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Biography

Jeff Jonas, Data Scientist, Former IBM Fellow, Serial Entrepreneur

Jonas is an acclaimed data scientist who thrives on solving some of the world’s most complex business challenges. His systems extract useful intelligence from tsunamis of data. These systems tackle high-profile challenges including identifying potential terrorists, detecting fraudulent behavior in casinos, connecting loved ones after a natural disaster, and earlier detection of surprise asteroids, to name a few.

As Founder and Chief Scientist of Systems Research & Development (SRD), Jonas created Non-Obvious Relationship Awareness (NORA) – a sophisticated application which integrates diverse data sources allowing Las Vegas casinos to better understand with whom they were really doing business. This technology caught the eye of In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the CIA, leading to one of two rounds of venture capital for SRD and ultimately led to IBM’s acquisition of SRD in January 2005. IBM continues to use this NORA-class technology (now called IBM InfoSphere Identity Insight) to address world-class problems, e.g., early detection of fraud for a financial services company, saving them $200M to date.

Prior to July 2016, Jonas was an IBM Fellow and Chief Scientist of Context Computing. In this capacity, Jonas led a team focused on next-generation “context computing.” Code-named “G2,” this technology is being used in innovative ways, e.g., to modernize voter registration in America in a joint effort with Pew Charitable Trusts, which keeps voter lists up to date and registers more voters; helping the Singaporean government better protect the Malacca Straights (which carries half the world’s oil supply and one-third of the world’s commodity shipments) with a maritime domain awareness system.

In August of 2016, Jonas announced the launch of his next start-up (currently in stealth mode) to further advance Context Computing and G2.

A highly sought after speaker, Jonas travels the globe discussing innovation, national security, and privacy with government leaders, industry executives, and think tanks. He is on the boards of the US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) and Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and a Distinguished Engineer of Information Systems (adjunct) at Singapore Management University (SMU). As an industry thought leader, Jonas contributes to The Wall Street Journal's "The Experts" column on technology topics.

Featured in documentaries aired on the Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, and Travel Channel, his work in Las Vegas also played a role in defeating notorious card count teams as depicted in the bestselling book by Ben Mezrich, Bringing Down the House, and the movie 21 starring Kevin Spacey. Jeff’s work receives a wide range of media attention ranging from Forbes, Fortune Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post to National Public Radio. His work is the subject of prominent chapters in books such as No Place to Hide, Safe: The Race to Protect Ourselves in a Newly Dangerous World, The Numerati, and The Watchers. Most recently Jonas was profiled as a Big Data innovator in a National Geographic profile entitled “Decoding Jeff Jonas, Wizard of Big Data.”

He is currently the author or co-author of 14 patents and has recently been awarded an honorary Ph.D. in Science from Claremont Graduate University. Jonas was briefly a quadriplegic in 1988 following a car accident. Since then, he has fully recovered to compete in over 45 Ironman triathlons around the world. As a single father, Jonas raised three children. He currently resides in Venice Beach, California.