marketing

Steve brings over twenty years of experience in marketing, selling, and delivering customer engagement solutions to the world’s most customer-centric organizations. Prior to joining Cogito, Steve led product marketing for Pegasystems CRM suite of applications, growing the suite from a niche player into a recognized leader for marketing, sales, and service applications. Steve led go-to-market activities for Verint (formerly KANA Software), serving as the General Manager for Verint’s customer experience management applications, and led product marketing and strategy for Chordiant Software’s CRM applications. Earlier in his career, Steve managed consulting teams within Ernst &Young. He has a B.A. in Economics and Accounting from The College of The Holy Cross.

Dustin Pederson
VP of Finance and Operations

Dustin has over 10 years of diverse experience at EF Education First, Pegasystems, and Honeywell International.  During his career he has helped set the sales strategy for an entity which sells study abroad programs, been the financial leader of a Cloud software business, and held several other roles in various financial capacities.  A common thread has been his passion for facilitating growth through involvement in all aspects of a business while helping maintain financial control.  Dustin is a CPA (inactive), holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a B.S. in Finance and Accounting from the University of Minnesota.

Martin Pitkow
VP of Client Development

Martin leads Cogito’s global client development team responsible for establishing relationships with the world’s most forward-thinking enterprises. Martin is an experienced leader of rapidly growing technology companies, including SuccessFactors, where he managed numerous sales functions helping build the company into the category leader in Enterprise HR, culminating in a $3.4B acquisition by SAP. Post-acquisition, Martin held a number of key executive positions within SAP, driving sales and growth initiatives. Martin has an undergraduate degree from Penn State University and an Executive Certificate from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

Paul Russell
VP of Product Management and Design

Paul manages the process of evolving Cogito’s product strategy and creating differentiated solutions that meet clients’ current and future needs. He leads a team of product managers responsible for ensuring value-add functionality, high performance and exceptional quality. Paul has more than fifteen years of experience delivering cloud solutions to the world’s largest enterprises. Prior to joining Cogito, he was VP of Product Management at Imprivata, where he was responsible for helping healthcare organizations address critical compliance and security challenges while improving provider productivity and the patient experience. Paul also held leadership roles in Engineering and Product Management at Cisco systems, focusing on Contact Center Solutions and Collaboration Platforms. Paul has a BS from the University of Connecticut and a Masters in Information Technology from Harvard.

Lauren Tropeano
VP of People and Culture

Lauren is Cogito’s VP of People & Culture and is responsible for the development and oversight of people practices and culture that support employee and organizational success at Cogito. She has 15 years of expertise leading large, diverse teams and managing People-related initiatives for growing companies across the technology sector. Prior to Cogito, Lauren worked as a human resources executive for Pivotal, a global Silicon Valley based software startup, where she was responsible for building and overseeing People operations while helping the company grow and scale. While there, she also developed HR offerings for customers interested in transforming their culture and people strategy to a more modern approach. Lauren previously worked for EMC (now Dell Technologies), where she held a variety of Human Resources roles including in Recruiting Leadership & Strategy, Program Management, Leadership development, and Global Mobility. Lauren received an MBA in Management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a bachelor’s degree in Business with concentrations in Organizational Behavior and Marketing from Boston College.

Steve Wan
VP of Strategic Partnerships

Steve has over 20 years of business development experience in the enterprise software and telecom industries. Before joining Cogito, Steve was the co-founder of One Over Zero, a startup which leveraged machine learning to help clients acquire, analyze and act on customer insights. Previously, he led Mobile Business Development at Dropbox, and spent over 10 years at Qualcomm as a Senior Director of Business Development and Technical Marketing. During that time, Steve worked closely with OEMs and telecom operators to commercialize novel technologies and negotiated deals that resulted in hardware and software being shipped in over a billion smartphones. He received his MBA from the Wharton School, MSEE from Stanford University and BSEE from the University of Michigan. He also holds a JD, specializing in Intellectual Property from the University of San Diego.

Dr. Sandy Pentland
Scientific Visionary and Co-Founder

Sandy pioneered reality mining technology and is a leader in pervasive information systems generally.  He helped create and direct the MIT Media Laboratory, is a member of the U.S. National Academies, and is one of the most-cited computer scientists in the world. Forbes named Sandy one of the `seven most powerful data scientists in the world,’ along with founders of Google and the US Chief Technical Officer.

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