Science Sandbox: Staff

Jill Blackford

Senior Program Associate

Jill Blackford joined the Simons Foundation in January 2017 as senior program associate in the Education & Outreach program. Prior to joining the foundation, Blackford was grants program manager at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. She has previously worked on educational projects in Africa with the ELMA Philanthropies and managed research grants at the Aspen Institute. She served as publications manager for the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz at Columbia University, assisting with research and editing his books, articles and speeches. Blackford has held positions at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C., and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. She has a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Boston University.

Greg Boustead

Program Director

Greg Boustead joined the Simons Foundation in 2012 as community manager for Spectrum. In 2015, he moved to the foundation’s Education & Outreach division, where he helped launch Science Sandbox, a new initiative dedicated to inspiring a deeper interest in science, especially among those who don’t think of themselves as science enthusiasts. Before joining the foundation, he was editorial producer for the World Science Festival, researching and producing their public science programs. Previously, Boustead was senior editor of the science and culture magazine Seed, and he has contributed as a freelancer to Vice, Motherboard and Scientific American. He has a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in English from the University of Florida.

Sam Riviello

Executive Assistant

Sam Riviello joined the Science Sandbox team in 2016 as an executive assistant, providing organizational support to the director and program team. Before joining the foundation, Riviello worked at EngenderHealth as executive office coordinator, offering strategic support and guidance to the president and the chief operating officer of the organization. She also brings administrative and operations experience from Happy Hearts Fund and OrigamiUSA. Riviello holds a bachelor’s degree in Film Marketing from Brooklyn College.

John Tracey

Program Associate

John Tracey joined the Simons Foundation in 2014 to study how to improve public engagement with science. In addition to providing program development support, he helps manage external communications. Prior to joining the foundation, Tracey was a program assistant at the American Association for Cancer Research, where he worked on the Stand Up to Cancer initiative, managing grantee statistics and statistics reporting, editing and producing website content, and completing related projects. He holds a B.A. in English literature from the College of New Jersey.