2023 World Quantum Day Invited Speaker Biographies

  • Christopher Savoie, Zapata Computing, USA

Christopher Savoie (URI Class of ’92) is the CEO of Zapata Computing, a Harvard spinout quantum computing software and algorithm company funded by The Engine, the venture firm founded by MIT to invest in tough tech. Dr. Savoie is a published scholar in medicine, biochemistry and computer science and his research and business interests over the years have focused on the intersection of machine learning, biology, and chemistry. Dr. Savoie serves on the Steering Committee for the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) and is the original inventor of AAOSA, the A.I.-based natural language interface technology that was used to develop Apple’s Siri.

Dr. Savoie has led big data analytics efforts at Nissan and has previously founded and served as CEO of technology companies that have been acquired or exited via IPO. Dr. Savoie is also a licensed attorney and is current chair of the QED-C Quantum Law Technical Advisory Committee. Savoie is a published legal expert on liability issues surrounding Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Information Security and Data Privacy and has lectured and taught continuing legal education courses on these subjects.

  • Christopher Lirakis, IBM, USA

A native Rhode Islander, Dr. Lirakis received his PhD in High Energy physics in 1989 from Northeastern University. During his thesis work and as a post-doc he worked on the development and deployment of large scale particle detectors. After leaving the high energy physics field, Dr. Lirakis became interested in the newer field of quantum information. His initial work started on the metropolitan scale quantum key distribution with BBN Technologies. He moved on the help BBN enter the quantum computation development. While there he formed a partnership with IBM.  He later made the transition from BBN to IBM and has helped the IBM team grow.

Dr. Lirakis is currently a research staff member in the IBM Quantum team. His current responsibility is to lead worldwide deployments of quantum processors. He is also responsible for helping to guide a global hardware ecosystem focused on economic development around quantum hardware. He has been a part of the IBM team since 2012.

  • Charles Robinson, IBM, USA

Charles has over 30 years’ experience in engineering, and management in the Public Sector.  Charles started his career in the United States Navy and has been a “Mission First” transformational leader with demonstrated record in planning and leading corporations that drive growth, contribute profitability, and increase share within the Public Sector. In his current role as IBM Quantum Computing Public Sector leader, he is responsible for preparing the Defense Community for the Quantum Computer Age. Charles also drove the formation of the IBM HBCU Quantum Computer Program.  Charles previously managed the Defense & Intelligence business for IBM. Charles graduated from Howard University and Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor & Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Charles volunteer experience include the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) Workforce TAC Vice Chair, Maryland Quantum Alliance (MQA) D&EI Co-Chair, and the MQA Crypto working group Co-Chair.