FPF Announces International Technology Policy Expert as New Head of Artificial Intelligence
FPF has appointed international technology policy expert Anne J. Flanagan as Vice President for Artificial Intelligence (AI). In this new role, Anne will lead the privacy organization’s portfolio of projects exploring the data flows driving algorithmic and AI products and services, their opportunities and risks, and the ethical and responsible development of this technology.
Anne joins FPF with almost 20 years of experience in international strategic technology governance and development. She has a proven track record of bringing together stakeholders worldwide, including businesses, governments, academics, and civil society organizations, to co-design policy frameworks that address our time’s most intractable technology policy issues.
“Anne is a true leader of efforts to establish policies and standards for emerging technologies,” said Jules Polonetsky, CEO of FPF. “The vast amounts of data that enable AI and the myriad uses are creating some of the most exciting opportunities for progress, but also some of the gravest risks the world has faced. We’re eager for Anne to build on FPF’s extensive current portfolio of AI projects and open up new initiatives.”
As Deputy Head of Division for Telecommunications Policy & Regulation at the Department of Communications, Climate Action, and Environment in Ireland, Anne was responsible for developing Ireland’s technical policy positions and diplomatic strategy regarding EU legislation on telecommunications, digital infrastructure, and data. She represented Ireland in the EU Digital Single Market Strategic Group at the European Commission and the Working Party on Telecommunications and Information Society at the Council of the European Union. Anne also played a crucial role in the EU’s early approach to AI governance, contributing to the foundational work on the EU’s Digital Single Market.
Since moving to the U.S. in 2019, Anne has held several senior positions in technology policy, including at the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and, most recently, Reality Labs Policy at Meta Platforms Inc. In all of these senior roles, her research and expertise has helped technology business leaders shape responsible and sustainable technology development.
“I have seen global leaders, from governments to CEOs, struggle with developing AI in an ethical and responsible manner,” said Flanagan. “This is complicated by the unprecedented speed in AI innovation and an intersection with other emerging technologies and policy issues. As we think about managing AI, human centricity needs to be at the forefront of any approach, and therefore, the importance of data stewardship becomes vital. I’m excited for this opportunity at such a distinguished organization as the Future of Privacy Forum, where these concerns are already front and center. I look forward to working towards building sustainable and trustworthy policy solutions with diverse stakeholders globally.”
Since 2015, FPF has worked with corporate, civil society, and policy stakeholders to develop best practices for managing risks posed by AI and has worked to assess whether data protection practices such as fairness, accountability, and transparency are sufficient to answer the ethical questions they raise. More recently, FPF explored the challenges and responsible applications regarding AI in the workplace with its 2023 Best Practices for AI and Workplace Assessment Technologies and updated its 2020 report, The Spectrum of Artificial Intelligence and accompanying Spectrum of Artificial Intelligence Infographic. Additional FPF AI projects include Automated Decision-making Under the GDPR, Generative AI for Organizational Use: Internal Policy Checklist, Unfairness By Algorithm: Distilling the Harms of Automated Decision-Making and more.
Anne holds a Masters in Economics and Political Science from Trinity College Dublin, a Masters in International Relations from Dublin City University, and a Masters of Business Administration from Trinity College Dublin. A former appointee to the UK Government’s International Data Transfers Expert Council, Anne is also a Member of the Board of Advisors of the Innovation Value Institute (IVI) at Maynooth University and a recognized Woman Leader in Data and AI at WLDA.tech.