RCS Staff

Xiang Ao

Senior Statistician/Analyst

Statistical analysis; data services; consultations; research software support.

Xiang came to RCS in 2004 after 2 years of post-doctoral work at University of Minnesota. His primary research interests are in applied econometrics. He specializes in learning and applying statistical and econometric methodologies for faculty research projects. Xiang earned a PhD in economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2002. Xiang came to the US from China in 1997. He has a BS in Engineering from Zhejiang University in China. In his spare time, he plays tennis avidly.

Chris Foster


Statistical analysis; data services; consultations; research software support.

Chris Foster joined RCS in 2014. He received his doctorate from the Research and Psychometric Methods program at UMass Amherst in 2013 and completed his undergraduate studies in Psychology at Wesleyan University in 2009.  Chris specializes in assessment, survey and scale construction and analysis. He has worked on varied assessment related projects that range from personality scales to the GRE.

Bob Freeman

Director, Research Technology Operations, Research Computing Services

High-performance/advance computing support and consultations; research software support; scientific programming; sensitive data services.

New to RCS in 2016, Bob has a long history with research and facilitating research computing. He received his A.B. from Princeton and a Ph.D. from Harvard. He first worked at Harvard Medical School (HMS) to promote effective technology use and analytical methods in research via consulting and training as an in-department resource and school-wide Research Computing Center director. This was followed by a decade of research for the chair of the Dept. of Systems Biology at HMS. Prior to joining RCS, he was lead facilitator for a two-year, NSF-funded project among six universities to promote increased and efficient advanced computing usage among research scientists, and particularly among non-traditional disciplines (biology & social sciences). With a strong background in programming, working with large data sets and high-performance computing systems, and fostering top-notch data & computing practices, he looks forward to working with faculty and their collaborators to accelerate research discoveries. Follow him at @DevBizInfoGuy.

Paul Jonak

Research Data Analyst

Paul is our primary database administrator, as well as a great resource for data collection, data analytics, support issues, and workflow guidance. His background includes over 10 years of developing medical research equipment at the Harvard Medical School and McGill University in Canada. Sometimes it may seem as though English is not his first language, but thankfully he’s well-versed in all stages of research and project work.

Liz Kernan

Research Computing Operations Coordinator

As the RCS Coordinator, Liz orients faculty, research associates, doctoral students, and guest researchers to the RCS computing environment. She also manages the administration, licensing, and support of all research computing software. Prior to joining HBS in November 2016, Liz lived in Japan and taught English through the JET Program. Liz earned her bachelor degree and master's degree in Applied Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, and was a visiting student of Philosophy and Law at Oxford University. She is now pursuing a Data Science graduate certificate at Harvard Extension School. 

Andrew Marder


Data services; consultations; research software support.

Andrew joined RCS in January 2012. He has worked at the Federal Reserve and Columbia University, and holds an M.A. in economics from Princeton University and a B.A. in mathematics and computer science from Williams College. He is primarily interested in applying econometric methods to address business and policy questions. Andrew is always excited to play squash, tennis, or soccer, and he has occasionally found himself on a basketball court.

Christine Rivera

Research Database Analyst

Christine comes from a biostat/epi background with an MS in Biostat and worked at HSPH as a statistician for a while. To expand her horizons so she could play with different kinds of data, she pursued an MBA with a finance concentration. She has been at HBS for 8.5 years as an analyst- gathering & playing with data. She was formerly at Baker Research Services, but is now expanding at this exciting role at RCS. 

Katie Yosua

Staff Assistant

Katie Yosua joined RCS in August 2015. As the RCS staff assistant, she provides administrative support and handles a variety of back office tasks, including billing and software license management. In addition, she has a master’s degree in music from Boston University and leads a double life as a Boston-area singer and organist.