John Frank

1998 Hertz Fellow
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John Frank is the Chief Executive Officer at Darwin Galactic and a team member at Free World Certified.

Prior to his current role, Frank was a principal at Computable Insights and VP of Collaborative AI at Salesforce.

John founded MetaCarta, which pioneered map-based search with statistical natural language processing that helps people find everything written about any place. Nokia acquired MetaCarta in 2010. John also helped to co-found a new start-up, Diffeo, which was acquired by Salesforce in 2019. John’s work and leadership at Diffeo led to the The Newman Entrepreneurial Initiative award, that he shared with its co-founders and Hertz Fellows Max Kleiman-Weiner and Dan Roberts.

John received his Hertz Fellowship and decided to pursue a PhD at MIT studying “ordering on curved interfaces” with Professor Mehran Kardar. His research focused on understanding how curvature influences reactions and patterns on membranes He holds a bachelor’s in physics with distinction from Yale University, where he led Yale’s first solar car team to the top rookie seat of Sunyrace 97.

"The Hertz Fellowship changed my life. It allowed me to follow my instincts and explore whole fields and also nooks and crannies with a freedom that might have taken most of a career to construct from less efficient funding strategies."
– John Frank

Graduate Studies

PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Undergraduate Studies

Yale University


2014, Peter Strauss Award, Fannie & John Hertz Foundation
2013, The Newman Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund, Fannie & John Hertz Foundation

Related News

Oct 24, 2023
The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation is proud to recognize the most recent graduates of the Hertz Fellowship in applied science, mathematics, and engineering.
May 12, 2022
Hertz Fellows John Frank, Dan Roberts and Max Kleiman-Weiner cofounded Diffeo, an AI start up company later acquired by Salesforce, after meeting at the Hertz Summer Workshop.