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Data & Trust Alliance Appoints Saira Jesani as Executive Director, Jon Iwata Becomes Executive Chairman

The Data & Trust Alliance today announced the appointment of Saira Jesani as Executive Director. She succeeds Jon Iwata, who becomes Executive Chairman. The Alliance is a not-for-profit consortium of 29 leading businesses and institutions committed to the development and adoption of responsible data and AI practices and policies.

As Deputy Executive Director over the past three years, Saira has led development of all D&TA’s products – tools and education for algorithmic safety, M&A diligence for AI, and, most recently, the first cross-industry standards for data provenance. The work entails significant collaboration with experts from D&TA member companies, industry and civil society.

“The time is right for this transition,” said Jon Iwata, who served as Executive Director since D&TA’s founding in 2020. “The Alliance is growing, both in membership and in the impact of its work. Saira has been an invaluable partner—not only in creating pragmatic solutions that make responsible AI real in business, but also in forging trusted partnerships with experts in some of the world’s most important enterprises.”

D&TA co-chair Ken Chenault said, “The establishment of the Data & Trust Alliance as a force for responsible, pragmatic data and AI practices is largely a tribute to the vision and leadership of Jon Iwata since D&TA's founding in 2020. He and Saira Jesani have partnered together to nurture and grow D&TA into the influential, mature organization it is today, and we couldn't be more excited for the next phase of its journey.”

“CEOs in every industry are transforming their companies with AI,” said Sam Palmisano, D&TA co-chair. “They know the impact AI will have on customers, employees, society— all stakeholders—and they want to get it right. The work of the Alliance has never been more needed.”

Before joining D&TA, Saira was a Partner at SYPartners, where she worked for 10 years with enterprise leaders to envision and design new futures. She has a background in science journalism and received her B.S. in Microbiology and Immunology from McGill University. Born in Kenya, Saira spent much of her life in Africa and the Middle East before moving to New York City.

Today the Alliance also named Mike Wing as the first D&TA Fellow. Before this appointment, Mike was a communications executive at IBM for two decades, retiring in 2018.

The Data & Trust Alliance was formed by CEOs in 2020 to develop and drive adoption of responsible data and AI practices. Its members include leading companies across industry. These include American Express, CVS Health, GM, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Mastercard, Meta, Pfizer, Nike, UPS, Walmart and Warby Parker. Recently joining the Alliance are AT&T, Best Buy, Chevron, Salesforce and Elemental Cognition.