IPaT Leadership

Mike BestMichael Best

Executive Director


Michael L. Best is executive director of the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) and professor with the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology where he directs the Technologies and International Development Lab. He was director of research at Georgia Tech – Shenzhen, our campus in China, from 2019 – 2021 and was founding director of the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) in Macau SAR, China. He holds a Ph.D. from MIT and has served as director of Media Lab Asia in India and head of the eDevelopment group at the MIT Media Lab.

Leigh McCookLeigh McCook

Deputy Director

leigh.mccook@gtri.gatech.edu | (404) 407-7898

Leigh McCook is deputy director of the Institute for People and Technology, and division chief of the Socio-Technical Division within the Georgia Tech Research Institute Information and Communications Laboratory (GTRI-ICL). As deputy director, Leigh works to strengthen industry and international partnerships and build new research collaborations across the Georgia Tech campus. While she continues to conduct research, McCook's focus is on growing IPaT’s research portfolio of federal and industry projects, particularly in education and humanitarian systems.

Russ ClarkRuss Clark

Senior Research Scientist

russ.clark@gatech.edu | (404) 385-4706

Russ Clark is a senior research scientist in the Institute of People and Technology, who engages hundreds of students each semester in mobile development, networking, and the Internet of Things. He emphasizes innovation, entrepreneurship, and industry involvement in student projects and application development. He's co-director of the Georgia Tech Research Network Operations Center (GT-RNOC), which supports research efforts across campus, and principal leader of the Convergence Innovation Competition, which pairs students and industry sponsors on novel projects. He has played a leadership role in the NSF GENI project, leading both the GT campus trials efforts as well as the GENI@SoX regional deployment and the Software-Defined Exchange (SDX). Russ is active in the startup community, including roles with the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program and as a principle with Empire Technologies during its acquisition by Concord Communications.

Maribeth Gandy ColemanMaribeth Gandy Coleman

Assistant Vice Provost for Research Faculty, Director of Research

maribeth@imtc.gatech.edu | (404) 894-3638

Maribeth Gandy is the director of research at IPaT, a Regents' Researcher, as well as the associate director of interactive media. She does research in the areas of augmented reality, mobile computing, and HCI. She is a computer scientist who is interested in not only building interesting mobile applications, accessible interfaces, and AR experiences but in bringing HCI techniques for design and evaluation into these domains.

Maribeth has worked on a wide array of projects in the 12 years she has been a faculty member at Georgia Tech; ranging from an augmented reality prototyping tool, to an accessible computer interface based on gesture, to a virtual reality experience for exposing theater students to vaudeville. She is currently collaborating with NC State on an NSF funded project to develop cognitive games for older adults.She is currently developing presence metrics for measuring engagement in AR environments using qualitative and quantitative (physiological measures) data. She also teaches the “Video Game Design” course and the "Principles of Computer Audio" (which she created in 2001) in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech.

Quinn DrakeQuinn Drake

Financial Manager II


Quinn Drake has worked in the University System for over ten years. She joins our team from Emory University. Before Emory, Quinn worked at Georgia State University as a Grants and contracts officer. Her experience includes post-award management,  state accounts, residual accounts, indirect accounts, and foundation accounts. Her many roles in the financial arena have led her to the position of Financial Manager II.

Siva JayaramanSiva Jayaraman

Managing Director for AI Institute for Collaborative Assistance and Responsive Interaction for Networked Groups (AI-CARING)

jsiva@gatech.edu | (404) 939-7858

Siva Jayaraman is the managing director for AI Institute for Collaborative Assistance and Responsive Interaction for Networked Groups (AI-CARING).

Cynthia MooreCynthia Moore

Assistant Director for Business Operations


Cynthia Moore is assistant director for business operations at the Institute for People and Technology. She has over a decade of experience at Georgia Tech, previously serving as director of Institute Diversity's OMED: Educational Services. She provided oversight and leadership of programs and initiatives that address the academic transition, retention, and academic success of underrepresented students in STEM. Moore also oversaw various initiatives at OMED, including the Tower Awards, an annual celebration of student diversity and academic success. She began her Georgia Tech career in Business Services where she was responsible for administrative and financial management.

Walter RichWalter Rich

Research Communications Program Manager

walter.rich@research.gatech.edu | (404) 894-5901

Walter Rich is a research communications program manager in Georgia Tech's Institute Communications supporting the Institute for People and Technology and Georgia Tech research communications.

Richard StarrRichard Starr

Research Scientist II


Richard Starr is a research scientist responsible for the Protected Health Data infrastructure at IPaT. He develops and manages a common infrastructure to work with healthcare data. He has deep academic and industry expertise associated with health data management and healthcare research

Clint Z.Clint Zeagler

Co-director of Strategic Partnerships


Clint Zeagler is the co-director of strategic partnerships at IPaT. With a Ph.D. in human centered computing, Zeagler drives his research on electronic textiles and on-body interfaces with the Contextual Computing Group and the GVU center of Georgia Tech. As a principal research scientist within IPaT and as an instructor for Georgia Tech, he teaches courses on Wearable Product Design and Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing (MUC). Zeagler enjoys working with corporations such as HP/Palm, Google, and even the Atlanta Braves to bring real world experience into the classroom. As a member of the NASA Wearable Technology Cluster, his ongoing relationship with the NASA Georgia Space Grant Consortium funds MUC student projects on wearable computing for space.