Global Technology and Innovation
The world’s reliance on technology increases daily. Global technology leaders have paved the way for a more interconnected future. The positive impact of technological innovation in the transformation of business, government, and society is undeniable. However, world leaders and citizens are raising concerns about the challenges presented by these trends. From Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley and from Station F to Zhongguancun, it is becoming clear that traditional approaches to studying, monitoring, and regulating industry are less effective in the technology sector.
The Washington Institute understands that business, government, and society cannot take disjointed approaches to the challenges and opportunities presented by technology and innovation. As a result, the Institute is actively engaged in convening leaders from all three sectors and driving solutions to spur technological development while enhancing the relationship among technology companies, consumers and regulatory agencies.
With executives possessing extensive technological, corporate, government, civil society, and academic backgrounds represented on its leadership team and advisory boards, the Washington Institute has both the knowledge and the network to help world leaders create the most advantageous environment for the technology innovators changing the world as well as those they serve.
Ahmed Elmagarmid, PhD
Distinguished Fellow, Technology and Innovation
Dr. Ahmed Elmagarmid is the founding Executive Director of Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), a national research institute and member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development; an Emeritus Professor of Computer Science at Purdue University (US); and a former chief scientist at Hewlett-Packard HQ in Palo Alto, CA. Leading QCRI since 2010, Dr. Elmagarmid has driven the institute’s vision to bring positive impact to citizens and society by focusing on large-scale computing challenges that address national priorities for growth and development.
He actively participates in many strategic initiatives in Qatar. Included among them is his role as vice-chair of the IT committee that designed and launched Sidra Medicine, a leading woman and children research hospital, where he now serves on the board of directors. He also sits on the boards of the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) and MEEZA, a leading national/regional cloud provider. Under Dr. Elmagarmid’s guidance, Qatar's widely lauded National Artificial Intelligence Strategy was developed at QCRI. Notably, he also founded the National Cyber Security Research Lab (NCSRL), which functions in an advisory capacity to Qatar’s government with the aim of transforming Qatar into a world leader in cybersecurity innovation. In line with these accomplishments, Dr. Elmagarmid has advised the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Transportation and Communication to implement national security and artificial intelligence strategies, respectively.
Recognizing the importance of a healthy society to Qatar’s sustainability, Dr. Elmagarmid dedicates time to organizations such as the Qatar Personalized Medicine Institute, sitting on its inaugural board; and the Qatar Genome Programme, where he serves as a national committee-founding member and supports the organization’s efforts to map the genome of Qatar’s population. Dr. Elmagarmid is a founder of the Arab
Expatriate Scientist Forum and one of the steering committee members who led the effort to establish Qatar Foundation’s three research institutes—QCRI, QBRI, and QEERI. He also serves on the iconic Qatar National Library executive committee, joint advisory board for Carnegie Mellon University-Qatar, and the Qatar Academy board of advisors, where his children once attended school. While at Purdue University, Dr. Elmagarmid founded and directed the Cyber Center, a well-funded, interdisciplinary center within Discovery Park at Purdue. He grew the Center from the ground up to eventually receive the largest single grant in Purdue’s history.
Dr. Elmagarmid also worked as an industry consultant to more than ten top technology companies on data science and data quality matters.
He is an accomplished and well-published scientist, authoring six books and more than 180 papers, and has directed several well-funded research programs. Dr. Elmagarmid has also been granted eight patents in the database field from USPTO and developed several software systems that have since become startups. Moreover, he has chaired and served on more than 70 technical committees and editorial
boards. In 2019, Dr. Elmagarmid received the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Management of Data Contributions Award, which celebrated his service to the database community. In 2020, he was chosen to serve on the Washington Institute for Business, Government, and Society’s Council of Advisors. Dr. Elmagarmid is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Presidential
Young Investigator (PYI) Award from President Reagan and is an IEEE, ACM, and AAAS Fellow. The University of Dayton and The Ohio State University have both named him among their distinguished alumni.
Dr. Elmagarmid received his B.S. in computer science from the University of Dayton (1977) and his M.S. (1981) and Ph.D. (1985) from The Ohio State University.