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Kathy Pham is a computer scientist, product leader, and founder who has held roles in product management, software engineering, data science, people operations, and leadership in the private, non-profit, and public sector. During her fellowship at Harvard, she founded the Ethical Tech Working Group, Ethical Tech Collective, and Product and Society

In 2023, Kathy was appointed as the inaugural Executive Director of the United States National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee. In 2021, she served as Deputy Chief Technology Officer of the Federal Trade Commission, with a mission of protecting the public from deceptive or unfair business practices and from unfair methods of competition through law enforcement, advocacy, research, and education.  

Kathy’s past work has spanned Google, IBM, Harris Healthcare, and government at the United States Digital Service at the White House, where she was a founding product and engineering member. She has founded Women in Product Boston, the Cancer Sidekick Foundation, Team Curious, and Unite for Sight southeast. Kathy has served on the advisory boards of the Anita Borg Institute (focused on Silicon Valley), the “Make the Breast Pump Not Suck” initiative, Civic Signals, Startups and Society, FWD50, and Fortune 500 companies . She also advises large tech companies, startups, conferences, and non-profits on social responsibility, hiring, building teams, and community inclusion.

At the Harvard Berkman Klein Center, Kathy co-founded the Ethical Tech Working Group and focuses on ethics and social responsibility with an emphasis on engineering culture, artificial intelligence, and computer science curricula. She was also an Assembly Fellow in the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence, with a focus on Artificial Intelligence and communities, and Civic Science Fellow at the Rita Allen Foundation. Kathy was a Shorenstein Fellow and currently Adjunct Faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she teaches Product Management and Society. She was also a Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS) at Harvard, Faculty Affiliate of the Public Interest Tech Lab, and Co-Lead of the Responsible Computer Science Challenge and Co-Founder of the Mozilla Builders Incubator at Mozilla.

Kathy has been recognized as Georgia Tech’s 40 Under 40, Georgia Tech College of Computing Hall of Fame Rising Star, First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2015 Guest to the State of the Union Address, a finalist in the StarCraft II After Hours Gaming League, Nguoi Viet’s 40 under 40, and worldwide champion at the Imagine Cup Technology Competition. Her work has been featured in Fast Company, Wired, Politico, TechCrunch, NPR, VentureBeat, Nguoi Viet, and the Huffington Post. Kathy holds degrees in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Supelec in Metz, France. 

Kathy can also be found looking for surf spots along the New England coast, experimenting with recipes that coordinate with Formula 1 grand prix locations, and coaching grade school soccer.



Forget the Turing Test. AI needs to pass the Summer Camp Test before it can take over the world

BKC Affiliate Kathy Pham draws on her own experience enrolling her children in summer camp to shed light on AI's current shortcomings: despite the hype, AI is not well equipped to…

Feb 2, 2024

At tech companies, let’s share the reins

BKC Affiliate Kathy Pham argues that Large Language Models and other AI systems will only reach their full potential when a broader set of people build them.

Feb 1, 2024

Early reflections on transitioning to online teaching

Kathy Pham discusses the shift from in-person to Zoom

Mar 12, 2020
Mind the Product

Product, Society, and Ethics

Kathy Pham reflects on the importance of asking societal and ethical questions in product organizations

Sep 20, 2019

Takeaways from the Ethical Tech Industry Workshop

What could an industry standard for socially responsible, ethically-attuned technologies look like?

Jul 15, 2019
Fast Company

Want to fix big tech? Change what classes are required for a computer science degree

When people learn to code, they should also learn about ethics, humanities, and equity. Then perhaps they’ll be more prepared to predict the unintended consequences of their work,…

May 28, 2019

A Competition for Ethics in Computer Science

Announcing a Competition for Ethics in Computer Science, with up to $3.5 Million in Prizes

Oct 25, 2018

Ethics in Computing, from Academia to Industry

Considerations of ethics, social responsibility, and long-term impacts of software industry products

Aug 29, 2018


Apr 20, 2021 @ 12:00 PM

Governing the Social Media City

Video & Podcast: Integrity Design Approaches To Challenging Digital Community Problems

Video & Podcast: Two former tech insiders turned public advocates discuss ways that platforms can mitigate all kinds of harms, without creating the moral and practical problems…

May 7, 2019 @ 12:00 PM


Featuring members of the BKC Community

PODCAST & VIDEO: Berkman Klein community members will share their research, passions, and musings in 5 minute Ignite talks. These topics may range from misinformation online to…

Nov 6, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

The State of Government Technology

Assessing Government Development, Deployment, and Use of Tech Tools

VIDEO & PODCAST: A close look at the inner workings of government, with a particular focus on the ways in which federal, state, and local government institutions leverage…

Oct 12, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

Special Event: Big Data, Meager Returns?

A collaborative workshop on Fairness, Sustainability and Data for the Global South

A workshop on automation's promise and challenge for a different future, and the better governance models needed to include the understanding of data as a public asset.

Apr 17, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

Honoring All Expertise: Social Responsibility and Ethics in Tech

featuring Kathy Pham & Friends from the Berkman Klein Community

Learn more about social responsibility and ethics in tech from cross functional perspectives featuring social scientists, computer scientists, historians, lawyers, political…