About Us

Chartered in 2016, the AI for Good Foundation fosters activities to maximize the benefit of AI technologies for social good through the lens of global sustainable development. Our approach includes (a) organizing events that encourage engagement between researchers, practitioners, companies, educators, students, and policy-makers as well as public access to knowledge; and (b) supporting better, more transparent, open research on topics of global importance to help Artificial Intelligence researchers understand how their work might lead to a better future for all. Find out more about what we do and how, or get in touch!


Board of Directors

James Hodson

CEO, James Hodson. James co-founded and serves as the CEO of the AI for Good Foundation. James sees immense promise in a future where AI facilitates and democratizes our global society. He believes that empirically driven policy, along with strong scientific method in the research arena, will ensure equal access to the benefits of increasingly intelligent systems. Previously, James directed AI research at Bloomberg in New York, leading a team of 20 in a rich cross-disciplinary research agenda. He created several high profile events for the AI, data science, non-profit, and policy communities such as the KDD Data Mining for Social Good Conference in August of 2014. James is married to Anastassia Fedyk, an innovative Behavioral Economist and Finance researcher at Harvard University.


Michael Witbrock

Chairman, Michael Witbrock. Michael co-founded the AI for Good Foundation and serves on its Board of Directors. Michael received his PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and currently is Head of the AI Foundations Lab at IBM TJ Watson Research Center. Michael was Vice President for Research at Cycorp, and CEO at Cycorp Europe, where he led research in automated knowledge acquisition from text and dialogue, automated reasoning, and intelligent human-computer interaction. Prior to that he was Principal Scientist at Terra Lycos, a research scientist at Just Systems Pittsburgh Research Center, and a systems scientist at Carnegie Mellon on the Informedia spoken and video document information retrieval project.

Steering Committee

The steering committee is responsible for reviewing the actions of the AI for Good Foundation, identifying opportunities, facilitating access to the right people at the right time, and providing guidance on strategic matters.

Damian Borth

Dr. Damian Borth is the Director of the Deep Learning Competence Center at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Kaiserslautern and founding co-director of Sociovestix Labs, a social enterprise in the area of financial data science.


Damian’s research focuses on large-scale multimedia opinion mining applying machine learning and in particular deep learning to mine insights (trends, sentiment) from online media streams.

His work has been awarded by the Best Paper Award at ACM ICMR 2012, the McKinsey Business Technology Award 2011, and a Google Research Award in 2010. Damian currently serves as a member of the assessment committee for the Investment Innovation Benchmark (IIB) and several other steering- and program committees of international conferences and workshops organized by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). He actively promotes the use of multimedia opinion mining for social good following the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the AI-for-Good initiative.

Rayid Ghani

Rayid Ghani is the Director of the Center for Data Science and Public Policy, Chief Data Scientist at the Urban Center on Computation and Data, Research Director at the Computation Institute (a joint institute of Argonne National Laboratory and The University of Chicago), and a Senior Fellow at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.


Ghani is currently in charge of the Eric & Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship at the University of Chicago.

Marko Grobelnik

Marko Grobelnik has worked on various aspects of AI since 1985. His focused areas of expertise are Machine Learning, Data/Text/Web Mining, Network Analysis, Semantic Technologies, Deep Text Understanding, and Data Visualization. Marko works as a researcher in AI Lab at Jozef Stefan Institute and is the CEO of Quintelligence.com specialized in solving complex AI problems for the commercial world.


He collaborates with major European academic institutions and industries such as Bloomberg, British Telecom, European Commission, Microsoft Research, New York Times. Marko is also co-author of several books, co-founder of several start-ups and is/was involved into over 40 EU funded research projects on various fields of AI.

Estevam Rafael Hruschka Junior

Estevam R. Hruschka Jr. is co-leader of the Carnegie Mellon Read the Web project –http://rtw.ml.cmu.edu/rtw/people), and the head of the Machine Learning Lab (MaLL) at Federal University of Sao Carlos (UFSCar), in Brazil. He is also adjunct professor in the Machine Learning Department at Carnegie Mellon University, USA, and associate professor at UFSCar, Brazil.


Estevam has been ”young research fellow” at FAPESP (Sao Paulo state research agency, Brazil) and, currently, he is ”research fellow” at CNPq (Brazilian research agency). His main research interests are never-ending learning, machine learning, probabilistic graphical models, natural language understanding, data mining and Big Data. Since 1997, he has been working on data science with many international research teams, collaborating with research groups from companies and universities.

Claudia Perlich

Claudia Perlich leads the machine learning efforts that power Dstillery’s digital intelligence for marketers and media companies. With more than 50 published scientific articles, she is a widely acclaimed expert on big data and machine learning applications, and an active speaker at data science and marketing conferences around the world.


Claudia is the past winner of the Advertising Research Foundation’s (ARF) Grand Innovation Award and has been selected for Crain’s New York’s 40 Under 40 list, Wired Magazine’s Smart List, and Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People.

Claudia holds multiple patents in machine learning.  She has won many data mining competitions and awards at Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD) conferences, and served as the organization’s General Chair in 2014.

Prior to joining Dstillery in 2010, Claudia worked at IBM’s Watson Research Center, focusing on data analytics and machine learning.  She holds a PhD in Information Systems from New York University (where she continues to teach at the Stern School of Business), and an MA in Computer Science from the University of Colorado.

Special Advisors

Zara Mkrtumyan

Legal Consultant, Zaruhi Mkrtumyan. Zaruhi serves as in-house Legal Consultant for the AI for Good Foundation. Zaruhi received her LL.B. degree in 2010 and LL.M. in Business Law in 2012, both from Yerevan State University in Armenia. She completed a LL.M. in American Law at Boston University School of Law in 2016. Her professional experience includes a clerkship at a Civil Court of Appeals, a position as an in-house lawyer in “Erku Erjak” LLC, and an internship with the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash Administrative District. Zaruhi also volunteered in the Legal Clinic of Law Faculty in Armenia, giving legal advice to those unable to make payments.

Advisor, Charlotte Stanton. Charlotte’s driven to bridge cutting-edge technology, policy, and sustainability to improve lives. She’s a global project manager and communications expert with a Masters from the University of Cape Town in international relations, a PhD from Stanford that’s interdisciplinary, and over a decade of professional experience working with and within technology groups, governments, think tanks, regulators, and non-profits across Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and North America. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/charlotteystanton/
Twitter: @safaristanton


Past Directors

Gary Marcus. Stefano Pacifico.