Appointment of Usama Fayyad, Executive Director for the Institute of Artificial Intelligence

Appointment of Usama Fayyad, Executive Director for the Institute of Artificial Intelligence

On behalf of President Aoun, I am pleased to welcome Dr. Usama Fayyad as the inaugural Executive Director for the Institute of Experiential Artificial Intelligence (EAI) at Northeastern University.

Usama will work with senior leadership to create a pioneering research hub that places human skills and intelligence at the forefront of artificial intelligence development, from the earliest design steps to final implementation. The EAI Institute will span the entirety of Northeastern’s global network, with a primary focus of building out research initiatives through the Roux Institute in Portland, Maine.

Usama brings research and applied experience in industry to this unique leadership position. Most recently, he led Open Insights, a company that he founded that deploys data-driven solutions to grow revenue from data assets.

Prior to Open Insights, Usama served as co-founder & CTO at OODA Health, a venture capital-funded company. He served as Global Chief Data Officer & Group Managing Director at Barclays Bank in London, after having been appointed Executive Chairman to Oasis 500. Usama’s background also includes Chairman & CEO roles at several startups, including Blue Kangaroo Corp., DMX Group and digiMine Inc.

Usama was the first person to hold the Chief Data Officer title when Yahoo! acquired his second startup in 2004. At Yahoo! he built the Strategic Data Solutions group and founded Yahoo! Research Labs where much of the early work on Big Data made it to open source, leading to Hadoop and other open source contributions. He held leadership roles at Microsoft, and founded the Machine Learning Systems group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where his work on machine learning garnered him the top Excellence in Research award from Caltech, and a U.S. Government medal from NASA.

Usama has published over 100 technical articles on data mining, data science, AI/ML, and databases. He holds over 30 patents and is a Fellow of the AAAI and an ACM Fellow. He earned his Ph.D. in Engineering in AI/Machine Learning from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has edited two influential books on data mining/data science and served as Founding Editor-in-Chief on two key industry journals.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Fayyad to Northeastern.



David Madigan
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Last Updated on October 15, 2020