Our Team

AppTek's management team consists of experienced executives and renowned scientists and technologists. Adam Sutherland is AppTek's Chief Executive Officer. Mudar Yaghi and Mohammad Shihadah are the Co-Founders and Chairmen. Steve Cook is the Chief Technology Officer. Dr. Jintao Jiang is the Chief Scientist of Human Language Technology.

Mohammad Shihadah Co-Founder, Chairman

Mr. Shihadah has three decades of experience in the field of software design and development, project / program management, and technical consulting.  His applications include financial and banking software, insurance programs, machine translation, and MT test corpus development.  Mr. Shihadah has extensive experience in human language technologies and business development. He has a Master of Science degree in Computer and Information Science from the University of Oregon.

Mudar Yaghi Co-Founder, Chairman

Mr. Yaghi has over 25 years of experience in project management, software design, development and implementation. He has led information technology programs to meet mission-critical objectives. Mr. Yaghi has broad experience with technology and management. Mr. Yaghi has decades of natural language processing (NLP) and human language technology (HLT) experience. He has a Master of Science degree in Information Systems from the George Washington University and a Bachelor degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Steve Cook CTO

Mr. Cook has more than 20 years experience with all aspects of software development and production (design, architecture, implementation, project management).  He specializes in the development and deployment of human language technology products and systems.  Mr. Cook has deployed large-scale machine translation and media monitoring systems for U.S. government and commercial organizations. Mr. Cook has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the American College of Computer and Information Sciences.

Jintao Jiang Chief Scientist of Human Language Technology

Dr. Jiang has over 18 years of experience in speech and audio processing, statistics, and machine learning. Previously he was a Technical Fellow at SAIC, recognized for his exceptional scientific contributions. Dr. Jiang received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from UCLA in 2003.

Katherine Nguyen Manager, Finance and Administration

Ms. Nguyen is the Manager of Finance and Administration at AppTek. She previously worked at SAIC as a Manager of Linguistic Resources before rejoining AppTek. Ms. Nguyen has a B.S. in Finance from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).

Yen Tien Sr. Systems Engineer

Mr. Tien has twenty years of software development experience, including designing, implementing, testing, and deploying applications on various platforms. He previously worked for SAIC as a Senior Programmer before rejoining AppTek. Mr. Tien received his B.S. at the University of Central Florida.

Andy Guidos Senior Engineer

Mr. Guidos, a Senior Software Engineer, has 18+ years of extensive programming experience allows him to design and implement high performance, scalable and maintainable server applications. Mr. Guidos studied Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Ohio State University and Youngstown State University.

Jörg Zaplo Senior Engineer, Speech and Language

Mr. Zaplo has 17 years of experience in speech recognition, pattern matching and machine learning. He received his Diplom in computer science from RWTH Aachen in 1998.

Hendrik Pesch Engineer, Speech and Language

Mr. Pesch has over four years of experience in working with language-related technologies. He has a strong background in machine learning and its applications to speech recognition and computer vision. Mr. Pesch received his M.Sc. in Computer Science from RWTH Aachen University.

Jim Carey Program Manager

Mr. James (Jim) Carey has managed and consulted on Information Technology in nearly all major disciplines in the government and private sector for over 30 years. These experiences include Human Language Technology, Systems Analysis and Design, Software Development, Software Test Management, Configuration Management, End User Training, Global Systems Fielding, Operations Management, Customer Support, and Consulting Services Management. Mr. Carey has an undergraduate degree in Business Accounting and a Masters Degree in Computer Science.

Tamim Swaid Product Manager/Designer

For more than 10 years Mr. Swaid’s passion is to create valuable and hassle free products for the user. As a founder of an award-winning startup and later as an UX designer and product manager in an interactive agency, he has worked in a wide variety of work settings from leading teams with very fast communication and quick iteration cycles to being active in larger teams of designers and developers. Tamim Swaid has a diploma in visual communication / human computer interaction from the University of Applied Sciences in Aachen, Germany.

Dennis Mangini Sr. Software Engineer

Mr. Mangini, a Senior Software Engineer, is a talented C++ developer, specializing in developing Apple products, specifically iOS mobile applications, in addition to Android and other mobile devices.

Mamoun Akash Web Developer, Backend Systems Engineer

Mr. Akash has over 10 years of experience in web development and the development of backend systems and web services. Prior to joining AppTek, he was a Senior Backend Systems Engineer at Maktoob and Yahoo!. Mr. Al-Akash received his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Yarmouk University in 2004.

Hussam Sawaf Manager of Apptek GmbH

Mr. Sawaf is an electrical engineer with experience in embedded technologies, mobile devices, firmware and software. He has 10 years of experience in building speech recognition, machine translation and natural language processing interfaces for AIXplain which was acquired by AppTek. Manages AppTek’s German Gmbh.

Adam Sutherland CEO

Mr. Sutherland is a strategic business development executive with more than 20 years of international media and marketing experience. Having lived in Asia for 11 years, Adam has worked around the world with blue chip companies such as Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Travel Channel, Ogilvy & Mather, IBM, Nokia, McKinsey & Co., American Express and others. As an advisor, Mr. Sutherland supports the executive team with strategic partnerships and growth initiatives. Adam has an MBA from University of Chicago and a BA in Japanese Literature from University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hermann Ney

Professor Ney is a professor of computer science at RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany. His interests lie in the area of statistical methods for pattern recognition and human language technology and their specific applications to speech recognition, machine translation and image object recognition. In particular, he has worked on dynamic programming and discriminative training for speech recognition, on language modelling and on phrase-based approaches to machine translation. His work has resulted in more than 700 conference and journal papers. Based on Google Scholar, he has more than 31500 citations and an h index of 80.He is a fellow of both the IEEE and of the International Speech Communication Association. In 2005, he was the recipient of the Technical Achievement Award of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. In 2010, he was awarded a senior DIGITEO chair at LIMIS/CNRS in Paris, France. In 2013, he received the award of honor of the International Association for Machine Translation.

Stephan Vogel

Ph.D. Dr. Vogel is a research scientist in the Language Technologies Institute, School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and is affiliated with the InterACT Lab. His research interests focus on machine translation, i.e. developing techniques to automatically translate between different languages.  This includes all aspects of alignment models, word reordering models, language models, decoding algorithms, and system combination.  Applications include both text-to-text and speech-to-speech translation, and goes from MT on hand-held devices to very large scale data situations, where parallel processing under the Hadoop framework is used.

Graham Horwood Senior Scientist