Senior Fellows

Mozilla’s Fellowship Program aims to catalyze systemic change in the way technology is built, deployed, and used. Fellows share a lifelong commitment to the values of the Mozilla Manifesto, and recognize that building a more open, inclusive internet is one of the defining issues of our time. The strength of this movement is in the diversity of people and range of disciplines and geographies where we drive impact.

Senior Fellows are individuals who hold a significant body of work around a particular issue area and who - via this fellowship opportunity - partner with Mozilla to help shape and strategically advance the internet health movement. In the past, we have sometimes referred to these Fellows as Fellows in Residence.

Senior Fellows — Tech Policy

Within the Trustworthy AI policy ecosystem, Mozilla is working to advance policy solutions related to systemic transparency, mitigating bias, and alternative data governance.

These Senior Fellows are policy experts who are thinking deeply about innovative but specific policy solutions needed for making the AI ecosystem more trustworthy and who are looking at these policy issues from an intersectional lens with other movement areas (e.g. community justice, racial justice, climate justice, human rights, economic justice, or other social justice movements).

Current Senior Fellows: Brandi Geurkink, Jasmine McNealy, Julia Keserű, Kristophina Shilongo, Lucy Purdon, and Tarcizio Silva

Senior Fellows — Trustworthy AI

It is clear that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to disrupt democracy, interfere with human rights, and erode the public's trust in online information. However, automated decision-making systems can also be part of the solution to many of these emerging threats. Further, current debates about algorithms tend to ignore the fact that our intelligent systems are ultimately designed and shaped by humans.

The benefits and risks associated with automated decision-making flow from the tasks we choose to give to algorithms and the data that we feed them. Algorithms can help us stumble across the perfect song, or they can manipulate and polarize us.

These Senior Fellows are working to help us achieve our goal of a world where trustworthy AI enriches the lives of human beings and to tackle the issues that currently hinder that reality: bias, poor transparency, and data governance.

Current Senior Fellows: Abeba Birhane, Amber Sinha, Apryl Williams, Bogdana Rakova, Lori Regattieri, and Neema Iyer

The fellowship experience

Senior Fellows are invited to use the platform of the fellowship to carry out work of importance to them and the health of the internet as well as to help shape Mozilla’s strategic efforts for advancing Trustworthy AI and the broader internet health movement.

The ways in which Senior Fellows help to shape Mozilla’s strategic efforts will vary based on expertise and a mutually agreed scope of work, but is likely to span initiatives Mozilla is undertaking to hold big tech accountable, help consumers understand more about the technology they use every day, or prototype how power can be shifted through data governance.

Examples of things Senior Fellows might do to help shape Mozilla's work:

  • Support efforts to situate and guide Mozilla’s work in the ecosystem through peer outreach, documenting best practices, and/or strategic convening
  • Advise organization wide working groups on bias, transparency, data governance and movement building to support the development of Mozilla’s work on these topics.
  • Help to shape Mozilla’s policy positions on key topics and/or advise us on how to advance these policies
  • Support the design of initiatives that will engage, fund, and grow important work on these topics
  • Convene, facilitate, or curate networks as appropriate and integrate these into core programming like MozFest
  • Broaden the conversation about the given topic with specific audiences (i.e., media, community, policy, etc.)
  • Provide communications guidance and thought leadership as a representative of Mozilla in the given space
  • Document and share learnings internally at Mozilla and externally with the broader ecosystem

Senior Fellows are also part of a cohort that are connected to each other, more broadly across the organization, and with a wider community of people and organizations in the movement for a healthier internet. As with all of our fellowships and awards, Senior Fellows report to a Program Officer, who is there as a thought partner and advisor, and who will also help facilitate connections and conversations with people across Mozilla's teams and in our networks.

To help us create a safe and positive community experience for all, we require all those who participate in our Fellowships and Awards programs to agree and adhere to our Community Participation Guidelines.

Previous Senior Fellows include:

Deborah Raji

Deborah Raji is a technologist and activist interested in topics on algorithmic auditing and evaluation. Her fellowship served as a platform to explore the frameworks and tools needed to increase AI accountability and reduce harms, including work on the Algorithmic Justice League’s bug bounty project. Deb is currently the Primary Investigator on the Mozilla Open Source Audit Tooling (OAT) Project.

Renee DiResta

Renee DiResta investigates the spread of malign narratives across social networks. Her fellowship focused on media, misinformation and trust, helping to illuminate that free speech is not the same as free reach. Renée is currently the Research Manager at Stanford Internet Observatory.

Guillaume Chaslot

Guillaume Chaslot helped to build YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, but has since been working to expose the impacts of these algorithms. His fellowship focused on exploring the impact on society and helping others understand when algorithms are working for them, and which are working against them. Guillaume is currently a Senior Scientific Expert in AI and Data Science at PERen.

More Information

For more information about Senior Fellows, please visit our FAQs or contact [email protected]

To learn more about the application process, visit the Application Guidelines for Senior Fellows, Tech Policy (now closed).