Diverse. Dedicated. Differentiated.

We are a global team of innovators with experience in dermatology, cosmetic chemistry, herbal science, pharmacology, process automation, and optical spectroscopy.

Our mission is to set the next generation of standards in the organic beauty space. To that end, we are committed to the complete visibility of our ingredients, methodologies, and testing results.

Codex Beauty Team

Founder and Chief Executive Officer


Founder and CEO Barbara Paldus is a scientist, entrepreneur and passionate investor in natural beauty. Prior to launching Codex Beauty, Paldus spent two decades leading innovation in the fields of spectroscopy, telecommunications, and biotechnology. By the age of 34, she had co-founded two Silicon Valley companies that, among many breakthroughs, helped paved the way for carbon cycle measurements, food integrity testing, accessible vaccines, personalized medicine and cell therapy. Paldus has been awarded more than 30 U.S. patents and numerous honors for achievements in science, and holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University.
Chief Financial Officer


Sara Kaur directs all aspects of the financial business, implementing strategies with a disciplined and risk-managed approach to growth and scale. Kaur has spent more than two decades leading global finance operations within the technology and semiconductor industries at companies including Finesse Solutions, Google and Honeywell. Previously, she worked at the venture capital firm Hercules Technology, handling compliancy with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to establish responsible auditing and financial regulations. Kaur holds a Master in Finance from Birmingham City University.
Chief Communications Officer


Dianna Vavra heads up strategic communications, press relations and digital media in the U.S. With more than two decades of publicity experience for prestige beauty companies including Estée Lauder and Christian Dior, Vavra is an industry veteran known for her forward-thinking ideas. During her 19-year tenure at Dior, Vavra was responsible for creating the industry’s first influencer program and orchestrating a number of successful collaborations and celebrity relations. A native New Yorker, Vavra holds a Bachelor of Arts in marketing communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Chief International Business Officer


Jacqueline Kissenpfennig is responsible for all international (non-U.S.) sales, marketing, advertising, public relations, new business development and customer service. Prior to Codex Beauty, Kissenpfennig held leadership roles at La Prairie and Agence De Parfumerie among other beauty companies. An avid traveler, Kissenpfennig speaks four languages and is an investor in a Myanmar-based recycling plant, which helps find sustainable solutions for the local garment trade. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in German and psychology from the University of Rhode Island.
Chief Operating Officer

Sunna Bjorg

Sunna Bjorg Helgadottir oversees all global operations and has more than a decade of operations and manufacturing experience. Previously, Helgadottir was the Vice President of Technical Operations at Alvotech, a fully integrated bio-pharmaceutical company in Iceland focused on developing antibodies aimed at treating cancer, autoimmune, inflammatory and other diseases. A former professional swimmer, Helgadottir received her Masters of Science in engineering management and optimization from the University of Iceland.
eCommerce and Digital Marketing


Ina Subramanian leads the vision and branding strategy for e-commerce, social media and digital marketing at Codex Beauty. An industry expert in emerging wellness and beauty brands, Subramanian previously served as the director of digital and social media marketing for Olie Biologique and the chief communications officer for Soleil Toujours. Prior to that, she held project management positions at Thomson Reuters and General Electric. Passionate about green practices, Subramanian launched a sustainable, private-label fashion brand in 2007 and ran her own boutique brand strategy agency for the last several years. She holds a degree in business administration from Pennsylvania State University.
Managing Director of Codex Beauty Ireland and Master Formulator of Bia


A trained herbalist, Tracey Ryan founded the natural skincare range Bia and guides all stages of formulation, development and production for the plant-based products. Inspired by her passion for nature, Ryan studied organic horticulture and sustainable development at An t-lonad Glas, The Organic College, in Dromcollogher and also holds an advanced degree in herbal science from the Cork Institute of Technology. Ryan has long been committed to supporting the Irish community of farmers and growers, using locally harvested ingredients and botanical-based extraction techniques in her work.
Chief Medical Officer

Rao, M.D.

Tara Rao, M.D. directs all clinical testing of Codex Beauty products, working to analyze scientific data to determine accurate product claims and incorporate breakthrough ingredients and technology into new skincare discoveries. Dr. Rao is a board-certified dermatologist based in New York. Previously, she spent a year conducting research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one of the world’s foremost medical research centers, where she studied rare inherited skin disorders, including those with a propensity for UV-induced skin cancer. Dr. Rao holds a Bachelor of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Doctor of Medicine from New York University School of Medicine.
Director of Editorial Content


Kari Molvar oversees all copy for Codex Beauty, bringing the brand’s scientific, sustainable approach to life through its website and product storytelling. A longtime beauty editor and writer, Molvar has been on staff at Self and Allure, and her work has appeared in T: The New York Times Style Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue and more. Molvar received her Bachelor of Arts in art history and architecture from Brown University.

Business Advisors

Kerry Whorton Cooper

Kerry Whorton Cooper is president and COO of Rothy’s, a San Francisco-based sustainable shoe company. An expert in digital sales, marketing strategies and direct-to-consumer sales, Cooper previously served as CEO of Choose Energy and held leadership roles at ModCloth.com, Walmart.com and the Dockers brand at Levi’s. Cooper is currently an entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School. She holds a BSME from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Harvard University.

Jenny Skinner Robinson

Jenny Skinner Robinson is a digital marketing and e-commerce executive and advisor with over 15 years of experience launching and growing consumer brands online. She currently heads JSR digital and serves as an advisor and consultant to leading beauty and digitally native brands. Previously, Robinson helped lead e-commerce and digital marketing at Tatcha and Perricone MD. Robinson holds a BA from Princeton University and a JD/MBA from Stanford Law School and Graduate School of Business.

Konstantina Katcheves

Konstantina Katcheves is vice president and deputy general counsel at Agilent Technologies, Inc, where she leads the global intellectual property and licensing team. Katcheves also serves as executive general counsel for the company’s Agilent Crosslabs Group, focused on laboratory management. Previously, Konstantina was vice president of intellectual property and technology alliances at the Lonza Group, and, at various points in her career, has led strategy, M&A and joint ventures as a key member of corporate development teams. Konstantina received a BS from the University of California at San Diego, MS from John Hopkins University and JD from the University of Oklahoma.

Carin Castelnuovo-Tedesco

Carin Castelnuovo-Tedesco is the principal and creative director of TED Design Studio in Los Angeles, and an expert at branding, packaging design and identity. Active in the L.A. art world, Castelnuovo-Tedesco has curated numerous art exhibits and been published in a variety of art books. Prior to founding TED Design Studio, Castelnuovo-Tedesco was vice president of creative services for California Suncare, an international skin care company with 11 private label brands, and vice president of art and design for Alterna professional hair care. She holds several design patents and earned a BA with an emphasis in graphic design from School of Art + Design San Diego State University in California.

Sharon Goldstein

Sharon Goldstein is a principal at Amplify+, a San Francisco-based advisory firm, and an expert in revenue optimization, product fulfillment, and ecommerce best practices. Previously, Goldstein was the director of delivery experience at Amazon, responsible for customer-facing shipping products and global pricing. Prior to that, she spent five years in executive roles at ShipHawk (CRO) and Pixlee (CMO). As director of corporate development at Shutterfly, Goldstein led due diligence for the $333 million TinyPrints acquisition. Goldstein has almost 20 years of technology and operations experience. She holds a BS from Georgia Tech, an MBA from Kellogg School of Management and an MS in engineering management from Northwestern University.

Steven Trzaska

Steven Trzaska, is the former head of patents and business development for the U.S. subsidiary of L’Oréal, the world’s largest beauty company. During his time at the company, Trzaska built the first fully functional U.S. patent department, handling all U.S.-originating patent filing, litigation and acquisition-related due diligence. Trzaska also played a leading role in establishing the group’s first U.S. Open Innovation (later Business Development) organization by successfully negotiating numerous joint development and licensing agreements with many leading universities, including Stanford, McGill University, and UCSD. Trzaska holds a BA from Temple University and JD from Widener University School of Law.

Scientific Advisors

Anna-Maria Keaveney

Anna-Maria Keaveney is a medical herbalist practicing at Dunboyne Herbs Clinic in Ireland and a lecturer in the department of biological sciences at Cork Institute of Technology. Since 2000, Keaveney has been a key member of the Irish Institute of Medical Herbalists (IIMH), serving at various times as chair and president, among other roles. She is also on the herbal medicines subcommittee of the Health Products Regulatory Authority in Ireland. Keaveney received her BSc. in Natural Sciences from Trinity College in Dublin, BSc. in herbal medicine from Middlesex University in London and MSc. in Primary Health Care from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Rosari Kingston

Rosari Kingston is a medical herbalist based in West Cork, Ireland. In addition to running her own private practice, Kingston serves as the director of the Irish College of Traditional and Integrative Medicine and is an adjunct lecturer at the University College Cork. Known for combining Irish herbal physician tradition with modern medical knowledge and the latest research, Kingston is a member of the Irish Institute of Medical Herbalists, a professional body committed to the highest standard of training for herbalists, and was part of the founding group that developed the BSc in herbal science for the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT). She received a BA and PhD from University College Cork and an MSc from the University of Wales.

Marc Cornell

Marc Cornell is an expert in natural and organic product formulation development and the former vice president of Innovation at Englewood Lab. During his thirty-year career he has worked in research and development roles for Merck, L’Oréal USA and Neostrata among other leading beauty companies. For the last twenty years he has worked primarily on cosmeceuticals and developed numerous transformational textures for the sensorial skincare category. Cornell received a BS from Elizabethtown College.