Terah Lyons has spent her career working across sectors to align decisions made about technology development and deployment by governments and private sector actors with the long-term health of society. She is an internationally recognized expert in AI/ML and data products, and emerging technology policy and governance.
For the last decade, she has focused on building capacity in the public and private sectors for more effective AI development and governance. Previously, she led the launch of the Partnership on AI, a global multi-stakeholder non-profit initiative focused on advancing the benefits and addressing the challenges of artificial intelligence co-founded by a coalition of technology companies, civil society organizations, and academic institutions. In the Obama Administration, she served as Policy Advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where she led policy on AI and emerging technologies, and advised on issues related to the innovation economy, national security, and diversity, equity, and inclusion in the technology industry. While there, she co-directed the White House’s Future of Artificial Intelligence Initiative, which facilitated stakeholders in the public and private domains to frame the first domestic policy strategy on machine intelligence, and inspired similar policy strategy development in governments around the world.
More recently, Terah has turned her attention to climate issues, where she is focused on accelerating the pace of development, norm-setting, and market adoption for technological solutions supporting the global net-zero transition. Currently, she is an Executive In Residence at Zetta Venture Partners working with early-stage founders building AI technology companies in critical new domains like climate science, materials science, and synthetic biology. She was an early participant in Climate Draft, an effort to mobilize top tech talent to work on climate challenges, and advises climate technology startups and governance efforts focused on helping to create and scale markets for green house gas emissions reduction.
In 2019, Terah was named one of UNESCO’s “Remarkable Women Leaders in Technology.” Her work has been featured in The New York Times, WIRED, Fortune Magazine, The Financial Times, Vogue, the MIT Technology Review, CNN, and other outlets. She has testified before Congress and given speeches before the UN, and participated in several international diplomatic dialogues on science and technology policy.
Terah currently sits on the Study Panel for Stanford's One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100), and on the Steering Committee of the AI Index hosted at Stanford's Human-Centered AI Institute. She is an Advisor to the Administrative Conference of the United States on the use of artificial intelligence in Federal agencies, and sits on the boards of Hedgebrook and the Tech Talent Project. Previously, Terah was a Mozilla Foundation Technology Policy Fellow, and a Fellow with the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Terah is a NOLS-certified Wilderness First Responder and loves spending time in the great outdoors in her spare time. She is a graduate of Harvard University.