NISS Virtual 4th Industry Career Fair!

Wednesday, June 3, 12-1:00 pm (ET)

[Please Note: This event has already occurred.  Go to the News Story to read about what happened and to access a recording and speaker slides.]

Interested in an industry job?

In the March issue of the IMS Bulletin in 2014, Terry Speed advised his readers to Give Industry a Chance. Terry articulated the benefits of working in industry and suggested activities that could help graduate students explore career opportunities outside of academia.

This virtual career fair event is the eighth in a series of Virtual Career Fairs that NISS is hosting for NISS Affiliates.  This session features opportunities for statisticians/data scientists from three companies.  Senior statisticians from PPD, Cigna and TARGET PharmaSolutions will be on hand to provide attendees with an inside look at the research that statisticians in these organizations get involved in and career opportunities for you to consider!

Each presenter will have 15 minutes to address the following general topics:

  1. What are the job opportunities for statisticians/data scientists/analysts in your organization?
  2. Describe the range of skills statisticians/data scientists/analysts need to succeed in your organization?
  3. What is the career path for statisticians/data scientists/analysts in your organization?
  4. Is your organization currently hiring statisticians/data scientists/analysts?
  5. What advice would you give to students based on your experience?

Previous Virtual Career Fairs

The following Career Fairs have already taken place.  Follow the link to review the advice from senior statisticians from a wide array of sectors!

May 22, 2020 "3rd NISS Government Career Fair" 12-1 ET

April 23, 2020 "Academic Career Paths Explored During NISS Career Fair

March 11, 2020 "Career Paths Highlighted in Three Health Related Government Agencies"

February 19, 2020 "Advice and Insights Offered During Third NISS Industry Career Fair"

January 8, 2020  "NISS Government Career Fair Outlines Opportunities for Statisticians!"

December 6, 2019  "Opportunities in Banking & Marketing Sectors Highlighted in Virtual Career Fair"

September 26, 2019  "NISS Virtual Career Fair for NISS Affiliates"

Please Note: Attendance at all career fairs is restricted to NISS affiliates only. You can check to see if your institution is a NISS Affiliate on the List of Affiliates NISS web page.

Intended Audience

Students/Faculty (at all levels) from NISS Affiliate Institutions who may be interested in career opportunities in industry either now or in the future. The career fair may also be of interest to those who are considering a career change to work in the industry sector.

Registration Process

To register for the virtual career fair, your organization needs to be a NISS affiliate. Please check the list of NISS affiliates to see if your organization is a NISS affiliate. If you qualify to register, please use your .edu, .gov or .com email address when registering.

While the live event is limited to NISS affiliates, NISS will subsequently make video recordings from the fair available to the public at its website ( under Events -> Meet-up Recordings at a later date.

The Career Fair will be conducted using Zoom.   REGISTER TODAY!  


The program for this virtual career fair will be organized as follows:

12:00-12:05         Opening remarks

Kevin Lee, Western Michigan University 

12:05-12:20         Rakhi Kilaru from PPD

12:20-12:35         Jonathan Lisic from Cigna

12:35-12:50         Richard Zink from TARGET PharmaSolutions

12:50-13:00         Q&A

Moderated by Kevin Lee

About the Presenters

Rakhi Kilaru, MS, MBA is a Director of Statistical Science at PPD. In this role, she provides input into study design, analyses and leads enterprise level business critical initiatives. Her research interests and contributions also include centralized statistical monitoring tools and scientific surveillance methods. She was office based in Wilmington and led a group of statisticians for several years before transitioning into her current role. Rakhi plays an active role in the ASA Biopharmaceutical section as an ad-hoc member of the Executive Committee and member of the newly endorsed Leadership in Practice Committee (LiPCom). As member of the steering committee, she has helped organize sessions for the Regulatory-Industry Statistics Workshop and the Duke Industry Statistics Symposium on multiple occasions and given talks on a variety of topics. She has over 18 years of experience in the industry as a senior statistical reviewer and lead statistician on several phase II-III trials in cardiovascular outcomes, neuroscience and inflammatory disorders. She was at Duke Clinical Research Institute for eleven years prior to joining PPD. Rakhi received her MS in Biostatistics and an MBA in Finance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel hill. She also holds a Masters in Microbiology from University of Delhi. She has co-authored and analyzed data to support several manuscripts published in peer reviewed journals. 

Jonathan J. Lisic, Ph.D. is a senior Data Scientist at Cigna, working in the Center of Excellence for Data Science. In this capacity, Jonathan develops machine learning models answering questions such as, how many people with diabetes are likely to have an emergency room visit in the next six months.  Jonathan has worked in the private sector for three years; previously he was a senior statistician with the federal government for 12 years, holding positions at the National Agricultural Statistic Service and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Jonathan’s education includes a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from Western Washington University, Master’s in Statistics from the University of Akron, and a PhD in Computational Science and Informatics:  Computational Statistics from George Mason University.  Like many people today, he works from home out of Blacksburg, VA.

Richard C. Zink, Ph.D. is Senior Director of Data Management and Statistics at TARGET PharmaSolutions. He is the 2019 Chair of the Biopharmaceutical Section of the American Statistical Association, host of the Biopharmaceutical Section Statistics Podcast, and Associate Editor for the DIA journal Therapeutic Innovation & Regulatory Science. Richard is author, editor, and contributor to 8 books on statistical topics in clinical trials and clinical research. He holds a Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biostatistics.

Kevin Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics at Western Michigan University. He received his Ph.D. degree in Statistics from the Department of Statistics at The Pennsylvania State University in 2017. His main research interests include statistical analysis of network data; high-dimensional statistical inference; statistical machine learning and data mining; and graphical models. He is also highly interested in collaboration with other disciplines and has been working on transportation related projects and physical therapy related projects.

Event Type


National Institute of Statistical Sciences


National Institute of Statistical Sciences


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Virtual Meet-up
Moderator: Kevin Lee (Western Michigan University) Speakers: (left to right) Rakhi Kiralu (PPD), Jonathan Lisic (Cigna) and Richard Zink (TARGET PharmaSolutions).
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