Steven R. Hursh, Ph.D.
IBR President and Chief Scientist
Dr. Steve Hursh is President and Chief Scientist of the Institutes for Behavior Resources, where he directs research and application efforts on human performance and fatigue, behavioral economics, drug abuse, and cooperative team performance. He is also Adjunct Professor of Behavioral Biology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Hursh’s leadership of IBR builds on a distinguished career both as a behavioral researcher and research manager, including 23 years of experience as a scientist in the US Army, serving as the consultant to the Army Surgeon General for Research Psychology, Director of the Division of Neuropsychiatry at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and as a medical staff officer in the Pentagon, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research, Development, and Acquisition). Dr. Hursh is a world leader in theory and modeling in the Behavioral Economics subfield of Psychology as defined by the application of economic concepts and metrics to individual and group behavior. In addition, Dr. Hursh is also a technical leader of an effort to model the relationship between sleep deprivation and performance. His patented biomathematical model–the Sleep, Activity, Fatigue, and Task Effectiveness or SAFTE™ model–has been accepted by the US Department of Defense as the standard warfighter fatigue model, has been validated and calibrated by the Department of Transportation as a fatigue risk management tool, and is currently used by the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to assess fatigue in transportation operations. He is also the co-inventor of the FAST™ (Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool) and FAST Aviation computer programs used by government agencies and various industries to assess and manage fatigue in operational settings. Dr. Hursh earned his B.A. in Psychology from Wake Forest University and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of California, San Diego. Over his 35 years in research, Steve has authored or co-authored over 65 published articles, book chapters, and technical reports, and served as associate editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.
Reid C. Blank, MBA
Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Reid Blank is Chief Operating Officer at the Institutes for Behavior Resources, where he directs and coordinates IBR’s marketing, communications, contract management, and organizational development initiatives. He earned his M.B.A. in International Business Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, AZ. Mr. Blank has more than 18 years of business development and administrative operations experience in sleep and fatigue management. Reid was founder of The Big Sleep Show®, the first-ever consumer health event for sleep and alertness, served as Vice President of Alertness Solutions, a private fatigue management consulting firm, and Associate Executive Director of the nonprofit National Sleep Foundation.
Vickie L. Walters, LCSW-C
Executive Director, REACH Health Services
Ms. Vickie Walters is Executive Director of the REACH Health Services substance abuse treatment program at the Institutes for Behavior Resources, where she oversees daily operations, ensures quality clinical services, and manages fiscal responsibility within the program. In addition, Ms. Walters is responsible for continued development within REACH, including active advocacy and continued engagement in implementing program refinements, expansion of clinical services, and integration with research initiatives. Ms. Walters has more than 25 years of experience in the addiction treatment field, including an 8-year term as Director of the renowned Center for Addiction and Pregnancy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Bayview Medical Center prior to joining IBR.
Peter G. Roma, Ph.D.
Director, Applied Behavioral Biology Unit
Dr. Pete Roma is founding Director of the Applied Behavioral Biology Unit (ABB) at the Institutes for Behavior Resources, where he directs the scientific development and daily operations of research on small-group behavior, social neuroscience, and novel applications of Behavioral Economics while contributing to IBR’s substance abuse and operational fatigue & performance research and consulting efforts. He is also Adjunct Assistant Professor of Behavioral Biology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor in the Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research (IISBR) and Department of Psychology at Arizona State University, and holds collaborative appointments with the Laboratory of Comparative Ethology at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. After successfully leading an FAA/CAMI-funded large-scale field study of operational fatigue, performance, and mood in aviation crew and earlier NSBRI-funded laboratory work on team performance management, Dr. Roma is now currently Principal Investigator of several NASA and NSBRI-funded projects exploring how small-group composition factors affect the trajectories of team cohesion, task performance, and biopsychosocial adaptation over time and in response to operational stressors. This work also includes development of assay technology for measurement and behavioral economic modeling of cooperation, productivity, and fairness behaviors in small groups in laboratory and applied settings, with studies in isolated, confined, and extreme environments such as the European Space Agency’s Concordia Station in Antarctica, the Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) facility, and NASA’s Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) and Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) facilities. Dr. Roma earned dual B.A.s in Psychology and Communication Studies from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Behavioral Neuroscience from the Department of Psychology at American University in Washington, DC. In addition to applied behavioral science, his broad training and research interests include Behavioral Pharmacology, Comparative Psychology, and Behavioral Genetics. Over the years, Pete has authored or co-authored over 45 published articles, book chapters, and technical reports and over 95 scientific conference presentations, served as Academic Editor or invited peer-reviewer for over 20 professional scientific journals, and provided expert commentary for Discover Magazine and Scientific American.
Francine O. James, Ph.D.
Associate Scientist, Operational Fatigue & Performance Unit
Dr. Francine James is Associate Scientist specializing in operational fatigue & performance research at the Institutes for Behavior Resources, where she manages and conducts field studies on the physiology of scheduling, fatigue, and operational performance. She is a subject matter expert on the assessment of fatigue within fatigue risk management systems and consults on the development of data-driven policy while collaborating with IBR colleagues on the Institutes’ clinical and small-group behavior and physiology research. Dr. James earned her B.Sc. in Immunology, M.Sc. in Psychiatry, and Ph.D. in Neurology & Neurosurgery from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Over the years, Francine has authored or co-authored over 14 published articles, book chapters, and technical reports and over 20 scientific conference presentations, and served as an invited peer-reviewer for multiple professional scientific journals.
Lauren B. Waggoner, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist for Operational Performance and Modeling
Dr. Lauren Waggoner has six years of experience researching sleep, fatigue, and operational performance in laboratory and field environments. Her most recent research efforts include a post-doctoral fellowship at the Naval Postgraduate School exploring the effects of watch-standing schedules on sleep and performance in U.S. sailors. Dr. Waggoner’s graduate work ranges from development of metrics for measuring relative difficulty and human performance during deadly force encounters, adaptation of training based simulator devices for use in laboratory research, and bridging the gap between field and laboratory data collection among police officers as an enhanced research design method. Her current interests include biomathematical modeling of sleep and performance in operational settings, as well as developing customizable fatigue management techniques and tools for those working in 24-hour operations. Dr. Waggoner earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Washington State University with a research focus on performance effects of consecutive night shift work in police officers. She also holds a B.S. in Mathematics from St. Lawrence University.
Yngvild K. Olsen, MD, MPH
Medical Director, REACH Health Services
Dr. Yngvild Olsen currently serves as the Medical Director for the Institutes for Behavior Resources/REACH Health Services and as a consultant on integrated care initiatives in Baltimore City. Dr. Olsen is a graduate of Harvard Medical School, did her residency training in Internal Medicine at Boston University’s Boston Medical Center, and earned a Masters in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She also holds a certificate in Addiction Medicine from the American Society for Addiction Medicine. Dr. Olsen previously served as the Vice President of Clinical Affairs and Medical Director for the Baltimore Substance Abuse System, Inc. (bSAS), and has held positions as the Deputy Health Officer and Medical Director for the Harford County Health Department, and Medical Director for the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s outpatient substance abuse treatment services while a full-time faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Roshni Patel, CPA
Director of Finance
Ms. Roshni Patel has been IBR’s Director of Finance since 2006 and has more than 10 years experience in corporate accounting. Ms. Patel is responsible for all financial reporting and analysis, annual audit preparation, non-profit financial administration, and oversight of financial accounting for all IBR programs and services. Roshni is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of the University of Texas with a B.A. in Business Administration in Accounting.