EPIC Board & Staff

Everything EPIC does is powered by Members in collaboration with our small but mighty staff, and guided by a volunteer board. Meet our team and get in touch—we'd love to hear from you!


photo of Simon Roberts
Simon Roberts, Board President
Stripe Partners, London, UK

Simon Roberts (he/him) considers himself to have the best job in the world: researching the emerging frontiers of people and technology and trying to land that understanding with impact in complex environments. His career began with a PhD on the satellite TV revolution in mid 1990s India. He started the UK’s first dedicated ethnographic research company, Ideas Bazaar, before leading an R&D team at Intel’s Digital Health Group. In 2013, Simon co-founded Stripe Partners, a strategy and innovation consultancy. Simon first attended EPIC in 2005, and in the years since he’s been an author/presenter, curator, peer reviewer, and co-chair of EPIC2012 and EPIC2013. He writes and speaks widely on anthropology, ethnography, and technology, and his book The Power of Not Thinking was published in 2020. Read more by and about Simon. board@epicpeople.org

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Nichole Carelock
Tech Talent Project, Maryland, USA

Nichole Carelock (she/her) is a privacy research at Facebook and an anthropologist with 10+ years experience building technical solutions that not only work for people, but with people. Previously she worked in civic technology ensuring the Presidential Transition Teams were equipped with the right Tech Policy, People and Practices to succeed. Her expertise spans from service design for systems with millions of users, to intimate cottage industry ethnographies. She belongs to and serves many communities including AfroTech, User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA), and the American Anthropological Association(AAA). In addition, Nichole is passionate about digital services for vulnerable populations and prides herself on being a "slow thinker" in her world of "failing fast" "rapid iteration" and "disruption." Through slow thinking Nichole works to ensure that innovation, strategies, processes and products are anchored in what matters to people in their everyday lives today and over time.

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Martha Cotton, Board Treasurer
Fjord, Chicago, USA

Martha Cotton (she/her) is a Managing Director with Accenture and is the Global co-lead for Fjord, Accenture Interactive’s design practice. For over twenty years Martha has worked as an applied ethnographer across multiple industries and collaborated with a range of practitioners including designers, engineers, business analysts, marcomms, and brand strategists. Prior to joining Fjord, she was a partner at gravitytank and had leadership roles at HLB, Hall & Partners and Sapient. Martha is on the faculty of Northwestern University's MMM program—the Kellogg School of Management's marquee Design Thinking degree—where she developed and now teaches the Design Research curriculum. She is proud to have been at every single EPIC conference since it began, and has co-led the development of EPIC's learning initiative.

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Alexandra Zafiroglu, Board Secretary
The Australia National University, Canberra

Alexandra Zafiroglu (she/her) is a Professor and Deputy Director of the School of Cybernetics at the Australian National University a Fellow of the ANU Futures scheme. A cultural anthropologist by training, joined the ANU in 2019, after a 15-year career at Intel Corporation. She held various roles across the company within the People and Practices, Digital Home, Client Computing, and Internet of Things divisions. She made significant contributions to the R&D and commercial development in a range of labs and divisions relating to smart systems including built environments (homes, commercial buildings, and manufacturing) and transportation (autonomous vehicles and intelligent transportation systems). At the ANU she convenes the School of Cybernetics Higher Degree by Research program.

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Carol Zatorre
Kyvo, São Paulo, Brazil

Carol Zatorre (she/her) is an anthropologist and expert in research with design teams for Fortune 500 brands with experience across retail, manufacturing, financial, service, and start-up sectors. She works on strategic projects through ethnographic research grounded in anthropological theory. Carol is also a lecturer of Design Research at the Graduate Program in Human-Centered Design at Positivo University. She began her career as a social researcher with AntropoloDia, and has worked for companies such as Tigre, Gazeta do Povo, Samsung, Whirlpool, Itaú, Visa, Mapfre, Banco do Brasil, Bradesco, Porto Seguro, Multiplus, Globosat, Uber, and others. In addition, she worked for consultancies such as McKinsey, Insitum, and Box1824. Nowadays, she is co-founder and head of research at Kyvo, a global consultancy that uses the approach of design-driven innovation to deliver memorable services. Carol holds a bachelor degree in Social Sciences from UFPR (Federal University of Parana, Brazil).


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Rita Denny
Executive Director
Chicago, USA

As an anthropologist Rita (she/her) calls on linguistic, semiotic and symbolic traditions to interpret attitudes, perceptions and practices. Rita’s work has supported strategic development of products, services and brands as well as communications strategies for Fortune Global 500 companies, government agencies and public institutions. She is a founding partner of Practica Group and teaches a field course in cultural analysis in the IMC program at Northwestern University.  Her goal at EPIC is to hone the eloquent voice of ethnographic practice in industries around the globe and support community efforts to change how organizations think. Rita holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago and is a dedicated Lake Michigan swimmer. rdenny@epicpeople.org

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Jennifer Collier Jennings
California, USA

Jennifer (she/her) is EPIC’s Director, Jill of All Trades, Dot Connector, and Air Traffic Controller. She has worked in applied social science for more than 20 years, and holds degrees in anthropology, geography and environmental studies. She manages epicpeople.org; develops articles, talks, courses, and other EPIC programming; collaborates with staff and board members on all things EPIC. Everything she does is a partnership with our members, and she'd love to hear from you: What does ethnography look like in your practice? What are you working on, and what inspires and challenges you? jcj@epicpeople.org

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Myles Bradford
Membership & Operations Manager
New York, USA

Myles (she/her) is the Operations and Membership Manager at EPIC. She currently resides in Bedford–Stuyvesant, where she is an active member of her community. She received her BA at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she studied sociology, chemistry, and labor relations. She hopes to continue her education, researching how the production,
consumption and distribution of food in the United States worsens climate change, labor relations, and women’s health in communities of color. She has a background in nonprofit work and database management. Myles enjoys reading, writing and attending comedy shows. mbradford@epicpeople.org

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Huyen Nguyen
Project Manager
California, USA

Huyen (she/her) is the Project Manager at EPIC, focused on the annual conference. She brings a breadth of work experience spanning 20 years primarily in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. She finds joy and fulfillment gathering people to further advance meaningful work. She holds a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara in environmental studies with a concentration in cultural anthropology & women studies. In her free time Huyen can be found lost in a good book, cooking comfort food to share with loved ones, or planning her next adventure.
. hnguyen@epicpeople.org