EngagePerspectivesPublic Interest Technology at Penn Inaugural Career Speaker Event
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Public Interest Technology at Penn Inaugural Career Speaker Event

The Public Interest Technology at Penn (PIT@Penn) student group is dedicated to facilitating discourse across disciplines, encouraging Penn students studying science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to pursue careers for the public good. Given the path towards a vocation in public interest technology may not be as straightforward as the more traditional research or private sector career options, PIT@Penn aims to share the experiences of Penn alumni who have taken an alternate route. The PIT@Penn inaugural career speaker event, featuring Penn alumni with a wide range of professional experience in public interest technology, exemplifies these efforts. Anita Allen, Ani Nenkova, Sanjay Udani, and Peter Bloom shared their insights and recommendations on how to navigate a public interest technology career, emphasizing the importance of being able to dialogue across disciplines.

PIT at Penn Student Leadership

 

 

Penn joined the Public Interest Technology University Network in 2020, reflecting Penn’s emphasis on interdisciplinary education, based on the commitment of bringing together different perspectives that have traditionally been siloed. Increasingly, the technical community is recognizing the need to become more engaged in broader issues to pursue their interests and that different skills are required to have an impact on many of the social challenges facing society.

Panelists:
  • Anita Allen, Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. Anita L. Allen is an internationally renowned expert on privacy law and ethics, and is recognized for contributions to legal philosophy, women’s rights, and diversity in higher education.
  • Ani Nenkova, Associate Professor of Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania. Ani Nenkova’s main areas of research are computational linguistics and artificial intelligence, with emphasis on developing computational methods for the analysis of text quality and style, discourse, affect recognition and summarization.
  • Sanjay Udani, Vice President, Technology Policy, Verizon Communications. Sanjay Udani is a technologist and currently serves as Vice President for Public Policy at Verizon. In addition to developing and coordinating Verizon’s policy positions on emerging services and technologies, Sanjay uses his expertise to help external and internal stakeholders better understand policy debates on a variety of issues including 5G networks, cybersecurity, privacy, spectrum, and how the internet works. He has briefed a wide variety of audiences, ranging from Members of Congress and Verizon’s Board of Directors to elementary school students.
  • Peter Bloom, General Coordinator and Founder, Rhizomatica. In 2009, Peter Bloom began working in Nigeria as a development consultant and media maker and lived in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria for two years co-founding the Media for Justice Project based outside of Port Harcourt. Since 2009 Peter has been coordinating Rhizomatica, an organization he started to promote new communication technologies that helped start the first community-owned and managed cell phone network in the Americas in 2013. Peter is both an Ashoka and Shuttleworth Foundation fellow since 2014. For his work on telecommunications and community development, in 2015 he was named an MIT Technology Review Innovator under 35 and to Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers list. Introductions by Christopher Yoo, Penn’s PIT-UN representative and the John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer & Information Science.

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