Leadership and Staff
Al Segars, PhD, PNC Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Kenan Flagler Business School
Al Segars was appointed by the UNC-Chapel Hill Provost to serve as the Chair of the Collaboratory’s Advisory Board, which is comprised of faculty members across the university.
With expertise in the areas of innovation and technology management, Segars brings the perspective of strategic change to the challenges of adopting and using new technology and business processes. He has applied this expertise to new products, business models and supply chains for many of the most innovative organizations throughout the world.
Jeff Warren, PhD, Executive Director
Formally trained as a marine geologist, Jeff Warren has spent the past 15 years in State-level science policy positions, including the coastal hazards policy specialist for the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management (2004 to 2010) and the science advisor for the North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore (2011 to 2017).
Warren earned his BSc from the University of Arizona (1994), his MSc from Auburn University (1997), and his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2006). Warren’s academic research included field sites in the southeastern US, northern Mexico, the East and South China Seas, and Antarctica.
Laurie Farrar, Finance and Budget
Laurie has twelve years of service at Carolina, including previously having worked at the Office of University Counsel and the UNC Property Office processing financial transactions. Currently she works at the Finance and Operations Service Center as a Financial and Budget Analyst. Laurie provides financial analytics for Office of the Chancellor, Office of Public Affairs, and various offices within Finance and Operations. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Shaw University.
Steve Wall, JD, Outreach Director
Steve Wall has over two decades of experience working on legal and environmental policy issues at the state and federal levels. Steve’s prior work experience includes serving as a policy advisor in the Secretary’s Office of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). He began his policy career in Washington, D.C. as a congressional aide working on environmental and agricultural policy.
Steve received his J.D. with honors from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law and his B.A. with honors and distinction in Political Science from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Hope Thomson, Graduate Research Assistant
Hope Thomson is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree with an environmental health focus through the Gillings School of Global Public Health. She has previously worked on science communication initiatives across North Carolina with the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and the NC Science Festival. She recently completed an internship with the Research Translation Core of Duke University’s Superfund Research Center. Hope received a B.S. with distinction in chemistry from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2015.
Rebecca Rice, Graduate Research Intern
Rebecca Rice is working towards a PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering at Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her research includes organic synthesis of biogenic aerosols coupled with the investigation of their toxicological implications on human health. Previously, she earned a MSc in Global Health from Duke University and a BS in Chemistry from the University of New Orleans.
Anurag Rai, Graduate Summer Research Fellow
Anurag Rai is currently pursuing his MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. He has previously worked in manufacturing and logistics space in product design, operations and strategy roles. Anurag earned his BTech in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, India.