Our Team

The team at Humankind is made up of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences, many with a focus on science. They bring 50+ years of combined experience to the firm with previous roles at leading asset management firms and academic institutions.


James Katz, Ph.D., CFA

Founder and CEO

James is a veteran quantitative equity analyst and data scientist with a passion for socially responsible investing. He founded Humankind Investments in order to bring a more analytical and metrics-based approach to the field. Before founding Humankind, James worked in the ETF industry as a quantitative equity analyst and data scientist for Vanguard. He holds a PhD in Business Administration from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and a BA in Psychology and PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) as well as a BAS in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania. James is a CFA charterholder.

James Katz, Ph.D., CFA

Ilana Marcus, J.D.

General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer

Ilana is an accomplished legal and compliance professional with over 30 years of experience as lead attorney and compliance officer for fund companies, investment advisers, broker-dealers, banks and insurance companies that offer funds and investment advisory services. She was also an attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Division of Enforcement. Ilana holds a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School and a Bachelor of Commerce with Honors from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Ilana Marcus, J.D.

Yi Han, CFA

Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Portfolio Manager

Yi is an experienced portfolio manager and quantitative research analyst. Before joining Humankind Investments, Yi spearheaded research and supported product development at Redwood Investment Management. She has also previously served as Head of Research at TrimTabs Investment Research and as a Quantitative Research Analyst at Avatar Investment Management. Yi holds a Master’s Degree in Financial Engineering from New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering. Yi is a CFA charterholder.

Yi Han, CFA

Yan Zelener, Ph.D.

Director of Research and Portfolio Manager

Yan brings over a decade of research driven investment experience to the Humankind Investments team. Most recently, Yan served as Director of Research at CV Advisors, and he has previously held roles in both research and portfolio management at Majestic Research, Teleos Management and Willowbridge Associates. He holds a PhD in History from Columbia University and a BS in Computer Science from MIT.

Yan Zelener, Ph.D.

Daniel Margul, Ph.D.

Senior Quantitative Analyst

Dan joins the Humankind team from BlackRock, where he served as a quantitative developer and supported their credit models and retirement analytics. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from The City College of New York, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from New York University, where he developed molecular simulation algorithms and studied their application to cancer immunotherapies.

Daniel Margul, Ph.D.

Ernesto Garcia, Ph.D.

Senior Research Analyst

Ernesto brings many years of research experience at top academic institutions to his role as an analyst at Humankind Investments. Ernesto’s area of study has focused on the liquidity commonalities in ETFs in order to determine the level of diversity they provide investors and to estimate the liquidity commonalities they drive in their underlying equities. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from City University of New York.

Ernesto Garcia

Colleen Treado, Ph.D.

Senior Data Scientist

Colleen comes to Humankind from the ATLAS collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, where she searched for rare and exotic new physics hiding among trillions of particle collisions. She holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Particle Physics from New York University and a B.S. in Physics and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Colleen Treado, Ph.D.

Francisco Pena, Ph.D.

Data Scientist

Francisco loves to tell a story with data. He previously researched the neural mechanisms of eating behavior driven by food-associated stimuli. He holds a Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior from Columbia University and a B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Francisco portrait

Kristina Bjorksten

Senior Operations Analyst

Kristina is an operations professional whose ambition is to make companies more sustainable and enhance the quality of life for humankind. She gained her industry experience at a broker-dealer and brings fresh ideas and an international lens to her role. She studied economics, earning her Master’s in European Economic Studies from the College of Europe and her Bachelor’s in Economics from UC San Diego.

Kristina Bjorksten

Jesse Opoku

Operations Analyst

Jesse Opoku joins the Humankind team from an expert network, where he first developed an interest in Business Operations. Jesse holds a B.A. in Global Affairs from Yale University. Jesse is an avid birdwatcher, with vultures being his favorite species.

JO Bio Photo

Nathan Wheeler

Principal Software Engineer

Nathan is a software engineer with a focus on performance and user experience. He enjoys working with others to build systems that help solve problems for people. He has nearly a decade of experience leading developers and building applications which serve large numbers of users. Nathan holds an M.S. in Computer Science and an MBA from the University of North Florida.

Nathan Profile Card

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