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Alka A. Patel

Head of AI Ethics Policy

Alka Patel serves as the first Head of AI Ethics Policy for the Department of Defense (DoD) Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC).  In this role, she is leading the effort on Responsible AI.  She brings over 20+ years of experience working at the intersection of technology, business, and law.

Most recently, Alka was the inaugural Executive Director of the Digital Transformation and Innovation Center sponsored by PwC (an industry/academic partnership) at Carnegie Mellon University.  In addition to leading the start-up of the $13 million center including developing and executing strategy and operations, she managed the industry sponsor’s relationship as well as managed over 25 research projects (from project scoping through delivery) with interdisciplinary faculty teams in the area of artificial intelligence, data analytics, and cybersecurity/privacy. 

Prior to that, she was Managing Director and Senior Counsel at Bank of New York Mellon where she was responsible for risk management, national and international contract negotiations, streamlining the RFP/procurement process, and developing the legal strategy for a business line effort in the healthcare space, with a focus on privacy and cybersecurity.  Prior to her role at Bank of New York Mellon, Alka, a registered patent attorney, worked in private practice where she represented start-ups, universities, and Fortune 500 companies to protect and address their technology and intellectual property needs, including working on M&A transactions, negotiating licensing/software development/joint venture agreements, and performing IP audits. 

Alka has been recognized for her professional and personal contributions locally and nationally.  She has served on a number of non-profit boards advocating for gender and racial diversity, social impact, and has held leadership positions in professional organizations.  

Alka holds a Juris Doctorate and Masters in Business Administration from Duquesne University and a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.