I'm an entrepreneurially-minded leader with 20+ years building, launching, and scaling technology businesses, mainly in deep learning (AI & machine learning), ed tech, and cybersecurity. I bring a strong technical perspective to business challenges (and vice versa), and I'm uniquely experienced in rallying Sales & Marketing, Software Engineering, UX, Product Management, Data Science, DevOps, and Customer Service teams toward business objectives. As a leader I have a passion for creating environments that foster diversity, creativity, learning and growth.

Work History

Executive In Residence

Innovation Works

Pittsburgh, PA USA September 2019 – Present

Leverage my entrepreneurial and executive experience to help startup through Series A companies attract talent, customers, and funding to grow their business. Scout early-stage software startups to identify good candidates for seed-stage investment.

Developed and launched Startup Recipes, a collection of how-to guides to help founders go from idea to MVP and beyond.
Implemented the organization's first CRM for tracking investment deal flow.
Portfolio Executive, Software

Innovation Works

Pittsburgh, PA USA August 2019 – Present

In this role I leverage my entrepreneurial and executive experience to help companies in the Innovation Works portfolio find mentors, funding, customers, and the staff they need to grow their businesses. I scout early-stage high-tech startups to identify good candidates for seed-stage investment by Innovation Works, or to identify high-quality applications to our accelerators, Alphalab and Alphalab Gear.

Fractional Chief Technology Officer

Learning Tapestry

Remote May 2017 – August 2019

On-demand CTO/CPO for software startups, universities, and multinational corporations, leading global teams of 200+ technology professionals in support of business objectives. Translate strategic objectives into achievable, low-risk implementation roadmaps.

CTO for organizations varying from a 2,000-person multinational corporation to a graduate school of education.
Serve as Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) depending on client needs and priorities.
Consulting CTO

Learning Tapestry

Remote May 2017 – August 2019

On-demand CTO for universities, institutions, and startups in the education space. I help organizations build internal capability in technology, product management strategy, security, and data privacy. In this role I define, develop and deploy software-based solutions that support student success and achievement. I work with organizations to hire, train and retrain software developers, product managers, site reliability engineers, and more. I advise organizations and individuals on education technology investment opportunities.

SVP and Chief Technology Officer

Think Through Learning Inc

Pittsburgh, PA USA April 2011 – May 2017

As a key contributor to an exceptional executive team, grew annual revenue by 600% and acquisition by a strategic competitor. The Company's platform, Think Through Math, is an adaptive online learning environment designed to help struggling students in grades 3 through High School learn to love math.

Built the company's online product platform to support 3+ million students annually.
Led teams of 100+ across Engineering, Data Science/Machine Learning, Product Management, DevOps, IT, Cybersecurity, and Customer Success.
Partnered with the CEO and CFO to raise three funding rounds to support product expansion and growth.
Championed the organization's Open Source, DEI, and student data privacy & security efforts.
Technical Manager, Immersive Learning

Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA USA January 2004 - March 2011

Line-Of-Business Manager for the SEI CERT Program's Cyber Security e-learning support for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Federal civilian agencies. My team's mission was to invent, prototype, and launch solutions to unique problems in cyber security. Partnered with military and federal agencies to reduce risk, save money, and save lives through advanced cybersecurity training and education.

Envisioned, implemented, and championed the rollout of the Virtual Training Environment (VTE) line of business, delivering hands-on cybersecurity, computer forensics, and cyber offense toolkits to 3 million Department of Defense and Federal Civilian Agency staff across the globe.
Developed the program from prototype to $10+MM in funding and transition to federal sustainment funding.
Solutions Architect

Arnold Worldwide

Boston, MA USA October 2002 - August 2003

Project and technical lead focused on large-scale implementations of presentation-layer experiential and functional Web properties. Led a $6 million full redesign of the corporate presence and reservation engine for a major cruise line, managing information architecture, design, copy, search engine optimization, and online video updates. Led the transfer of the Web presence of a major data warehousing company from an external hosting vendor to an internal data center.


The U Productions

Franklin, MA USA October 2001 - October 2002

Independent consultant to regional businesses focused on web design, development and deployment. Implement workflow-based web applications and digital marketing initiatives.

Sr. Project Manager

BiT Group, Inc

Boston, MA USA October 2000 – October 2001

Project lead for client engagements responsible for leading Web application design and development teams of up to 13. Managed schedule, budget and deliverables for a $2 million Web-based custom workflow application for a temporary staffing agency.

Sr. Project Manager

Zentropy Partners

Cambridge, MA USA February 2000 – October 2000

Project manager, client partner and implementation lead for User Experience Design projects and engagements of strategic and financial importance to the organization. Served as acting Group Director, leading a team of 11 project managers.

Operations Manager, E-business Engineering

GTE Internetworking, Powered by BBN (now Level3)

Cambridge, MA USA October 1997 – February 2000

Department controller with fiscal responsibility for internal operations and project budgets. Led the roll-out of a customizable Internet-based knowledge management product. Primary project coordinator for alpha implementations. Launched an e-business consulting and implementation group within the company connecting custom web application development with the company's core internetworking products.

Senior Application Specialist

Cerner Corporation

Burlington, MA USA June 1995 – October 1997

Implemented Cerner's client-server clinical data repository, patient registration system and pharmacy information system at a multiple campus acute care and teaching hospital system in Ontario. Led a client team through product design and build classes, current state analysis, process improvement workshops and benefits realization seminars.


Carnegie Mellon University
MS, IT Management
Pittsburgh PA, USA May 2007
Coursework in entrepreneurism, software and SaaS pricing, software and service contracts, organizational risk management, and decision making under uncertainty.
The University of Michigan
BA, Industrial Psychology
Ann Arbor MI, USA June 1995
Coursework in economics, marketing, organizational behavior, German, Eastern European culture, and leadership development.


Volunteer Mentor, Vets Who Code

Help servicemembers transition from military to software development roles through the Vets Who Code nonprofit organization.

2019-2022 Remote
Panelist, CMU Hack-a-Startup

3x invited panelist and judge for the Hack-a-Startup entrepreneurial competition hosted by Carnegie Mellon University.

2015-2022 Pennsylvania, USA
Volunteer Mentor, Hour of Code

In-class tutor and support for the Hour of Code initiative.

December 2015 Pennsylvania, USA
U.S. English: Fluent
Native speaker
German: Proficient (B2)
6 1/2 years experience.
Side Projects
The Soft Stuff

I developed and run The Soft Stuff, a curated list of tools, processes, and resources for leaders and managers of technical staff. The Soft Stuff features open source job descriptions, career ladders, interview questions and processes, diversity & inclusion resources, OKR frameworks, and more.

Side Projects
Beer Goggles

Creator of Beer Goggles, a mobile app that uses AI to help craft beer fans discover new beer by taking a photo of the tap list at a restaurant or pub. Featured on Product Hunt.


Publications and Presentations

VTE: The Virtual Training Environment - Advanced Virtual Lab Authoring and Delivery
Constantine Aaron Cois
Justin Beckwith
James Wrubel
Jeremy Herrman
CSEDU 2010 - Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Computer Supported Education, Valencia, Spain, April 7-10, 2010 - Volume 1 2010
Replicating and Sharing Computer Security Laboratory Environments
Kara Nance
Brian Hay
Ronald Dodge
James Wrubel
Steve Burd
Alex Seazzu
HICSS, 2009, 2014 47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2014 47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2009, pp. 1-10, doi:10.1109/HICSS.2009.882
High Fidelity E-learning: The SEI's Virtual Training Environment
James Wrubel
David W. White
Julia Allen
CMU/SEI-2009-TR-005. Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. 2009.