Our Team

Dr. Parminder K. Jassal

Founder | Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Parminder Jassal is the CEO of Social Tech Inc. headquartered out of Austin, TX, a public benefit corporation serving working learners.  Parminder founded SocialTech.ai in 2018 and also serves as the Founding Director of the Learn and Work Futures Lab at the Institute for the Future, and as a Fellow with the Forum on the Future of Education and Employment.  Parminder applies foresight to promote positive culture shifts and improve inequities. Her early perspectives are shaped by experiences at Fortune 50 companies such as at Ford Motor Company, Atlantic Richfield Oil Company, and Lucent Technologies along with co-founding start-ups like Technology Solutions and Consulting, Bombay House Restaurant, and East Indian Trading Cafe.

Prior to the Institute of the Future, Parminder was named Founding Executive Director of ACT Foundation in 2012. She oversaw the organization’s unique role as an operating foundation, strategic investor, and incubation partner in support of the New Learning Economy and Rise of Working Learners (published). Dr. Jassal previously served as a program officer supporting postsecondary success for low-income young adults at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and in Economic Development leading workforce innovation at Greater Louisville Inc.

From being born in London to completing high school in India to graduating as a product of public higher education in the United States, Parminder’s life reflects the world economy.  Parminder fluently speaks three languages and has worked and serves on boards across the globe.  Her post-secondary experiences began with an A.S. from Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa.  While transitioning from the for-profit to the philanthropic sector, Parminder earned her Doctorate in Higher Education with a focus on Technology and Economics from the University of Louisville.

Merrilea Mayo, Ph.D.

Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Mayo’s work focuses on technologies, tools, and concepts that enable the 2/3 of Americans without a 4 year degree to access skilled jobs.  At a tactical level, much of this work involves the assessment and transmission of skills data, and/or the design of software systems that enable skills-based transactions to occur.  At a strategic level, Mayo isolates the financial, education and employment trends that influence new education and work paradigms. 


Just prior to her arrival at Social Tech, Dr. Mayo operated a consulting firm specializing in skills assessment reviews and hiring funnel design.  Earlier in her career, Dr. Mayo served as Director of the Future of Learning Initiatives at the Kauffman Foundation and, prior to that, Director of the National Academies’ Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable.  Dr. Mayo has launched two non-profits, ASTRA and the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership, both of which continue to operate to this day.  Dr. Mayo is a materials scientist and engineer by training, having received her doctorate in that field from Stanford University in 1988, publishing approximately 80 technical articles, and serving as the President of the 15,000 member Materials Research Society in 2003.

Mary Dixon

Working Learner In Residence | Special Projects

Mary has over thirty years of experience in the construction industry. Her experiences are concentrated in the office and warehousing sectors for pipeline contractors in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Former positions include:
 Procurement Manager, Administrative Manager, Material Coordinator, Document Control Coordinator, Warehouse Coordinator, Warehouse Technician, Administrative Assistant and Project Secretary. Mary is a proud graduate of North Central Technical College with an Associate Degree in Data Processing & Accounting.

Julian L. Alssid

Affiliate | Chief Marketplace Engagement Officer

Julian is a nationally recognized strategist who has been at the leading edge of education and workforce development for over 30 years. 


Julian currently leads J. Alssid Associates, a consulting group that helps c-level executives develop a powerful workforce through education. Prior to launching the company, Julian served as Vice President of Workforce Partnerships at the Community College of Rhode Island where he transformed CCRI’s low-performing workforce operation into a key driver of workforce and economic development, serving over 25,000 students annually.


Julian has authored major studies on workforce strategy. His views on engaging employers and creating effective workforce development systems have received extensive attention in national and local media, and he speaks and writes regularly on the need for policy and educational reform in the field.

Asad Raza

Affiliate | Chief Technology Officer

Asad Raza is an award-winning entrepreneur who is currently serving as CTO of Codesmen, a consulting company that helps nonprofits and foundations in digital transformation, product strategy and execution.


His work has been featured in Forbes, Inc Magazine, Voice of America and BBC. He has over 7 years of technical & leadership experience in Product Management, Full Stack Development, Interface Design, Machine Learning/Data Analytics for B2B and B2C products.


Asad's mission is to build products that inspire and assist. From prototyping to launching to scaling, he has experience in every part of the product development lifecycle as an engineer, strategist and stakeholder.

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Austin, Texas