Our Team

Ellis Rubinstein

Ellis Rubinstein
President and CEO, The New York Academy of Sciences
Chair, Global STEM Alliance
(Advisory Committee page in formation)

Ellis Rubinstein is an innovator and change agent. Leading the 198-year-old New York Academy of Sciences since November 2002, Rubinstein increased membership to 20,000 scientists in 100 countries and established an extraordinary network of Nobel Laureates, leading academicians, CEOs and heads of corporate research, and government and UN leaders. This Academy expert network has served the President of Russia, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Mayors of Mexico City and Barcelona, leaders of UN agencies, and ministers the world over. And it has enabled Rubinstein to develop groundbreaking international public-private partnerships in obesity and diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and science education. In formation is an unprecedented social network enabling a devoted cadre of the world’s most promising young scientists and engineers to inspire and mentor a global network of gifted as well as under-served children in science, technology, engineering and math.

Over 3 decades prior to the Academy, Rubinstein worked as a journalist and editor. His efforts garnered 3 National Magazine Awards, the Pulitzer Prizes of the American periodicals industry. As a Senior Editor at Newsweek, he produced the landmark cover story on the origins of modern humans, the first public airing of this research and one of the magazine’s highest-selling issues on the newsstand. As Editor for a decade of the world’s largest circulation scientific journal, Science, he created the largest global network of science journalists, pioneered in web publishing, and organized perhaps the earliest national site license with the government of China. In fact, he was the first western journalist to interview Chinese President Jiang Zemin and later became the first science journalist to interview President Bill Clinton.

Reuben Advani

Reuben Advani
CEO, Global STEM Alliance

Reuben Advani is the CEO of The Global STEM Alliance (GSA) at The New York Academy of the Sciences. An experienced education sector entrepreneur and author, Mr. Advani founded Telestrat Education, a financial training company offering mini-MBA courses to corporations and law firms worldwide. Telestrat was acquired by BARBRI and its parent, Leeds Equity Partners, in 2012.

Mr. Advani began his career with the Wall Street bank, Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc. where he was a member of the firm’s corporate finance group. At Morgan Stanley, he worked on debt and equity offerings for Fortune 500 companies and assessed strategic acquisitions for oil and gas companies. After Morgan Stanley, Mr. Advani joined Sony Corporation where he was active in the development of Sony's online initiatives. Additionally, he advised senior officers of Sony Corporation on various financial hedging strategies.

Mr. Advani has provided advisory services to companies throughout the U.S. and Latin America and has held interim positions with several of them including CFO and COO. He is also a co-founder of the real estate investment firm, Foster Capital Partners.

Mr. Advani authored the successful business books, The Wall Street MBA, published by McGraw-Hill and Financial Freedom, published by Apress. The books are sold in bookstores around the world. He has been featured in prominent magazines including Investor’s Business Daily and US News and World Report.

Mr. Advani is in constant demand as a public speaker at corporations, law firms and non-profits. He has spoken to audiences at world class organizations including Avon Products, The American Red Cross, Assurant, Baker and McKenzie and Simpson, Thacher and Bartlett.

Mr. Advani holds a BA from Yale University and an MBA from the Wharton School. He has taught finance courses at Drexel University, Temple University, St. Joseph’s University, and Villanova University.

Meghan Groome

Meghan Groome
Senior Vice President, Education

Dr. Meghan Groome is the founding Executive Director of Education and Public Programs at the Academy, which includes a global portfolio of K-12, higher education, and public engagement programs. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on numerous National Science Foundation grants.  She also served as an Education Policy Fellow for the Institute for Educational Leadership in China.

Meghan joined the Academy in July of 2010 after spending three years at the American Museum of Natural History. Previously, Meghan was a Senior Policy Analyst with the National Governors Association, where she worked on Governor Janet Napolitano's Innovation America initiative and co-authored “Building a STEM Agenda,” a framework for states to improve their STEM education pipelines. She completed her PhD at Teachers College, Columbia University, and taught science in New Jersey.


Lorraine Hariton
Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships

Lorraine Hariton comes to the Academy after completing her term as Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs at the US Department of State in February 2014. She was appointed by Secretary Clinton in September 2009.

Lorraine has 25 years of experience in the information technology sector in Silicon Valley. During her business career she worked in a range of sectors including cloud computing, Internet of Industrial Things, retail payment systems, Internet audio solutions, speech applications, mid-range computers, and PBX. She has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Mathematical Sciences from Stanford University.

Celina Morgan-Standard

Celina Morgan-Standard
Senior Vice President, Digital Learning Solutions

Celina Morgan-Standard is the Senior Vice President, Digital Learning Solutions, focusing on key initiatives, including the Global STEM Alliance and global STEM education programs at the Academy. Celina joined the Academy in 2014 from Tucker Capital, where she spent six years advising leading education organizations in publishing and media on strategy, acquisitions, technology integration, and partnerships. She has supported ambitious growth initiatives with clients that have included National Geographic's JASON Project and Battelle Memorial Institute.


Kristian Breton
Director, Education

Kristian Breton oversees the state-wide, national, and international scale-up of the Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program, funded in part by the National Science Foundation and in partnership with The State University of New York (SUNY).  Prior to the Academy, Kristian worked for New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), where he monitored and evaluated after-school programs in all five boroughs.

Before working for the City, Kristian worked in East Harlem with community-based organizations to design and deliver after-school services for middle and high school youth. He moved from Arkansas to New York City in 2001 to attend the Graduate Program in International Affairs at The New School and earned his MA.  He traces his interest in mentoring and STEM to his time spent in Huntsville, AL, at Space Camp during middle school.  He also coaches a high school soccer team near where he lives in Brooklyn.

Jennifer Kane
Chief Product Officer, Digital Learning Solutions

Jennifer joined the Academy during the summer of 2015 as Chief Product Officer for the Digital Learning Solutions team. Prior to joining the Academy, Jennifer spent ten years at Scholastic Inc., leading product development for the Education Technology Group, building groundbreaking adaptive technology products for struggling readers in the K-12 curriculum space.


Hank Nourse
Director, Digital Content Strategy & Instructional Design

Hank Nourse leads content development and instructional design for the Global STEM Alliance’s innovative digital programming, including the Junior Academy and 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures. Hank has over 15 years of experience in the educational publishing and education technology industries, where he has helped create adaptive instruction and assessment programs for the K–12 market.

Prior to joining the Academy, Hank spent nine years at Scholastic, a global children’s publishing, education, and media company, where he helped develop industry-leading education technology products such as READ 180, System 44, and iRead. Hank has an MA in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a BA in English from Gonzaga University.


Stephanie Wortel-London
Director, Education

Stephanie Wortel-London acts as the Director of the 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures program and oversees the development of other international, one-on-one virtual STEM mentoring programs, bolstered by rigorous online coursework that focuses on college and career readiness, as well as Soft Skills and 21st Century Skills development.

Prior to assuming this role, Stephanie served as Program Manager for the Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program in New York City and Newark, NJ for five years. Stephanie graduated magna cum laude in Astronomy-Physics at Colgate University, where she received the 1819 Award. After moving to New York City, she worked in research projects through the Astrophysics Department of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) and completed the New York City Teaching Fellowship with an MSEd in Science Education from Lehman College. She is a New York State Certified Earth Science teacher. Prior to joining the Academy, Stephanie taught Earth Science in a South Bronx public school and wrote curricula for Youth Initiatives and the Space Show at AMNH.

Areas of research include quasar optical variability, stellar evolution, astrometry of brown dwarfs, and the development of science identity in groups historically under-represented in STEM through informal learning experiences. She is preparing to defend her PhD dissertation in Science Education Research at Stony Brook University’s Institute for STEM Education, and serves as an Adjunct Professor for the Space Systems course in the AMNH Master of Arts in Teaching Residency graduate program.

Chenelle Picture

Chenelle Bonavito
Director, Policy, Evaluation and Transformation Group and Scientists Without Borders

Chenelle Bonavito leads the design and management of the Global STEM Alliance Imagining Tomorrow challenges.  As a member of the Policy group, Chenelle works with industry, academia, government, and community groups to design and implement evidence-based policies and solutions that address complex societal problems while also driving economic development. As a manager of the SWB program, Chenelle designs open innovation challenges to surface innovative science and technology solutions to global development challenges. 

Previously, Chenelle was the Senior Program Coordinator at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy where she coordinated high-level Track II discussions and foreign policy briefings as well as managed social media and digital marketing.  Early in her career, Chenelle worked in event management and business development.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University in International Relations, Latin American studies and business and a Master’s degree in Global Affairs from New York University, where she focused her studies on International Development and Humanitarian Assistance.


Anthony Nguyen
Product Manager, Digital Learning Solutions

Anthony Nguyen is the Product Manager on the Global STEM Alliance, focusing on product planning and execution of the Junior Academy, a virtual learning and research program to identify, inspire, and prepare gifted students around the world.

Anthony joins the Academy from Uversity, a San Francisco-based EdTech startup, where he led product development on web and mobile apps designed to help college-bound students make friends and connections before arriving at college. He received his BS from Boston College majoring in Biology and Economics.


Elise Ogden
Product Manager, Digital Learning Solutions

Elise joined the Digital Learning Solutions team in November 2015 as a Product Manager.  Elise brings with her six years of experience managing educational programs serving underserved communities including work with iMentor in NYC and World Savvy in Minneapolis. In addition, Elise will soon receive her MBA from the University of Minnesota concentrating in innovation management and cross-cultural team work.


Carla Y. Emanuele-Giza
Program Manager, Education

Carla Y. Emanuele-Giza focuses on the day-to-day operations of the NeXXt Scholars Program and 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures. Prior to joining the Academy, she was a Supervisor in the School Programs Department at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan where her main responsibilities included staff training and development, writing new curriculum, and managing both the college and high school internship programs.

Carla graduated with a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Drew University and spent four years in Philadelphia honing her skills as a teaching artist, working with schools and organizations all over the state to promote a sharper understanding of the human experience through theatre and story-telling. She is excited to be able to fuel her passion for educational programming by promoting the future of women in STEM.


Yaihara Fortis Santiago, PhD
Director, Science Alliance

Yaihara Fortis Santiago joined the New York Academy of Sciences in 2014 after completing the highly competitive Science and Technology Policy Fellowship sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). During her time as a fellow, she worked at the National Science Foundation (NSF) with programs that provide international research opportunities for U.S. students and supported the establishment of cooperation agreements within the Americas region at the Office of International Science and Engineering.

As the director of the Science Alliance, the professional development branch of the New York Academy of Sciences. Yaihara develops and implements innovative workshops and courses to provide early career scientists with a range of soft and business skills that will be essential for all careers.

She obtained her doctoral degree in Neuroscience from Brandeis University and her bachelor's degree in Biology from University of Puerto Rico.

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Martika Williams
Administrative Assistant, Education

Martika Williams is the Administrative Assistant in the Education Department at the New York Academy of Sciences. Ms. Williams provides support to the education team and eight science education programs. Prior to joining the Academy, Martika was a Senior Teller at Provident Bank and an Administrative Assistant at Capital One Bank where she delivered a high level of service to customers and managed the operating administrative functions. Ms. Williams graduated from Kean University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.