President and Professor at NECSI


Prof. Yaneer Bar-Yam received his SB and PhD in physics from MIT in 1978 and 1984 respectively. Since the late 1980s he has contributed to founding the field of complex systems science, introducing fundamental mathematical rigor, real world application, and educational programs for new concepts and insights of this field.

In developing new mathematical methods and in their application he has published on a wide range of scientific and real world problems ranging from cell biology to the global financial crisis.

He is the author of two books: a textbook Dynamics of Complex Systems, and Making Things Work, which applies complex systems science to solving problems in healthcare, education, systems engineering, international development, and ethnic conflict.

He has been a Visiting Scholar at Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He is currently Research Scientist at the MIT Media Laboratory.

He has also advised the Chairman’s Action Group at the Pentagon about global social unrest and the crises in Egypt and Syria, the National Security Council and the National Counter Terrorism Council on global strategy, the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group about military force transformation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about delivery of prevention services and control of hospital infections, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Congressman Barney Frank about market regulation and the financial crisis, and other government organizations, NGOs, and corporations on using principles and insights from complex systems science.


Captain, U.S. Navy (Retired)

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Todd Veazie served for 30 years in over 50 countries leading special operations organizations in peace and war. He had three combat command tours including service as Commanding Officer of SEAL Team FOUR, Naval Special Warfare Unit THREE in Bahrain, and Naval Special Warfare Group FOUR. Upon leaving active duty he was a Federal Senior Executive serving as Chief of the Counterterrorism Net Assessments Group at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). He is presently the Chief Operating Officer of the Kiernan Group in Alexandria, VA. He earned a B.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina and Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy at the National War College in Washington D.C.

*Pending government approval


Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering, NYU and External Professor, NECSI


Nassim Nicholas Taleb spent 21 years as a risk taker (quantitative trader) before becoming a researcher in philosophical, mathematical and (mostly) practical problems with probability.

Taleb is the author of a multivolume essay, the Incerto (The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, Antifragile, and Skin in the Game) covering broad facets of uncertainty. It has been translated into 36 languages.

In addition to his trader life, Taleb has also written, as a backup of the Incerto, more than 50 scholarly papers in statistical physics, statistics, philosophy, ethics, economics, international affairs, and quantitative finance, all around the notion of risk and probability.

Taleb is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering (only a quarter time position). His current focus is on the properties of systems that can handle disorder ("antifragile").

Taleb refuses all honors and anything that "turns knowledge into a spectator sport."

†Remote Speaker