Founding Members

Meet the Founding Members of AI and Faith.

Our members come from diverse business, academic and institutional backgrounds, and a wide range of faith traditions.

We remain interested in expanding our roster of outstanding thought leaders. If you want to take a leadership role in furthering the dialog between the faith community and the emerging technologies related to AI please contact us.

Carlos Arias, Ph.D

is Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Seattle Pacific University. He formerly taught and served as research director at a leading university in Honduras. His work focus includes e-government and e-learning.

Yasmin Ali

is a computer scientist and the founder of Skillspire, an education startup headquartered in Bellevue that offers technology boot camps for immigrants, refugees and women, largely taught by part-time instructors who work in technology.  Yasmin was an early visionary member of MAPS and remains active in leadership there.”

Ahmed Hassan Awadallah, Ph.D

leads the Language and Information Technologies Team of scientists and engineers at Microsoft Research Technologies, a new R&D organization within Microsoft Research.  His team focuses on harnessing AI to understand how people interact with information systems and develop new experiences to empower people to be more productive.

Bruce Baker, Ph.D

teaches business ethics at Seattle Pacific University and the University of Washington and is a former senior executive at Microsoft.  He is a graduate of Cal Tech, the Stanford Business School, and Fuller Theological Seminary, an ordained Presbyterian minister and Parish Associate of University Presbyterian Church and holds five patents from his work as a start up entrepreneur.

David Brenner

is a Seattle attorney with 25 years of experience in counseling clients and litigating claims related to technology, risk management and insurance coverage. He is a leader at University Presbyterian Church and actively involved in programs that integrate faith, science and technology with faculty of the University of Washington. He is a graduate of Stanford University and UC Berkeley’s Law School.

Nathan Colaner, Ph.D

is a senior instructor in the Departments of Management and Philosophy at Seattle University, focusing on business ethics with particular research emphasis on big data management and business use of artificial intelligence.  He has been instrumental in the formation of the University’s new Center for Science and Innovation.

Jane Compson, Ph.D.

is an assistant professor at the University of Washington. She currently teaches classes in Comparative Religion; Environmental Ethics; Philosophy, Religion and the Environment; Biomedical Ethics and Introduction to Ethics.

Salah Dandan

is a Bellevue based attorney and business executive with extensive experience in international business and transactions, technology and intellectual property.

Craig Detweiler, Ph.D

Is the President of the Seattle School of Theology & Psychology, and a professor, author, and mentor on culture, faith and technology. In addition to writing screenplays for Hollywood, his books include iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives and Selfies: Searching for the Image of God in a Digital Age. He graduated from Davidson College, earned an M.F.A. from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, and an M.Div. and Ph.D from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Saskia de Vries, Ph.D

is an Assistant Investigator at the Allen Institute for Brain Science where her research centers on how the brain transforms sensory information into perception and behavior. Saskia received her Ph.D. from Harvard.

Rev. Dani Forbus

is the pastor of Northminster Presbyterian Church in Seattle. While at Princeton Theological Seminary she placed emphasis on the field of Theological Anthropology, which seeks to understand what it means to be human and supports human flourishing. Serving in congregations from Belfast, Northern Ireland to Cape Town, South Africa to Los Angeles, CA, she has observed the complex impacts of technology across the globe. Her current congregation, set in the Ballard neighborhood, engages people working in the humanities, ethics, technology, brain science, just to name a few.

Lee Huntsman, Ph.D

is the President Emeritus of the University of Washington and also served there as long time Provost and Chair of the Department of Bioengineering.  He is a leader at University Presbyterian Church. At the UW, he is presently leading the Health Innovators Collaborative to advance information sharing, resource availability, joint projects and creation of new initiatives related to seizing the opportunities presented by the unprecedented changes in healthcare.

Turan Kayaoglu, Ph.D

is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Washington, Tacoma, and teaches in Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, a division of the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. His research focuses on the intersection of religion, human rights, and international relations.

Jawad Khaki

 is an entrepreneur, investor, technologist and a community volunteer. He is a 20-year Microsoft Corporation veteran where he served as a Corporate Vice President.  In 1997 Jawad helped establish the Ithna‐asheri Muslim Association of the Northwest (IMAN)  and serves as its President.

Nathan Kutz, Ph.D

the Robert Bolles and Yasuko Endo Professor within the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Washington in Seattle, and author of the book Data-Driven Modeling & Scientific Computation: Methods for Complex Systems & Big Data (Oxford Univ. Press, 2013)

Chris Lim

leads TheoTech and created its chief product, a platform where humans and AI collaborate to deliver real time translations of live events. He formerly served as a software engineer at Amazon and received a Masters in Computer Science at the University of Washington doing machine translation research under Professor Oren Etzioni.

Brenda Ng

is the principal and founder of The Trio Group, specializing in customer-driven business and marketing insights for a wide range of technology companies. She was formerly a senior executive for consumer and competitive insights at Microsoft and T-Mobile.

Tripp Parker

is a machine learning leader at Amazon and formerly a Senior Program Manager in AI at Microsoft.  He holds a dual undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Computer Science from Duke University.

Michael Paulus

is University Librarian, Assistant Provost for Educational Technology, and Director and Associate Professor of Information Studies at Seattle Pacific University. His administrative, teaching, and scholarly interests focus on the history and future of information and communication technologies.

Linda Ranz

is currently the Director of product management at Amazon for Echo multimodal products. Her prior experience includes senior executive positions in e commerce and product development at Starbucks and Getty Images. She also served as the Vice President for Marketing and Development of Medical Teams International.

Daniel Rasmus

is the founder of Serious Insights, which provides analysis and strategy around scenario planning, knowledge management, collaboration, emerging technology and popular culture to help clients put their future in context. He is the author of Listening to the Future, and Management by Design, speaks and writes frequently in technology settings, and publishes regular blog posts on AI on the Serious Insights website. Daniel attended the University of California at Santa Cruz and holds a certificate in intelligent systems engineering from the University of California at Irvine.

Rebekah Rice, Ph.D

is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Seattle Pacific University. Her areas of expertise include Philosophy of Mind and Action Theory (including causal theories of action, agent causation, and free will). She received her Ph.D from Brown University.

Marc Sachnoff

is the founder of the Modern Wisdom Leadership Institute whose purpose is to help individuals and organizations discover their unique meaning, purpose and direction so all involved can live joyful and fulfilling lives. In addition to significant non-profit experience in the entertainment industry and SGI-USA Buddhist Association, Marc has provided enlightened business strategy and marketing consulting services to organizations as diverse as Coca Cola, Microsoft, and the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Most recently Marc worked as a Director of Business Development in Microsoft’s Xbox Gaming Division.

Rabbi Daniel Weiner

has been the senior rabbi of the largest synagogue in the Northwest, Temple De Hirsch Sinai, with over 4,000 members, since 2001.  He is a pioneer in video worship, an author and columnist for Seattle newspapers, and leads the worship rock band at TDS.

Tim Weinhold

has been a long-time business leader, both in commercial real estate and as a serial entrepreneur. More recently, he has been writing and speaking regularly regarding the intersection of faith and business. Tim is a transplant from Boston where he graduated from Harvard and became a devoted Red Sox fan. He is also a Fellow of the Center for Enterprise, Markets and Ethics at Oxford.

James Wellman, Ph.D

is Chair of the Comparative Religion Program in the Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, and head of the Initiative for Global Christian Studies.