the Team

Christian Cowan

Christian Cowan

Executive Director

Christian Cowan is a senior executive with more than 20 years of experience in technical manufacturing operations and marketing in the IT networking, energy and textile industries. He brings both domestic and overseas hands-on manufacturing experience to the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation (URIRF), Polaris MEP’s parent organization. He most recently served as the Center Director of Polaris MEP. Christian earned his BSEE degree from Villanova University and his MBA from the University of Rhode Island.

Jackie Mazza

Jackie Mazza

Director of Finance

Jackie Mazza has been a finance professional in industry and non-profit organizations for more than 25 years. She has expertise in accounting, auditing, strategic planning and managerial financial reporting. Jackie earned a BS in Nutrition from the University of Vermont, a BS in Accounting from Roger Williams University, and an MS in Management from Lesley University. She is a registered Certified Public Accountant in Rhode Island.

Lee Silvestre

Lee Silvestre

Naval X Northeast Tech Bridge Coordinator

Lee Silvestre has been helping commercial and Defense companies transform corporate vision to business operations, bring concepts to solutions, and forge talented people into high performing teams for more than 30 years. Lee most recently served as the manager of the Undersea Technology Innovation Consortium (UTIC) and as a Senior Analyst for the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance (SENEDIA). Lee earned a BS in Applied Mathematics at the University of Rhode Island and an MS in Industrial Engineering/Operations Research at UMASS/Amherst.

Linda Larsen

Programs & Partnership Manager

Linda is a proven leader in creating and executing projects and programs. She’s passionate about innovation, workforce development, building strategic partnerships, and developing communities of practice. Linda earned a BS in Business Administration from Northeastern University, and a BS in Education from Rhode Island College. Linda also currently serves as the Chair of the RI Career and Technical Education Board of Trustees.

The Board

Randy Brandenburg

(Raytheon, Retired), 401 Tech Bridge Board Chair

Erik Brine

University of RI & NIUVT

Neal Fine

Arctura Wind

Sean Daly

People’s Credit Union

Eric Goetz

Goetz Composites

Susan Daly

Susan Daly

(RIMTA, retired)

Jeremy Sebastian


Stephanie Dreyer

American Bankers Association