Joanna Shields

Strategic Adviser, BenevolentAI

Baroness Joanna Shields OBE is a tech industry pioneer, start-up CEO, and life peer in the UK House of Lords, passionate about creating technology that benefits humanity. She has spent her professional life building companies, products and platforms that have transformed markets and reshaped industries.
Joanna is currently the founder and CEO of Precognition, advising States, executive leaders and Boards to anticipate the future and build solutions for an AI-centric world.
She was previously CEO of BenevolentAI, leading its transformation from a startup to a clinical-stage drug discovery company and steering the development of its industry-leading AI discovery platform, which leverages the world's biomedical literature and multimodal data to unravel the intricacies of disease biology and make novel discoveries. Under her leadership, the company developed a robust drug pipeline and lucrative long-term collaborations with leading pharmaceutical companies Astra Zeneca and Merck.
Joanna expanded global operations and drove exponential growth for tech giants Google and Facebook in their early years. As President and CEO of Bebo, she successfully steered its $850M acquisition by Aol Time Warner and pioneered groundbreaking innovations in online video content years before Netflix. She also led international operations at RealNetworks, the inventor of audio and video streaming, and, previously as CEO of Veon, engineered its acquisition by Philips NV.
From 2013-2018, Joanna served in the UK Government as the first-ever Minister for Internet Safety and Security, Digital Economy Advisor to the Prime Minister, UK Ambassador for Digital Industries, and Special Representative on Internet Harms and Crimes. During her tenure, Baroness Shields developed AI products to identify extremist and harmful content online and founded the WeProtect Global Alliance, a multi-stakeholder organisation with over 100 member countries committed to combating online child sexual abuse and exploitation, where she continues to serve on its Board of Directors.
The uniting theme of her work today is advancing responsible technology development and human-centric AI for the benefit of all in society. She was twice elected co-chair of the Global Partnership on AI from 2020 to 22. She is currently a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of AI, the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, the Global Tech Thinkers Group, the Wall Street Journal CEO Council and the Council on Foreign Relations.

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