Analytics and Data Science Institute Advisory Board

Khalifeh AlJadda, Southern Data Science

Khalifeh AjJadda headshot

Bio: Khalifeh AlJadda holds Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Georgia (UGA), with a specialization in machine learning. He has experience implementing large-scale, distributed machine learning algorithms to solve challenging problems in domains ranging from Bioinformatics to search and recommendation engines. He is a Sr. Manager Data Science at Home Depot, which is the largest home improvement company in the world. He is currently leading the recommendation data science team at Home Depot which is in charge of building the new generation of Home Depot's recommendation engine.

Before joining Home Depot he was in charge of the data science initiative to design and implement the backend of CareerBuilder’s language-agnostic semantic search engine leveraging NLP, Apache Spark and the Hadoop ecosystem. He also led the team on building a new AI-based recommendation engine using cutting-edge technologies for CareerBuilder.

Khalifeh is the founder and organizer of the Southern Data Science Conference ( which is the major data science conference in Atlanta that aims to promote data science in the Southeast region. He also co-founded a non-profit organization ATLytiCS ( Also, Khalifeh is a frequent public speaker on topics related to data science, machine learning, semantic search, and big data analytics. For more information, please visit his website (

Vickey Chang, Equifax

Vickey Chang headshot

Bio: Vickey joined Equifax in September 2007 with over 20 years of experiences in Marketing, Telecommunication, Financial and Risk Analytics. As the leader of the Global analytics team Ms. Chang has demonstrated leadership and vision by developing her team and leading them tactically in the past 7 years. Vickey's team is the embodiment of the Data Perfection imperative in USIS Analytics.

Vickey and her team have focused on aligning world-class data, analytics and technology capabilities to multiple verticals and domains including international countries. Vickey’s tenure has including the establishment of the Attributes and Model Performances teams growing from a team of two analysts to a multifunctional tactical and strategic team of over twenty. Her recent dedication in USIS Auto and Mortgage industries include developing and launching innovative new solutions that help organizations maximize customer value and streamline operations, evaluating and managing strategic partnerships, and establishing the Equifax brand as a trusted insights partner. These core capabilities have contributed to over 50 million dollars revenue with over 40% increase in two year run rate, enabled revenue is over 500 million through analytics, data, BI, platform and tools offering and demonstrated competitive influence in the market.

Vickey's past working experiences includes Aspen Marketing Services (Epsilon) as a senior marketing analyst where she remained for more than 5 years with the focus on predictive modeling, segmentation and statistical analyses for various customers including AT&T, AT&T Wireless and Verizon. Vickey holds a B.S. in political sciences from National Taiwan University and an MBA degree from the Scheller College of Business at Georgia Institute of Technology.


Will Hakes, Ph.D., ScoresMatter

Will Hakes headshotBio: Dr. William Hakes is a seasoned analytics entrepreneur and investor. Most recently (in 2017), he left KPMG, where he served as Managing Director in the KPMG Global Analytics practice.  He’s the former Co-Founder and CEO of Link Analytics (acquired by KPMG in 2013), an advanced analytics technology firm HQ’d in Atlanta.  For many years, he’s been focused on innovation derived from the emerging world of A.I. and Big Data, in particular how new, complex data sources create opportunities for enterprises. He also works with Universities and business to ensure technical teams become proficient in softer skills, enabling them to drive more value to their clients and organizations. Dr. Hakes has helped build multiple analytical startups, and currently serves as an advisor on several Boards. He’s also the Chief Analytics Officer of ScoresMatter, and a Distinguished Fellow at The Kennesaw State University Analytics & Data Science Institute.

Will is a frequent speaker, with previous engagements at prestigious institutions such as KSU, Georgia Tech, Georgetown University, and Notre Dame.  He also delivers at both large keynotes and C-level conferences in the Data Analytics and AI/ML space. Will has worked with some of the largest global brands throughout his career, including: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, SunTrust, Bank of America, KeyBank, Ciena, Coca-Cola, Nike, General Motors, Chrysler, Starbucks, MGM Casinos, NBA, and ServiceMaster.

Girish Modgil, Ph.D., GE Power

Girish Modgil headshot

Bio: Dr. Girish Modgil is currently Executive CIO for Data Science, Risk and Finance at GE Power Services. Over the course of his career, Girish has gained expertise in the areas of aerospace engineering, software development, optimization & stochastic modeling, and AI/ML. He is passionate about long distance running, tennis and reading. Girish holds a doctorate in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University.

Eric Schmidt, InterContinental Hotels Group

Eric Schmidt headshot

Bio: Eric has over 20 years of international experience structuring complex business questions, developing analytic tools and capabilities, translating analytics into actionable insights, and communicating recommendations to senior stakeholders.  Currently, Eric leads the global operations research team at IHG, innovating the next generation of revenue management systems.  Prior to joining IHG, he worked for the Chief Risk Officer at SunTrust Banks, where he managed the credit risk model validation team; Georgia-Pacific where he led pricing & revenue optimization analytics and trade management platform development; and The Coca-Cola Company, where he led global development of analytic frameworks driving marketing investment strategies.

Eric holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology, where he studied mechanical engineering and fluid mechanics; and an MBA from Emory's Goizueta Business School, where he focused on marketing and decision sciences.  He received academic scholarships both at Georgia Institute of Technology and Goizueta Business school.  In 2011, Eric received the Marketing Faculty Honor Award as the top marketing student in that graduating class.

Murray Webb, Healthgrades

Murray Webb headshot

Bio: Murray Webb is the Director of Data Science at Healthgrades, a health system CRM, physician rating system and advertising company. Previously, Murray worked at IngitionOne and helped lead the data science team there across a wide range of ad-tech channels and technologies. Murray holds an MS in applied statistics from Kennesaw State. In his free time, Murray enjoys playing soccer and music with friends.