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Advancing AI Initiatives, Secretary of Commerce Announces Key Executive Leadership at U.S. AI Safety Institute


This week, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced two key members of the executive leadership team who are appointed to lead the U.S. AI Safety Institute (AISI), established at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). Elizabeth Kelly, special assistant to the president for economic policy, will lead AISI as its inaugural director and Elham Tabassi, chief AI advisor for NIST, will serve as chief technology officer.

The U.S. AI Safety Institute was established to support the responsibilities assigned to the Department of Commerce under President Biden’s Executive Order (EO) on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence, issued in October 2023. The EO builds on previous administration efforts requiring AI developers to share safety test results and other information with the government and directing U.S. agencies to set standards for that testing.

As AISI director, Kelly will be responsible for providing executive leadership, management, and oversight of the AI Safety Institute and coordinating with other AI policy and technical initiatives throughout the Department of Commerce, NIST, and across the government. 

For her role as AISI’s CTO, Tabassi will be responsible for leading key technical programs of the Institute, focused on supporting the development and deployment of AI that is safe, secure, and trustworthy. She will be responsible for shaping efforts at NIST and with the broader AI community to conduct research, develop guidance, and conduct evaluations of AI models including advanced large language models in order to identify and mitigate AI safety risks. Tabassi, named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in AI (2023), was a keynote speaker at last year’s ANSI’s World Standards Week, where she joined the session Will Generative AI Rewrite the Future? and shared insights with fellow experts about how generative AI is transforming industries.

“I am confident that under the leadership of Elizabeth Kelly and Elham Tabassi, the U.S. AI Safety Institute will be well positioned to develop the measurement science needed to promote safe and trustworthy development of AI,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST director Laurie E. Locascio.

Access the full press announcement via the U.S. Commerce Department’s website.

As previously reported, ANSI encourages collaboration and engagement in numerous activities surrounding standardization in AI, including its ongoing efforts:


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Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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