May 25, 2016

Artificial Intelligence Authority Named Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute Director

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Cornell Tech announced that Ron Brachman — an internationally renowned authority on artificial intelligence — has been appointed the new Director of the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute.

The institute represents a partnership between Cornell and the Technion Israel-Institute of Technology, aiming to “mov[e] beyond traditional structures of academia to offer a global perspective” to students, according to the University.

“Ron’s expertise creating and leading high level research teams and his work developing successful new initiatives at top industry and government organizations makes him the perfect choice to grow the Institute,” said Adam Shwartz, the outgoing Director of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute.

Brachman has held several executive positions at Yahoo since joining its staff in 2012, serving for a time both as Chief Scientist and Head of Yahoo Labs. Prior to working at Yahoo, Brachman acted as the Director of the Information Processing Technology Office at DARPA, where he developed technology that led to the creation of the popular iphone feature Siri, according to the University.

Brachman expressed excitement about leading the Jacobs Institute and carrying on the work of his predecessors in pursuing innovative initiatives.

“The Jacobs Institute is an amazing, unique undertaking and I am extremely excited about the opportunity to lead it in its next phase of growth and groundbreaking innovation in education, research and impact,” he said. “Under the leadership of Adam Shwartz, the Jacobs Institute is already leading the way in showing how academia can drive real-world innovation.”

Many cite Brachman’s previous experience participating in groundbreaking projects as a key reason he was selected for the role.

“Throughout the search process, we were consistently impressed with Ron’s dedication to breaking new ground, both when creating new partnerships at DARPA and Yahoo Labs and in his research,” said Provost Michael Kotlikoff.

Current Senior Executive Vice President of the Technion Institute Moshe Sidi added that Brachman’s experience with Israeli teams makes him an excellent fit for his new position.

“Ron worked closely with Israeli research teams, and navigated complex organizations,” he said. “I trust that he will be able to bring the Technion-Cornell partnership to new levels, and leverage the power of the two universities, and of the two cultures, to move Jacobs Institute as a leader for the digital age: fast moving, flexible and innovative.”