Independent Consultant at Data-Driven Governance and AI Policy
Sara Rendtorff-Smith is the Applied Research Lead for Data-driven Governance and AI Policy at MIT. Her work supports public officials, nonprofits and journalists in accessing probabilistic AI to advance public interest, social equity and justice. She joined MIT after working for nearly ten years on political, economic and social challenges facing countries in the immediate aftermath of armed conflict. She started her career with an international humanitarian NGO in Afghanistan and has since worked across the political, development and peacekeeping pillars to ensure that peacemaking is inclusive and international recovery and statebuilding efforts contribute to sustainable peace. Sara has led program and policy initiatives in the Central African Republic (CAR), Darfur, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Mali and South Sudan and has contributed to drafting UN institutional guidance on civilian protection, conflict management, economic governance and support to institution building in post-conflict settings. At UN headquarters, she served on special planning teams for transition scenarios in Syria and the establishment of a peacekeeping operation in the CAR. Sara is particularly interested in applying insights from system dynamics, behavioral sciences and data science to addressing the challenges of criminal justice reform, socio-economic inclusion and urban sustainability and resilience.