World Leader in AIWS Alondra Nelson and Ami Fields-Meyer at the White House

May 13, 2024News

2024 World Leader in AIWS Award Alondra Nelson wrote about the ceremony to celebrate the spectacular tenure of Ami Fields-Meyer, her former Chief of Staff during her time at the Office of Science and Technology Policy and a speaker at the BGF Conference “Governing the Future: AI, Democracy, and Humanity” at Harvard University Loeb House, April 30, 2024.

Dr. Nelson wrote:

It was sheer joy to return to the White House this week to celebrate the spectacular tenure of Ami Fields-Meyer at the Office of the Vice President of the United States and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. As I said on Tuesday, one of my fondest (and recurring) memories of Ami is his being in his office late at night after most others had left. Whenever I thought I was the only one remaining on the 4th floor of the EEOB, there was Ami, outlasting me for a few minutes or hours. Ike Irby, PhD, Deputy Domestic Policy Advisor to Vice President Harris, spoke powerfully and eloquently about how the *impact* of this hard work and these late nights would be manifest in US and international AI governance.

Ami came to science and technology policy after working on some of the thorniest domestic policy issues we face, including the COVID-19 pandemic, generational poverty, and homelessness in New York City and Los Angeles. Through this work, he came to appreciate that equitable science and technology policy are domestic policy, economic justice policy, health equity policy, and housing policy and more; they sit at the center of our greatest current and future challenges, and of some of the possible solutions to them. His long hours were a reflection of the sense of urgency he felt for the work at hand and a recognition of the small window of time we’d been granted by the American public to make a material improvement in their lives. I like to think this was why Ami was so frequently in the office late into the night (but I know it was also because he could be bribed with dinner from the Navy Mess 😂).

When we faced difficult policy issues and decision points, Ami and I would trade gems of wisdom from our parents with our colleagues: “Rabbi Shawn would say…” “Delores would want us to pray on it” “My dad has this saying from New Orleans…” “Tom would write it this way…” Our families were always, always with us. So it was extra special that Ami’s dad, Tom Fields-Meyer, joined us in cheering him on.

Bravo, Ami–thank you for your service! And, onward!

Please watch Ami Fields-Meyer’s presentation at the BGF Conference on YouTube.

Alondra Nelson and Ami Fields-Meyer at the BGF Conference