Uyi Stewart, PhD Director, Global Development, Strategy, Data & Analytics, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Uyi and his team are responsible for applying big data analytics to generate crossdomain insights for decision-making, while also leveraging the foundation’s data investment to create global public goods. He has more than 20 years of experience in leading teams to develop and deploy innovative cognitive and artificial intelligence-based technologies that help solve a wide variety of problems, including the use of big data to combat the Ebola outbreak via behavior change, use of data to re-engineer government processes in Kenya, real-time translations and speech systems for under-resourced languages and the pioneering of traffic-status applications in Nairobi.

Prior to joining the foundation, Uyi spent 13 years with IBM Research where he was promoted to Distinguished Engineer, one of the firm’s highest technical honors in 2014. From 2012 to 2016, he was the Co-Founder and Chief Scientist of IBM Research – Africa, the first lab on the continent for conducting applied and far-reaching exploratory research into Africa’s grand challenges. Before IBM Research, Uyi held technical leadership positions with AT&T Labs, Call Sciences and Nuance Communications. He was also a lecturer at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Uyi holds a PhD in linguistics with specialization in generative syntax and language/speech interfaces from McGill University, a Master of Philosophy from Cambridge and a Bachelor of Arts (first class honors) from the University of Benin, Nigeria.