Co-Founders and Operations Team

Jerry M. Hultin

Jerry is President, Chairman and Co-Founder of the Global Futures Group. Jerry was the 15th President of the Polytechnic Institute of New York University and President Emeritus. Jerry was the United States Under Secretary of the Navy under President Bill Clinton. Jerry is currently the Chairman of the Global Advisory Board of the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona and Co-Chair of the Smart Cities Alliance in Malaysia. He is an urban innovation and infrastructure adviser to the World Economic Forum and the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils. This year, Jerry was appointed by President Obama as a commissioner of the American Battle Monuments Commission. Since 2015, he has been an adviser to the United States Secretary of Defense as a member of the Defense Business Board where he is leading a study on the use of artificial intelligence in defense business processes.

Dr. Jules L. Coleman

Jules is a Founding Partner at Global Futures Group and resident expert on education. He is Senior Education Advisor to the G30 Global Education Program in concert with the G30 Social Responsibility Initiative who partners with the Catalyst Foundation to bring educational opportunities to the 1.2BN children worldwide who have no formal education opportunites beyond the 4th grade. Jules is a leader in developing disruptive education platforms dedicated to taking advantage of network and system effects. In addition, he is a senior advisor to global investment firms on opportunities in education, green infrastructure and cybersecurity.

Steve Joachim

Steve serves as Senior Advisor to GFG contributing to firm strategy and operationalizing the firm’s business model. Steve brings to GFG 30+ years of experience with building new products/companies. Most recently he was Executive Vice President for Transparency Services at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Prior to that he was Chief Operating and Strategy Officer for Plural, a young company designed to build technology products, Plural was ultimately bought by Dell Professional Services. He held senior roles in marketing, trading and technology at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets. Steve is on the Board of Stevens Institute of Technology’s Hanlon Financial Systems Lab and served as Chairman of the International Forum for Investor Education. Steve has an MS degree with distinction in public management and BS degree in math with computer option from Carnegie Mellon University and an MA degree in political science from Duquesne University.

Simon Sylvester-Chaudhuri

Simon is a Managing Partner and the Chief Innovation Officer at Global Futures Group spearheading products and programs driving urban innovation. He is a Strategic Advisor to the US Department of Commerce and the International Trade Administration on Smart Cities. Simon is an Adjunct Professor at NYU's Center for Global Affairs. He is the Founder of Urban Data NYC - NYC’s largest smart city Meetup (+1,000 members). Simon served on the founding group of the UN’s Digital Technologies for Sustainable Urbanization Network. Simon earned an MS in Global Affairs from NYU where he was the O'Mara Energy Fellow. He holds an MSc in International Business Economics from the Westminster Business School.

Lisa Giuffra Diaz

Lisa is Head of Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Global Futures Group. She focuses on commercializing the team’s expertise in urban innovation. Lisa leads our financial advisory practice identifying Smart Cities investment opportunities in next-generation global infrastructure and entrepreneurs. Prior to GFG, Lisa was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs & Co. spearheading the firm’s relationships with Sovereign Wealth funds, global hedge funds and mutual fund complexes. Her extensive global experience on Wall Street spans capital markets, research, prime brokerage across the capital structure. Lisa sits on the board of the DreamYard Project, Mary´s Kitchen, and is a member of Plum Alley.

Ana Ynestrillas

Ana leads operations and business infrastructure management at Global Futures Group and Smart Cities NYC´17. She has experience in both the public and private sectors with expertise in systems process development, redesign, and implementation. She is Co-founder of Urban Data NYC - NYC’s largest smart city Meetup. Ana completed a Bachelors Degree in Industrial Engineering at Universidad Iberoamericana and a MS in Sustainability of the Urban Environment at the City University of New York.

Brandon Tarbert

Brandon Tarbert is the Business Operations and Sales Manager for Smart Cities NYC ’17. He manages complex sales, business development, client relations, operations, and project management. Prior to GFG, Brandon worked in the clean energy space for over 10 years. He has experience in both the public and private sectors in project management, development, consulting, and sales. He has degrees from Penn State University and Columbia University focusing on clean and renewable energy technologies, communications, finance, and economics.

Strategic Partners and Advisors

Raj Pannu

Raj is Global Future´s Group Chief Marketing Officer. He is Co-Founder and CEO of Emergence Creative which translates private sector approaches to behaviour change to the public. Raj has implemented large-scale communication strategies with a range of clients including the Coca-Cola Company, Sesame Workshop, and PEPFAR. As Director of Global Health at McCann Health, he facilitated collaborations with multinational companies, and NGOs including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, and UNICEF. A former member of the UN Essential Medicines Working Group, Raj has been an invited speaker to Harvard University, Columbia University, and the Qatar Foundation. He holds an MS of Immunology and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta.

Eric Verkerke

Eric is Global Futures Group´s Communication Director. He is also Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Emergence Creative. Eric brings entrepreneurial and scientific insight to create strategies to engage a modern global audience. Eric led innovative strategy and accounts for Coca-Cola and other major clients while at McCann Global Health. He helped found and build a startup medical device company which delivered affordable technology to the developing world. Prior to venturing into social enterprise, he worked in science journalism for National Public Radio and Cal Tech, agricultural research for Oxford University, and consulted on new media, business, and research. Throughout his career, Eric has distilled complex scientific and business ideas into clear and powerful stories.

May Lee

May Lee is a lead strategic advisor on Asian affairs for Global Futures Group. She is a sought-after partner for companies and organizations navigating highly competitive, global environments. May is currently the Dean of the School of Entrepreneurship and Management at Shanghai Tech. She was previously the Vice Chancellor of NYU Shanghai, the Chief of Staff at Merrill Lynch, CEO of Fly Communications and a Vice-President at Goldman Sachs.

Guo Bai

Guo Bai Global Futures Group´s Asia regional Advisor based in China. She is a researcher at China Institute of Fudan University, and a Ph.D. candidate of strategic management at HEC Paris. Guo is co-author of the book “China’s Development: Capitalism and Empire”, on China’s reform. Her research focuses on governance of inter-organizational collaborations for complex ICT-driven projects with a Smart City focus. Guo was a senior researcher in economy and finance at the French Embassy in Beijing. She received her master degree at ESCP Europe and her bachelor’s degree at Peking University.

Gianluca Galletto

Gianluca is a Senior Advisor building bridges with international public and private entities on behalf of Global Futures Group consulting and media practice. He is the former Director of International Affairs at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), where he fostered direct foreign investment in NYC helping NYC businesses expand globally. His career spans consulting for the EU Commission, tenure advising international startups on US growth strategies and served as Director of Business Development at Muzinich & Co. He speaks English, Italian, French and Spanish, holds an MA in International Economics from Yale University and a BA/MA in Economics, Business and Law from Bocconi University.

Lucas Finco

Lucas Finco is Global Futures Group´s thought-leader on energy efficiency and clean tech. He founded StrateGain to foster a sustainable energy paradigm through data analysis and strategy. During his 10 year tenure in the utility industry, Lucas optimize businesses processes through measurement, design and forecast the performance of Demand Side Management (DSM) programs. He teaches Energy Analytics for NYU and has been a strong advocate for energy sustainability and the smart generation and consumption of energy. Lucas was also named one of Breaking Energy’s Top 10 Young New York Energy Leaders.

Matt Tomich

Matt Tomich is Global Futures Group´s lead advisor on renewable and clean energy. He is president of Energy Vision (EV), an NYC-based national environmental research organization dedicated to the advancement of sustainable energy, fuel and resource management practices. In 2015, he was named one of NYC’s Top 10 Energy Entrepreneurs by Breaking Energy. Matt earned a B.A. in Geology from Haverford College, an M.B.A. from Kansas State University and is a sort after speaker in the US and China.

Yannick Mireur

Yannick is a Senior Advisor to Global Futures Group on corporate governance and energy. He is the founder of Nexus forum, an independent platform which convenes corporate and government leaders on energy, infrastructure, climate, and security around the globe. Formerly a European gas expert at Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Yannick is an international affairs specialist, author, lecturer, and frequent media guest. A graduate of the Paris School of Political Studies (Sciences-Po) and a Fulbright scholar, Yannick earned an MA and a PhD at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston.

Harjiv Singh

Harjiv is a lead strategic advisor on communications for Global Futures Group. He is CEO and Co-Founder of Gutenberg Communications, a public relations firm with operations in New York, Silicon Valley, Boston, London, New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Harjiv works extensively across a diverse range of industries including technology, real estate and investment management. He is board member of the Loomba Foundation and the World Council of Alumni at International House. Harjiv also sits on the Advisory Board of Knowledge@Wharton.

John Schellhase

John Schellhase is an international development consultant for Global Futures Group who advises clients on financial market development, corporate social responsibility, curriculum development, and emerging markets product marketing. He has worked with the Government of Rwanda to kickstart the process of drafting a Capital Markets Master Plan as well as publishing in concert with the Milken Institute on financial sector development in East Africa. John holds a Master of Science from NYU in Global Affairs where he worked with the economist William Easterly at NYU's Development Research Institute.

Michael B. Coleman

Michael Coleman is a partner and member of Ice Miller’s Public Affairs and Government Law, Internet of Things Groups, and serves as the firm’s Director of Business and Government Strategies. Michael draws upon his experience as Mayor and Chief Executive Officer for the City of Columbus to guide clients through the challenges and opportunities of creating partnerships between business and government. Coleman brings to Ice Miller’s clients his considerable experience in successfully matching the needs of businesses with the resources of government to build, grow and protect thriving communities. Coleman also provides clients opportunities to advance Smart City concepts.

Roy Pan

Roy is a social media advisor and is currently a Master's candidate at NYU. Prior to GFG, Roy worked at China Pacific Construction Group (CPCG) , the largest private enterprise in mainland China. As Foreign Affairs Officer, he served an interpreter for western national leaders and he played a major role in CPCG’s application for Fortune Global 500.