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.

Erik Brine

Center Director

Erik is a results-driven leader with twenty years of military operational leadership, policy development, process improvement, federal budget oversight, project management, and foreign affairs analysis. His diverse background in national security is uniquely combined with a technical education and success creating partnerships between academia, industry and the government.

After leaving active U.S. Air Force duty in 2009, he served in a variety of reserve roles, including in the Pentagon and in the National Security Division of the Office of Management and Budget. He is currently a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve.

Erik received his Bachelor of Art in Physics from Boston University and a Master of Art in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport.

Linda Larsen

Operations 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

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