Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI)
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Megan J. Palmer
Adjunct Professor, Executive Director of Bio Policy & Leadership Initiatives, Bioengineering
BioDr. Megan J. Palmer is the Executive Director of Bio Policy & Leadership Initiatives at Stanford University. In this role, Dr. Palmer leads integrated research, teaching and engagement programs to explore how biological science and engineering is shaping our societies, and to guide innovation to serve public interests. Based in the Department of Bioengineering, where she is also an Adjunct Professor, she works closely both with groups across the university and with stakeholders in academia, government, industry and civil society around the world.
In addition to fostering broader efforts, Dr. Palmer leads a focus area in biosecurity in partnership with the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford. Projects in this area examine how security is conceived and managed as biotechnology becomes increasingly accessible. Her current projects include assessing strategies for governing dual use research, analyzing the diffusion of safety and security norms and practices, and understanding the security implications of alternative technology design decisions.
Dr. Palmer has created and led many programs aimed at developing and promoting best practices and policies for the responsible development of bioengineering. She currently co-chairs the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Synthetic Biology and in a member of the Council of the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC). For the last ten years she has led programs in safety, security and social responsibility for the international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, which in 2019 involved over 6000 students in 353 teams from 48 countries. She also founded and serves as Executive Director of the Synthetic Biology Leadership Excellence Accelerator Program (LEAP), an international fellowship program in biotechnology leadership. She advises and works with many other organizations on their strategies for the responsible development of bioengineering, including serving on the board of directors of Revive & Restore, a nonprofit organization advancing biotechnologies for conservation.
Previously, Megan was a Senior Research Scholar and William J. Perry Fellow in International Security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), part of FSI, where she is now an affiliated researcher. She also spent five years as Deputy Director of Policy and Practices for the multi-university NSF Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Synberc). She has previously held positions as a project scientist at the California Center for Quantitative Bioscience at the University of California Berkeley (where she was an affiliate of Lawrence Berkeley National Labs), and a postdoctoral scholar in the Bioengineering Department at Stanford University. Dr. Palmer received her Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from M.I.T. and a B.Sc.E. in Engineering Chemistry from Queen’s University, Canada.
Kaci Danae Peel
Events Planner 1, Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI)
Current Role at StanfordEvent Planner, Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI (HAI)
Education Program Coordinator, Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI)
BioChristian Pinedo joined Stanford as an Education Program Coordinator with the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI (HAI) in 2021. He works to support one of HAI's core missions: making AI education equitable. Coordinating with faculty and expert practitioners, Christian assists in the creation of multidisciplinary programs for both high-impact decision makers and emerging leaders. He collaborates with the diverse communities surrounding Artificial Intelligence to pursue cutting-edge research, create useful and responsible AI, and respond thoughtfully to the societal and ethical implications of global AI. He believes that the quality of any intellectual endeavor is improved when participants reflect diversity in the broadest sense, including gender, ethnic and socioeconomic background, but also intellectual, cultural and political perspectives.
Prior to joining Stanford, Christian was an Education Program Manager at the TGR Foundation: A Tiger Woods Charity and worked on providing integrated STEM programs to students in underserved communities.
Christian holds a Bachelors in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego.