UNC Charlotte’s Women in Data Science (WiDS) Conference Announces 2020 Keynote Speaker

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

UNC Charlotte’s School of Data Science (SDS) is pleased to announce that Lucia Tian, Chief Analytics Officer at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), will present as a keynote speaker at the third annual Women in Data Science (WiDS) Conference on March 24, 2020 at the Ritz-Carlton Charlotte.

WiDS Charlotte is a one-day event hosted by UNC Charlotte’s School of Data Science and sponsored by Lowe's Companies Inc,. The conference aims to inspire, educate, and engage current and future data scientists in the Carolinas, regardless of gender. The event’s presenters and sponsors are committed to supporting women in the field by providing training, networking, and mentoring opportunities.

“I’ve always been a part of industries and fields that are dominated by men,” Tian said. “I’m really excited to participate in an event like WiDS Charlotte, in an effort to help increase interest and knowledge in data science, as well as to help diversify the field so professionals of all genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds have an open seat at the table.”

Tian’s presentation will focus on the ethical principles surrounding data science and fair AI, challenging attendees to think about their day-to-day technical decisions. 

“In my experience, data scientists make technical decisions every day that have real-world impacts on people in our community,” Tian said. “Sometimes those impacts aren’t immediately obvious, so it’s important for those creating AI models to learn about the implications of their actions.”

As Chief Analytics Officer, Tian leads the ACLU’s Data & Analytics department, which brings quantitative evidence to the courtroom and to the public through research on issues as diverse as voting rights, immigration, and criminal justice. Sitting at the nexus of civil liberties and the use of data and technology, Tian helps guide the organization’s data and AI policies to set the standard for smart and ethical use of data nationwide.

Prior to joining the ACLU, Tian worked in McKinsey & Company’s Washington D.C. office, which is home to the McKinsey Global Institute, McKinsey Center for Government and McKinsey Social Initiative. There, Tian helped federal and local government clients from defense, transportation, revenue, and infrastructure on their most pressing strategic and operational problems. While at McKinsey, she helped build the consultancy’s public-sector analytics practice, bringing modern data and analytics capabilities to government functions. In 2016, Tian served as the Deputy Director of Data Science for the Hillary for America campaign. 

WiDS Charlotte 2020 will be held on Tuesday, March 24th, at the Ritz-Carlton Charlotte. For more information about the conference and for more ways to become involved with WiDS, click here.

About WiDS

WiDS Charlotte is an independent event organized by UNC Charlotte's School of Data Science, along with several WiDS Ambassadors to Stanford University's WiDS initiative. All genders are invited to attend WiDS regional events, which feature outstanding women doing outstanding work.