Here’s who is helping engineer the future of Mastercard

July 21, 2023 | By Vicki Hyman

From a 27-year veteran whose earliest code still endures in Mastercard’s core network to an R&D leader steering the company into the quantum age, Mastercard has recognized six employees with the new distinction of Distinguished Engineers — widely-respected experts whose contributions drive the company’s innovation and growth.

Part of the Mastercard’s continuing commitment to both technology advancement and career growth, the distinction recognizes those with a track record of attracting and developing talent to strengthen the company and consistently delivering value to customers and the wider industry.

“This recognition is a testament to the people who are constantly thinking about what’s next, what’s smarter, what’s more secure,” says Mastercard’s Chief People Officer Michael Fraccaro. “These role models have built a culture of engineering excellence that makes Mastercard such a great place for technologists to work, innovate and grow.”

The first class of Distinguished Engineers includes:

Daniel Ruggeri, based in the St. Louis Tech Hub, who was recognized for his strong set of technical skills in software-oriented infrastructure, his contributions to Open Source, and as someone who has balanced innovation, automation and technology while keeping financial impact a priority.  

Jenny Zhang, based in the St. Louis Tech Hub, who was one of the original engineers of the company’s Settlement system still running today, and who has driven Mastercard’s identity and access management strategy for nearly 20 years, stewarding a  “zero trust” approach long before it became an industry standard.

Nick Sidawy, based in Arlington, Va., who designed, built and implemented the data infrastructure for Mastercard’s core transaction data for business-to-business software-as-a-service applications and whose technical expertise and mentorship across the Data & Services business is always in demand.

Soren Hansen, based in San Francisco, Calif., who has been instrumental in launching the company’s internal cloud, external cloud and foundational architecture and whose work in cloud computing, virtualization, operating systems and software development is highly regarded.

Steve Flinter, based in the Dublin Tech Hub, who established the artificial intelligence and machine learning team within Mastercard Foundry’s R&D group and who has shaped Mastercard’s approach to and partnerships within quantum computing and leads Foundry’s work on quantum security.

Tim Watkins, based in Poland, who is an evangelist for automation, a patented inventor and the winner of a Mastercard President’s Award for Innovation and who helped create the company's new generation of asset management inventory with machine learning-based application modeling.

Vicki Hyman, director, communications, Mastercard