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Mark Johnson, Ph.D.

Tech Advisor — GoFundMe

Mark E. Johnson, Ph.D., is a Silicon Valley technologist who is working with several companies in the U.S. and Brazil as an advisor, mentoring young data scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs. Lying at the intersection of technology, mathematics and data, Johnson’s professional experiences span many industries, including e-commerce, travel, finance, entertainment, logistics, healthcare, professional sports, and academics.

As the chief data officer at Groupon from 2010 to 2012, he was responsible for expanding the company’s technology operations from Chicago into Silicon Valley and establishing the company’s large-scale data infrastructure during the company’s extreme growth from infancy to IPO. Previously, Johnson was a vice president of engineering at Netflix, leading the teams of software engineers and data scientists responsible for operating and optimizing the company’s DVD logistics systems.

A foray into sports found him consulting for the commissioner of Major League Baseball and subsequently as a baseball executive for the St. Louis Cardinals during the 2004 season, focusing on building predictive models of amateur and professional player performance. From 1999 to 2003, Johnson was a technical at Yahoo!, working in data mining consumer behavior and building data products in the days when the true scale of the Internet was still being discovered.

Johnson attended Indiana University from 1988 to 1993, earning an honors B.S. in computer science and an M.A. in mathematics. He was a student manager of the men’s basketball team from 1988 to 1992, enjoying two Big 10 titles and one visit to the NCAA Final Four. Johnson earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University’s Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics in 1998. In his spare time, he likes to participate in long-distance triathlon and other endurance events and spend time with his wife and son at their home in Carmel Valley, California.

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