Advancing the Value of Ethnography

EPIC Celebrates Departing Board Members, Welcomes New Members


Please join us in thanking Martha Cotton and Carol Zatorre for their service and welcoming Samantha Gottlieb and Shriram Venkatraman to the EPIC Board of Directors.

The EPIC Board exists to define the long-term direction of the organization and its activities. It also provides counsel to the hard-working executive team who deliver the activities and initiatives that make the EPIC community what it is today.

The board is more than symbolic. It gets real work done that moves EPIC forward. This is well demonstrated by new initiatives such as the Equity Program. Given the commitment involved, it’s only right that the board is periodically refreshed.

Departing the board is Martha Cotton, who has served for over seven years. Martha’s contributions to EPIC have been considerable – aside from her duties as treasurer, she has led initiatives around mentoring and across the years worked with potential conference organizers to develop their proposals to host the conference. Martha’s wisdom and commitment to EPIC have been invaluable. She has also attended every EPIC conference since 2005, and she plans to continue the streak!

We’re delighted to welcome Samantha Gottlieb to the board as our new treasurer. A key goal of EPIC over the short to medium term is to further strengthen our focus on members. Once “just” an annual conference, we are now resolutely a membership organization that exists both to serve our community and enable members to serve each other. She will also be working on new mentorship programs.

Sam is an anthropologist informed by science and technology studies. She is currently a UXR Manager at Google with the Fitbit team. Sam has over 20 years of expertise in health technology and understanding the complexity of U.S. health care delivery. She brings together her education in philosophy, gender studies, public health, and anthropology to bring a multi-disciplinary lens to her work. She attended her first EPIC in 2009, and she continues to value the community of critical social thinkers and observers.

Also departing the board is Carol Zatorre, whose tenure has been marked by the zero to one development of a Brazil chapter of EPIC. With great enthusiasm and energy, Carol has grasped the opportunity to grow the community in Latin America. She’s catalyzed a body of volunteers who share her vision and passion to extend the EPIC community in this market. We’re delighted that Carol is going to continue to drive this activity in Latin America.

As she does so, I’m delighted to announce that Shriram Venkatraman is joining the board to continue to drive our global agenda. Another one of EPIC’s goals is to strengthen and expand our community outside of North America and increase the influence of global practitioners on the development of our field. Shriram will be leading these efforts to ensure that both established and emergent centers of ethnographic practice can engage in, and enrich, the existing EPIC community, our work and possible impacts.

Shriram is an Assistant Professor of Business and Management at the University of Southern Denmark and a Fellow of the Danish Institute of Advanced Studies. He is also an Adjunct Faculty at the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode, India, and an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, New Delhi, India. In addition to articles in peer-reviewed journal articles, he is the author of the book Social Media in South India (UCL Press) and co-author of the comparative book How the World Changed Social Media (UCL Press).

I hope that you will join me in thanking Martha and Carol for their service to EPIC and in welcoming Sam and Shriram to the Board.


Simon Roberts, EPIC Board President

headshot simon roberts