New Directors for Two Research Centers

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The International Computer Science Institute, an independent center for advanced computer science research associated with the University of California-Berkeley, has appointed Roberto Pieraccini as its new director. Pieraccini, a specialist in speech and language technology, has a long career in academic and corporate research. He most recently was CTO of SpeechCycle, a company focused on advanced speech and multimodal technology. The center’s previous director of 13 years, professor Nelson Morgan, will be deputy director and continue to lead the Computer Speech Group, which he founded in 1988.

University of Washington biology professor Tom Daniel will become the director of the Engineering Research Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, which explores the intersection of people and machines. Its current head, UW computer science professor Yoky Matsuoka, who also is the vice president of technology for Silicon Valley startup Nest, won’t be returning to the UW.

AOL technology exec Curtis Brown will be interim CTO with the departure of Alex Gounares, who was hired away from Microsoft in 2010.  In addition, Huffington Post Media Group head engineer Tim Dierks and TechCrunch executive editor Erick Schonfeld are leaving as well.

American Apparel has appointed its vice president of technology, Stacey Shulman, as CTO. She previously was vice president and CIO for Island Pacific/Retail Pro, a retail-focused technology company.

Sean Fallon has been named vice president and chief technology officer for CNO Financial Group of Carmel, Ind. Fallon comes from Lincoln Financial Group, where he served as VP for application development, group protection.

Insurer AXIS Capital Holdings has appointed Koorosh Beigian to the role of CIO and executive vice president. Koorosh was global CTO for ACE Group, also an insurance company.

Bruce Meador is now manager of engineering for ACS, a Xerox company. He comes from Video Gaming Technologies, where he was software engineering manager.

Leonard Kosta has assumed the role of senior program manager for defense contractor Raytheon. He was a program manager for the U.S. government.

Digital marketing hub technology provider [x+1], has named industry veteran Bill Sears as vice president of solution architecture, a new sales executive position. Sears was most recently vice president of technology for consumer insights provider SymphonyIRI Group.

Ramey Chanadet has been promoted to director of software engineering at Kelley Blue Book. He previously was manager of software engineering.

Business services and IT solutions firm CACI International has appointed John Mengucci as chief operating officer for U.S. operations. Mengucci comes from Lockheed Martin, where he served as president of its Information Systems and Global Solutions-Civil Product Line.

Analytics, marketing research and technology firm in4mation insights has announced that Dr. Michael Nestrud has joined the company as director, Client Insights & Sensory Science. Nestrud is a trained chef at the Culinary Institute of America and a Ph.D. in sensory science. He previously was a postdoctoral associate at the U.S. Army Natick Research, Development & Engineering Center where he coordinated research projects to develop meal construction models and studied context effects, emotion and moral judgment.