Science Sandbox: Staff

Greg Boustead

Program Manager, Education & Outreach

Greg Boustead joined the Simons Foundation in 2012 as community manager for Spectrum. In 2015, he moved to Education & Outreach to develop new programs that enhance the public’s engagement with science and math. Before joining the foundation, he worked as 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 has contributed as a freelancer to VICEMotherboard and Scientific American. He has a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in English from the University of Florida.

Boyana Konforti, Ph.D.

Director, Education & Outreach

Boyana Konforti joined the Simons Foundation as its first director of Education & Outreach in 2014. Konforti leads and develops Education & Outreach initiatives, which aim to support and enrich public interest in and understanding of science.

As a scientist, writer, editor and professional speaker, Konforti has spent the past 15 years communicating science to a wide range of audiences, working and engaging with diverse scientific communities across the entire spectrum of the life sciences.

Before coming to the foundation, Konforti served as the launch editor of Cell Reports, strategically positioning and overseeing the new publication’s rapid growth, as well as writing and speaking extensively for the publication, contributing editorials and posting frequently to its Cell Reporter blog. Before her work at Cell Reports, Konforti served for seven years as chief editor at Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, where she oversaw and positioned the relaunch of the publication from its previous incarnation as Nature Structural Biology. While at Nature and Cell, Konforti contributed broadly to the work of these publishing groups, providing editorial leadership, forming external strategic collaborations, creating new online products and fostering innovation in science publishing.

Konforti did postdoctoral work at Columbia University and Rockefeller University in RNA splicing. She received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Stanford University, where she studied the mechanism of DNA recombination. Konforti earned her B.A. at York University in Toronto. She is a co-author of The Molecules of Life: Physical and Chemical Principles, published in 2012.

Sam Riviello

Executive Assistant, Education & Outreach

Samantha Riviello joined the Education & Outreach 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, Education & Outreach

John Tracey came to the Simons Foundation in 2014 to study how to improve STEM teaching and learning, and public engagement with science. He provides support to the director of Education & Outreach and conducts research on math and science educational issues. Prior to joining the foundation, Tracey was a program assistant at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), where he worked on the Stand Up To Cancer initiative. At AACR, Tracey managed grantee statistics and statistics reporting, edited and produced website content, and completed related projects. He holds a B.A. in English literature from the College of New Jersey.