Alex Galanter

Alex built a thriving participant recruitment business, for industries ranging from diamond rings to frozen food. Early in the pandemic, she joined her current organization. Alex oversees research operations there, which includes recruiting, tools administration, training resources, program compliance, and a research repository. When stakeholders trust your research operations program, they gain confidence in research outcomes. Maintaining that trust and continually improving the program are Alex’s key priorities.

Catherine Hills

Catherine is an experienced, versatile and strategic leader of people and practice in Design, Research, Product and Strategy with extensive experience in capability management and leadership, operations and enablement. With over 20 years of experience in multiple industries, modalities of design and software delivery, Catherine is a member of the design leadership team directing the global experience design and research for a market leading SAAS workforce transformation platform. Catherine's mission is to create engaging, inclusive, and impactful experiences that empower people to thrive in their daily lives. Catherine is also enrolled part time in the PhD program in Information Systems from the University of Melbourne, where she is researching the ethical implications of technology and design. She is also a passionate educator, speaker, thought partner and mentor, having taught as a sessional academic and presented at conferences and events.

Cecilie Lovestam

Based in Europe, Cecilie Løvestam serves as Generation Focus’ Managing Director in the EMEA regions. Cecilie's background in psychology, research, and anthropology has fueled her dedication to the study of human behavior and the factors that allow people to thrive. Cecilie has a Master's degree in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) from the University of Pennsylvania and a BSc in Applied Psychology with a minor in Anthropology from New York University. She is passionate about applying her expertise in Positive Psychology to Research Operations in ways that create positive participant experiences and in turn generate powerful insights.

Erin Cotrone

Erin is a social scientist turned Research Operations Associate. She leverages her background in research and education to streamline processes for UX researchers, facilitating impactful, high-quality research. Outside of work, Erin enjoys practicing yoga in the serene surroundings of Chester, N.J. or embarking on adventures in the Big Apple.

Erin Nakahara

I’m currently a Program Manager for the UX Research team and one of the founding members of the Research Operations team at Zendesk where I helped establish the ResOps team from the ground up. I have extensive experience in building research operations programs in both tech and academic spaces. Outside of work, I like to play basketball, practice Ikebana, and participate in all food related activities such as restaurant hopping, cooking and baking.

Gabe Barr

Gabriel Barr serves as Project Manager at Generation Focus. With a background in healthcare, he has experience working with people from all walks of life. He loves connecting with people and enjoys listening to the unique stories each person has to tell. Gabe’s experience has led him to work within research where he can focus on building a welcoming and inclusive environment, and on creating a positive experience for participants during the research process.

Jeff Sokolov

Jeff is currently a Staff User Experience Researcher at iRhythm Technologies. He is conducting design research in the area of cardiac monitoring by physicians. Prior to joining iRhythm, he worked as a designer and design researcher at both Nuance Healthcare and IBM Watson Health. He has a special interest in mental models, adoption of AI, quantitative methods of segmentation and understanding clinical workflows. His research operations work has focused on creating research repositories and research participant panels. He has recently given conference presentations at Boston UXPA and the American Medical Informatics Association. His educational background includes a PhD in Cognitive-Developmental Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University and a BA from UC San Diego in Experimental Psychology.

Jennifer Otto

Jennifer Otto is a dedicated UX Research Operations leader with a passion for crafting inclusive, top-tier experiences for researchers and participants alike. Her expertise lies in addressing unmet needs through the development of efficient systems and a steadfast adaptability to change. With a solid educational foundation in both Psychology and Information Architecture, Jennifer boasts an impressive 25-year career spanning user experience and project management, primarily within the Financial and Insurance sectors. Beyond her professional pursuits, she channels her penchant for optimizing user experiences into her personal life by expertly organizing closets and meticulously labeling everything in sight.

Jenny Costello

Jenny Lee Costello serves as Generation Focus’ Managing Director for the Americas. With a foundation in Psychology and Consumer Behavior from the University of Southern California, she has honed her skills in creating inclusive experiences for all. She is currently pursuing her Executive MBA, further enriching her knowledge in leadership and management. Jenny’s diverse background combines corporate, nonprofit, and agency experience. She is passionate about the intersection of the human experience and has expertise in conducting and managing user-centric qualitative research.

Johanna Jagow

Johanna is a UX Advisor based in sunny Barcelona and a researcher at heart. Working with UX teams around the world, she helps them mature their UX practice, run impactful research, and tackle tricky change processes. This year, Johanna exchanged the corporate 9-to-5 world for freelance UX consulting and fractional UX leadership. Outside of work, she’s found a new obsession in writing about all things UX Research, UX Management, and ResearchOps and she's currently learning her eight language.

Julia Cowing

I'm thrilled and excited to be a Research Ops speaker with my former colleague, now friend and co-presenter, Kate Fisher. After working as a UX research individual contributor and manager at companies such as Mailchimp, InVision, Google, and Meta, I've found my calling in Operations-enablement (versus Operations-infrastructure). In this role, I can leverage a broader range of my skills to help companies gain the velocity needed to uncover valuable insights. I see a wealth of untapped potential when we reimagine the relationship between Operations and Research. By envisioning Operations as an integral component of an ongoing discovery initiative for Research teams, we unlock numerous possibilities for comprehensive, holistic customer insights. I currently work at Esri, a mapping software company for location intelligence, and reside in New York City, where I indulge myself in attending Broadway shows, savoring hand-rolled bagels, and making the most of 24-hour bodegas 😃. Thank you Holly, Benson, and the Research Ops crew for choosing our talk!

Kate Fisher

Kate Fisher is a research operations consultant passionate about helping teams build the infrastructure for fast and effective UX research. She has worked in a variety of industries including academics, gaming, and financial services. In her previous role at InVision she established processes, procedures, and tools to remove barriers to research and increase its effectiveness. Her passion lies in building infrastructure and systems but also engaging people. She's enthusiastic about collaborating across departments and rallying others around the shared goal of building products that better serve their users.

Lauren Galanter

Lauren leads ResearchOps for Elsevier’s healthcare and life sciences UX teams. Before starting ReOps, she was a UX researcher and architect for 6 years. A polymath at heart, Lauren started her UX career after getting a degree in film, working in content operations, and dabbling in front-end development. Throughout her various roles, she has woven a focus on people-centered process, information architecture, and — most recently — how work happens. Lauren lives in Philadelphia and is always up for a conversation about metadata, crafting, or Star Trek.

Miranda Fitts

Miranda has worked in research operations for over six years and has helped build the research practice at Zendesk from the ground up. Her experience touches on all areas of the research ops practice, including tools, libraries, data management, legal compliance, and participant recruiting. Miranda is passionate about eliminating blockers to getting things done, and automating just about everything. Outside of work, Miranda enjoys yoga, travel, and a good (or bad) celebrity memoir.

Rachel Searing

As the first Research Operations Specialist for iRhythm Technologies, I am trailblazing a new role and department. My previous professional experience is filled with operational roles, including sales leadership, general management, field marketing, people development, healthcare and entrepreneurial ventures. I have an MBA with a focus on International Marketing and BS in Psychology from the University of Florida. I currently live in Denver, Colorado. Building efficiencies and watching my team shine are two of my favorite things!

Rachel Male

Rachel is the Research Operations Lead in the Social Security Directorate of the Scottish Government. She is responsible for leading on the development and management of Research Operations and helping a team of over 30 user researchers conduct quality research at scale. Rachel has extensive experience in user research and research operations with a particular focus on knowledge management, data governance and privacy, user research methodologies, effective tooling, team education and recruitment. She has a complementary background in nursing where her communication, organisation and governance skills were honed. Rachel devised and programmed the SSD Research Repository which ensures user research writeups, methodologies, analysis and playback reports, plus a wide range other relevant materials are captured, classified and easily available to user centred design teams through our online platform. She is a great believer in making the greatest impact within your organisation utilising your currently available resources, paving the way for future buy-in. This is something she actively seeks to promote within her work at the Scottish Government. When Rachel isn’t working on all things Research Ops, you can find her in British Columbia spending quality time with family, enjoying photography and the great outdoors.

Stephanie Marsh

Stephanie (she/ they), is currently UX Research Operations Lead at Springer Nature. The week of ROC'23 will also be the 4th anniversary of Stephanie working in ReOps at Springer Nature. ‍They began their career in UX and User Research in 2003, while completing a PhD on using and applying user research methods to Information Science tools. Since then, they have worked in user-centric roles across a diverse range of industries in the UK both agency and client sides, evangelizing and delivering enthusiastically user-centric work. ‍Their book User Research: A Practical Guide was first published in 2017, while Stephanie was Head of User Research and Analysis for the Government Digital Service within the UK Government. A second edition was released in February 2022.

Weiyan Chee

Weiyan Chee is the Global ResearchOps Lead for Yara, a leading multi-national agriculture company. With a decade of research experience, Weiyan began their journey as an academic Neuroscience and Psychology researcher. After transitioning into the corporate and tech realm, they have spent the last 4 years as a User Researcher and a Global ResearchOps lead, demonstrating expertise in navigating complex corporate policies, shaping global strategies, and respecting local guidelines, all to improve and refine the user experience of our digital products