Terah Lyons has spent her career working across sectors to align decisions made about AI 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 over the last decade, she has focused on building capacity across both the public and private sectors for more effective AI development and governance. As its first Executive Director/CEO, 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 (Apple, Amazon, IBM, Google, Meta, and Microsoft), civil society organizations, and academic institutions. In the Obama Administration, she oversaw policy on AI and emerging technologies serving as Policy Advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where she also 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. 

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 and helped facilitate several international diplomatic dialogues on science and technology policy and AI governance. 

From 2022-2023, Terah was 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 is currently an Affiliate Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI (HAI), currently sits on the Steering Committee of Stanford’s AI Index, and on the most recent Study Panel for Stanford's One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100). She is an Advisor to the Administrative Conference of the United States on the use of artificial intelligence in Federal agencies, and serves on the boards of Hedgebrook and the Tech Talent Project. 

More recently, Terah has dedicated some of her energy 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. 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 greenhouse gas emissions reduction. She serves as Board Chair of Sound Future, a nonprofit dedicated to accelerating climate innovation for the live event industry and leveraging the power of professional music, entertainment, and sports to catalyze climate action.

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.

Recent Work →