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Program Committee

A select group of people are honoring us by serving as our Program Committee.

Panos Alexopoulos

Head of Ontology, Textkernel


Panos Alexopoulos has been working at the intersection of data, semantics, and software, contributing to building intelligent systems that deliver value to business and society since 2006. Currently Head of Ontology at Textkernel BV, leading a team of data professionals in developing and delivering a large cross-lingual Knowledge Graph in the HR and Recruitment domain. Author of the book "Semantic Modeling for Data - Avoiding Pitfalls and Breaking Dilemmas" (O'Reilly, 2020). Regular speaker and trainer in both academic and industry venues, striving to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

George Anadiotis (co-Chair)

Founder, Connected Data World


George Anadiotis has been contributing to, using, and evangelizing knowledge-based technology since the early 2000s. From research and implementation of graph databases, to semantic web and knowledge graph applications in the real world, and now graph analytics and graph AI. George is the founder of Linked Data Orchestration and the Year of the Graph, the co-organizer of Connected Data World, and a GigaOm, VentureBeat, and ZDNet contributor.

Ashleigh Faith (co-Chair)

Director of Platform Knowledge Graph and Semantic Search, EBSCO


Ashleigh Faith has a PhD, focused on Advanced Semantics, and she has worked in the search and data community for over 15 years with corporate business on eCommerce and Digital Asset Management, as well as government and manufacturing entities such as the Federal Reserve, John Deere, NASA, NATO, Gulfstream, DoD, and NLM on data strategy and knowledge management.

Katariina Kari

Lead Ontologist, Inter IKEA Systems


Katariina Kari (née Nyberg) holds a Master in Science and Master in Music and specialises in semantic web and guiding humankind to the digital age. At Zalando, she modelled the Fashion Knowledge Graph, a common vocabulary for fashion with which Zalando improves its customer experience.  Katariina used various graph technologies to improve Zalando's corporate technology. Katariina also pro-bono supports the circular economy start-up Nu Cycle in creating compelling waste offset products for individuals and companies.

Konstantinos Kotis

Assistant Professor, Team Leader, Dept. of Cultural Technology and Communication, University of the Aegean


Konstantinos Kotis is currently an assistant professor at the University of the Aegean, Dept. of Cultural Informatics and Communication, i-Lab, and a research associate at the University of Piraeus, Dept. of Digital Systems, AI Lab. His research interests include Knowledge/Ontology Engineering, Semantic Web technologies, Semantic Data Management, the Web of Things, and conversational AI. He has published more than 70 papers in peer-reviewed international journals and conferences and served as reviewer and PC member in several journals and conference events. He has also contributed to several national and European projects from different roles/positions.

Manolis Koubarakis

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Dept. of Informatics and Telecommunications, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens


Manolis Koubarakis is a Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Dept. of Informatics and Telecommunications, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He leads the Artificial Intelligence team. He is also an Associated Faculty at the Institute of the Management of Information Systems (IMIS) of the “Athena” Research and Innovation Center. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science, from the National Technical University of Athens, an M.Sc. in Computer Science, from the University of Toronto, and a diploma (B.Sc.) in Mathematics, from the University of Crete. 

He is a Fellow of EurAI (European Association for Artificial Intelligence) since 2015 and President of the Hellenic Association for Artificial Intelligence. He is a member of the Advisory Board that implements the Hellenic National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence. He has published more than 200 papers that have been widely cited (6863 citations and h-index 42 in Google Scholar) in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (especially Knowledge Representation), Databases, Semantic Web and Linked Geospatial Data (especially Earth observation data). His research has been financially supported with a total amount exceeding 8 million Euros by the European Commission, the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation, the Greek General Secretariat for Research and Technology, the European Space Agency and industry.

Manolis is currently the coordinator of project ExtremeEarth (2019-2021) which develops deep learning and big data techniques for satellite data from the Copernicus program. He also participates in the projects AI4EU (2019-2021, the largest H2020 European project in the area of Artificial Intelligence), AI4Copernicus (2021-2023, as Technical Manager of this project which brings Copernicus data the the AI4EU platform) and DeepCube (2021-2023, where he leads the work on Semantic Data Cubes).

Fenghong Liu

Associate Professor, Managing Editor-in-Chief of Data Intelligence

Fenghong Liu is an associate professor of the National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NSLC), and the managing editor of Data Intelligence Journal, co-published by the National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the MIT Press. She received her Ph.D. degree in 2007 from Chinese Academy of Sciences. Her research interests include: data publishing, semantic publishing etc. 

Paco Nathan (co-Chair)

Managing Partner, Derwen Inc


Paco Nathan is known as a "player/coach", with core expertise in data science, natural language, machine learning, cloud computing; 40 years tech industry experience, ranging from Bell Labs to early-stage start-ups. Advisor for Amplify Partners, IBM Data Science Community, Recognai, KUNGFU.AI, Primer. Lead committer PyTextRank. Formerly: Director, Community Evangelism @ Databricks and Apache Spark. Cited in 2015 as one of the Top 30 People in Big Data and Analytics by Innovation Enterprise.

Axel Ngonga

Professor of Data Science, Paderborn University


Axel Ngonga leads the DICE research group at the university of Paderborn. His research is focused on machine learning, knowledge graphs, and big data. He has more than 12 years of experience as a researcher developing Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Text Mining and Semantic Web algorithms.

He also has numerous international peer-reviewed publications with distinctions including best paper and best presentation awards. Axel specializes in Link Discovery & Record Linkage, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, and Information Systems and Retrieval.

Tara Raafat

Semantic/Metadata Architect, CTO Office at Bloomberg LP


Tara Raafat is a semantic technologies specialist with over a decade of experience in semantic knowledge modeling and knowledge driven applications in domains including but not limited to finance, healthcare, industrial symbiosis and insurance. In her current role she strategizes the use of semantic metadata across Bloomberg. 


Prior to joining Bloomberg, as a chief ontologist in Mphasis, Tara helped create "smart compliance solutions" and was one of the founders of NextAngles™, a next gen AI/Semantic based platform for regulatory and compliance. 


Tara holds a PhD in “Information System Engineering” from UK. She is an avid promoter of humanitarian tech and women in technology and serves on the board of Knowledge graphs for good.

Bradley Rees

RAPIDS cuGraph Manager, NVIDIA


Brad Rees is a Manager in the AI Infrastructure group at NVIDIA and lead of the RAPIDS cuGraph team. Brad has been designing, implementing, and supporting a variety of advanced software and hardware systems for over 30 years.

Brad specializes in complex analytic systems, primarily using graph analytic techniques for social and cyber network analysis. His technical interests are in HPC, machine learning, deep learning, and graphsgraph. Brad has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Juan Sequeda

Principal Scientist, data.world


Juan F. Sequeda is the Principal Scientist at data.world. Juan joined data.world through the acquisition of Capsenta, a company he founded as a spin-off from his research. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin.

Wearing his scientific hat, Juan's goal is to reliably create knowledge from inscrutable data. His research interests are on the intersection of Logic and Data for (ontology-based) data integration and semantic/graph data management, and what now is called Knowledge Graphs. Wearing his business hat, Juan is a product manager, does business development and strategy, technical sales and works with customers to understand their problems to translate back to R&D.

Ivo Velitchkov

Independent Consultant


Ivo Velitchkov is an independent management and data consultant. For the last 25 years, he has worked with big public and private organizations helping them with their strategy, structures and information. He has worked as a project manager, CEO, coach, consultant, researcher, and trainer. He’s the author of the book Essential Balances, and co-author of the book “Enterprise Architecture and Connected E-Government: Practices and Innovations”. 

Ivo Velitchkov is also the author of the blog http://www.strategicstructures.com/. He has a PhD in Computer Science.

In the last ten years, he's been providing advisory and training services on Linked Data and Semantic Technologies to large public sector organizations such as the European Commission, European Parliament and EU regulatory and executive agencies. 

Andrea Volpini

CEO and Founder, Wordlift


Andrea Volpini is a visionary entrepreneur, now focusing on semantic web and artificial intelligence. Andrea works at the intersection of the semantic web, AI, and SEO, helping brands worldwide increase their organic search visibility, traffic, and conversions. Andrea has 20+ years of world-class experience in digital marketing. Previously, he was a cofounder of InSideOut10 and kick-started Redlink, a research spin-off focusing on AI and information extraction.