Elizabeth M. Renieris appointed founding director of the Notre Dame-IBM Tech Ethics Lab

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Elizabeth Renieris
Elizabeth Renieris

Elizabeth M. Renieris, a technology and human rights fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a practitioner fellow at Stanford University’s Digital Civil Society Lab, has been appointed founding director of the Notre Dame-IBM Technology Ethics Lab at the University of Notre Dame.

Launched in 2020, the Notre Dame-IBM Tech Ethics Lab aims to address ethical questions associated with the development and use of emerging technologies such as AI and machine learning. The lab serves as the applied research arm of Notre Dame’s Technology Ethics Center (ND-TEC), which develops and supports multi- and interdisciplinary research on questions related to the impact of technology on humanity.

“We are thrilled to have Elizabeth join our University as founding director of the Technology Ethics Lab,” said Mark McKenna, the John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law at Notre Dame and director of ND-TEC. “The lab is a critical component of our vision for technology ethics at Notre Dame — the primary vehicle through which we hope to engage industry, policymakers and other thought leaders in the technology ethics space, and to have real, practical effect. To be the kind of force for good that we want to be, we needed the right leader. Elizabeth’s experience and vision for the lab made her the ideal person to lead this ambitious project.”

Renieris is an internationally recognized expert in law and policy whose work and research focus on data governance and the human rights implications of advanced and emerging technologies. She is a leading authority on digital identity, cross-border data protection and privacy laws, and technologies such as blockchain and AI.

As the founder and CEO of Hacklawyer, a consultancy focused on law and policy engineering, Renieris has worked on three continents and has advised the World Bank, the U.K. Parliament, the European Commission and a variety of international organizations and NGOs. She is also working on a book about the future of data governance through MIT Press.

“This is certainly not an easy time to think about technology ethics, but it is an important one, which is why I’ve decided to join the faculty at Notre Dame as lab director,” Renieris said. “Under my stewardship, the lab will focus on applied, relational ethics and aim to steer technological design and development in the direction of more equity and justice. I’m grateful to IBM for their partnership and look forward to working with IBM and others on advancing research that generates best practices in technology and AI ethics that ultimately shape industry and public policy.”

“We at IBM are pleased to welcome Elizabeth Renieris as the director of the Notre Dame-IBM Tech Ethics Lab,” said Christina Montgomery, chief privacy officer for IBM. “We believe firmly that being a responsible steward of technology means applying an ethical approach to developing and deploying new technology. That’s why IBM was proud to partner with Notre Dame to create a first-of-its-kind research initiative focused on technology and AI ethics. IBM is committed to nurturing industry standards that build trust in responsible technology by ensuring that technology innovations put people first and broadly benefit society. Elizabeth’s expertise at the intersection of emerging technologies and human rights provide her with a uniquely qualified perspective, and I look forward to working with her.”

Renieris holds a master of laws from the London School of Economics and a law degree from Vanderbilt University. She is also a graduate of Harvard College.

Follow the Notre Dame-IBM Tech Ethics Lab via Twitter @techethicslab.