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Advisory Board

The School of Statistics created an advisory board of statistical leaders outside the school to collaborate with us in advising, supporting, and promoting the school and our programs.

The board's high-level role is to:

  • Develop an understanding of the goals and mission of the school and assist in forming our vision to keep our program relevant for the future.
  • Assist in the promotion and recognition of the school, both locally and nationally.
  • Help to identify and involve alumni, friends, and others who may have an interest in and a desire to support the mission of the school.

We are grateful to the board members for making their time and expertise available to us.

Advisory Board

Ed Bedrick
Edward Bedrick
University of Arizona
Edward J. Bedrick is a Professor of Biostatistics and Assistant Director of the Statistics Laboratory at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Previously, Ed was a faculty member at the University of Colorado and the University of New Mexico. He has extensive experience developing statistical methods and in the design and analysis of biomedical studies including cancer clinical trials. His current research and teaching focuses on Bayesian methods and linear models. Two current collaborative projects concern modeling degeneration of the knee and designing a clinical trial for Valley Fever. A native of New York City, Ed received his BA from SUNY at Buffalo and his PhD in 1984 from the University of Minnesota. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and a Past-President of the Western North American Region of the International Biometric Society.


Sthitie Bom Photo
Sthitie Bom
Seagate Technology
Sthitie Bom manages the worldwide wafer manufacturing execution, analytics, and controls systems team at Seagate Technology. She started at Seagate in 2003 and has been a critical leader in the evolution of systems that support business intelligence and analytics for manufacturing. She architected a program of "Learning Cycles" in collaboration with the UMN Departments of Statistics and Computer Science whose primary mission is to engage students with Seagate software engineers and statisticians to solve real-world, deployable solutions for autonomous factory monitoring. She did her BS in Management Information Systems at Metropolitan State University and MS in Software Engineering at the University of Minnesota. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of Minnesota. She also serves on the board for the Friends of St. Paul Public Library and manages the education fund that she established, which supports the middle and high school education for the underprivileged in Nepal.


George Duncan photo
George Duncan
George Duncan received his PhD in Statistics at the University of Minnesota, following BS and MS degrees from the University of Chicago. He is now Professor of Statistics, Emeritus at Carnegie Mellon University. At Carnegie Mellon, his research focused on statistical decision theory, confidentiality of statistical databases, and the social impacts of computing technology. He has worked at universities and laboratories across the world and has more than 70 publications in refereed journals. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is past editor of the Journal of the American Statistical Association. He has served on five National Academy of Sciences Panels, including Chair, National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering Panel on Confidentiality and Data Access. He was honored as the Pittsburgh Statistician of the Year in 1996. Presently he serves on the Board of the Museums of New Mexico Foundation and is a Lead Trustee of the New Mexico Museum of Art. 


jonathan french
Jonathan French
Metrum Research Group
Jonathan French is a 1991 graduate of the UMN School of Statistics, where he did his master’s thesis on decision theory under the guidance of Kathryn Chaloner. After working in environmental and academic consulting for five years, he returned to graduate school to study biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health. In 2000 he received his doctorate in biostatistics, studying with Matt Wand and Joe Ibrahim. Following a year of post-doctoral research, Jonathan joined Pfizer as a lead project statistician working on compounds to treat depression, ADHD, and sleep disorders. Over the course of 11 years at Pfizer, he migrated to a role in the modeling and simulation (pharmacometrics) group where he led a team of modelers working primarily in oncology. He is currently a fellow at Metrum Research Group, a global leader in model-informed drug development consulting. Jonathan believes deeply in the importance of training and mentoring new generations of statisticians and modelers. To that end, he currently sits on the board of directors of the International Society of Pharmacometrics and has held leadership positions in the Connecticut chapter of the American Statistical Association. In his free time, he enjoys reading, listening to music, and hiking and playing tennis with his wife and two children.


Nathan Hubbell
Travelers Insurance
Nathan Hubbell is a second vice president in the personal insurance research and development department at Travelers Insurance. He has been with Travelers Insurance for 13 years in a variety of actuarial and statistical modeling positions. Hubbell is a fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS) and a graduate of St. Olaf College, where he majored in mathematics with statistics and molecular biology concentrations.


Tom Keenan
Tom Keenan is currently a senior engineering program manager of manufacturing data analytics for the neuromodulation business unit of Medtronic, PLC in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. He has more than 25 years of experience at Medtronic working as an industrial statistician and Lean Sigma Master black belt. He completed a bachelor of statistics degree from the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology (now the College of Science & Engineering) in 1986 and an MS in statistics from the University of Minnesota in 1990. He is an adjunct instructor in the School of Engineering at the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota).


Lynn Lin
Lynn Y.S. Lin Consulting
Lynn Lin was raised in Taiwan in humble circumstances, but excelled in his studies. He moved to Minnesota and completed his PhD in the School of Statistics in 1975. Dr. Lin was always dedicated to statistical solutions for real-world problems, so after a brief spell on the faculty he joined Pillsbury and then Booz Allen Hamilton. He left to form his consulting company in 2002. He is best-known for BASES, the new-product sales forecasting methodology he invented, and which now has an 85% market share. Dr. Lin is a regular speaker at educational events for quantitative professionals. The School has benefited from his subvention of the summer internships that have exposed so many of our graduate students to the uses and applications of statistics in the real world.


Steve MacEachern
Steve MacEachern attended Carleton College, receiving a BA in Mathematics before moving on to the University of Minnesota for his graduate work. Upon graduation, he took a position at The Ohio State University where he is currently Professor of Statistics with a courtesy appointment in Psychology. He has spent leaves at Duke University and Carnegie Mellon University. He has served as President of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis and in a number of service roles for the American Statistical Association, including Program Chair for the 2012 Joint Statistical Meeting. Steve has worked on a variety of problems, ranging from the development and implementation of Bayesian methodology, to the creation of classical techniques in areas such as sampling and quality control, to applications in psychology and marketing. His research includes the development of models and inferential strategies, exploration of models’ properties, and the development of computational techniques. Recurring themes include robustness, the impact of model misspecification, and the gap between model and reality.


Shefali Mehta
Open Rivers Consulting

Dr. Shefali Mehta, an environmental and agricultural economist and statistician, focuses on developing strategy and change plans for organizations undergoing transformation.  She founded and leads Open Rivers Consulting Associates to tailor solutions and create holistic strategies for a range of clients. Prior to founding Open Rivers, Dr. Mehta worked in roles across private, public and non-profit sectors including McKinsey, Syngenta, the Soil Health Partnership, amongst others. She serves or has served as a Board member for various groups including Bountifield, Pheasants Forever, Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pest Center (MITPPC), the School of Statistics at University of Minnesota, The Gates Scholar Advisory Council, amongst others. Dr. Mehta received her PhD in Agricultural and Applied Economics and MS in Statistics from the University of Minnesota, MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University and a BA in Economics from New York University. 

Catherine Micek

Catherine (Katy) Micek is a Data Scientist at 3M in St. Paul, Minnesota. She holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Minnesota. In her PhD thesis, Katy developed mathematical models for polymer gel swelling with applications to artificial bone implants and drug-delivery devices. Katy has worked in both academic and industrial positions since earning her degree. In addition to teaching college mathematics, she has worked on cross-functional business teams as a data scientist, software developer, and predictive modeler teams across diverse industries (insurance, energy, finance, supply chain, and manufacturing). Katy is also an active speaker and mentor. She is frequently invited to colleges, universities, and conferences to discuss her technical work and career experiences in data science, and she is a contributor to publications by the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics on industrial career options. In her free time, Katy enjoys spending time with friends and family, as well as ballroom dancing, rock climbing, and cooking.

Bret Musser
Bret Musser
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Bret Musser is currently a Senior Director at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, where he leads a group dedicated to supporting early clinical development studies. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, he joined Merck Research Laboratories in 1998, where he drove the application of statistical principles across clinical development. His experience spans from preclinical studies through large outcomes trials. Dr. Musser has led groups dedicated to the development and application of advanced mathematical models in drug discovery and development. Dr. Musser’s current research interests focus on clinical trial simulation and decision theory. Dr. Musser is active in the ASA, including the newly formed pharmacometrics SIG. Dr. Musser joined Regeneron in 2017 to create a new group dedicated to advancing the state of statistical practice in early clinical development, as well as supporting the development of novel treatments for rare diseases.
Shane Pederson
Shane Pederson is Senior Data Scientist at ModelOp in Chicago, where he consults on a variety of big- and small-data engagements. He has worked as a consulting statistician for over 30 years – in government (Los Alamos National Laboratory), academics (Georgia Institute of Technology), and banking (JPMorgan Chase). He has extensive experience in engineering, litigation, and econometrics, and has received several patents relating to the optimization of financial services analytics. He is a native Minnesotan and received his BS and PhD degrees in Statistics from the University of Minnesota.


Ron Regal
Essentia Health
Ron Regal earned his PhD in statistics from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 1975. After leaving the New York State Health Department in 1981, he taught in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Minnesota Duluth until 2013. Since 2013 he has continued research collaborations including part time employment by Essentia Health, a large health system with clinics from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Idaho. Projects at Essentia include for example efficacy of cardiac treatments and genomic effects on responses to methylphenidate in ADHD children. Example projects elsewhere include collaborations on trends for bird species in Superior and Chippewa National Forests, animal studies on immunological mechanisms in preeclampsia, and linguistics studies.


Rich Scamehorn
InContext Solutions
Rich Scamehorn uses his 20 years of research and insights experience to lead InContext Solutions' insights function in designing primary market research studies utilizing virtual store simulation techniques to address clients’ business issues. Prior to co-founding InContext Solutions in 2009, Scamehorn led virtual store and in-store testing at General Mills. He also managed their advanced analytics primary market research group during his eight years with General Mills. Scamehorn has a BA in mathematics from Macalester College and a MS in statistics from the University of Minnesota.


Joanna Shih headshot
Joanna Shih
National Institutes of Health
National Cancer Institute, BRP, DCTD
Joanna Shih received her BS in Statistics in Taiwan, MS in Statistics and PhD in Biostatistics both from University of Minnesota. After graduation, she took a position as Mathematical Statistician in National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. She later joined the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, National Cancer Institute in 2001 and has been working there since. She is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association and has actively participated in statistical services, such as Program Chair for the 2002 Biometric Society (ENAR) Spring Meeting and Associate editor for Journal of the American Statistical Association Applications and Case Studies and Statistics in Medicine. Her research focuses on modeling and inferences on correlated outcomes, including family clustered failure time data, and multiple repeated imaging biomarkers.


Lawrence Thibodeau
Strategic Advocacy Inc.
Lawrence A. Thibodeau, is president and owner of Strategic Advocacy Inc., a company he founded in 2004 upon retirement from PwC. While at PwC, Dr. Thibodeau was partner-in-charge of the Financial Advisory Services Global and Americas Pharmaceutical Practice, and the economics and statistics group. Dr. Thibodeau earned his PhD in statistics from the University of Minnesota in 1977 and has since had a very successful career. From 1977 to 1980, Dr. Thibodeau was on the Harvard biostatistics faculty, from 1980 to 1981, he was a visiting research scientist at ETS in Princeton, from 1988, 1991, he taught at George Washington University as adjunct faculty, and he served as a US Army officer in Vietnam from 1966 to 1973.


Stephen Tich
Stephen Tich possesses over 25 years executive leadership in numerous financial service industries including insurance, mortgages, and payments across a global scope, which includes six years based in Hong Kong. He most recently served as Chief Operating Officer, Global Insurance at HSBC bank, leading insurance operations and IT across 15 countries in Asia, Latin America, Europe, and North America. Prior to HSBC, Stephen spent nine years at General Electric (GE) where he worked on its corporate audit staff and was heavily engaged in GE's six sigma initiative. Tich began his career conducting statistical analyses of customer data for target marketing, customer interaction, and credit and payment behavior for a direct mail firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.Tich received his BA in statistics from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business.


patrick whitcomb
Pat Whitcomb
Stat-Ease Inc.
Pat Whitcomb is the founding principal and president of Stat-Ease, Inc. Before starting his own business, he worked as a chemical engineer, quality assurance manager, and plant manager. Whitcomb co-authored Design-Expert® software, an easy-to-use program for design and analysis of factorial, response surface, mixture, and combined experiments. He's provided training and consulting on the application of design of experiments (DOE) and other statistical methods for several decades. In addition, Whitcomb is co-author of the books, DOE Simplified: Practical Tools for Effective Experimentation and RSM Simplified: Optimizing Processes Using Response Surface Methods for Design of Experiments.  Along with his books, Whitcomb has published many articles on DOE.