Dr. Karen Rommelfanger

Gap finder, bridge builder.

I saw and need and decided to address it. That’s how I became a pioneer of neurotech ethics strategy and consulting.

I was raised in a bicultural family, I am an American-Chinese, Buddhist-Catholic, military- “third-culture kid” who spent half my childhood in Japan and the other half in West Texas, USA. From these experiences I cultivated skills in bridging cultures and worlds. Today, I build connections across not only disciplines but also diverse geographic, cultural and moral backgrounds. I use my neuroscientific training to inform ethics discussions about technological development and I’ve been in neuroethics almost as long as the field has existed. Not only do I run a Neuroethics and Neurotech Innovation Lab, I also work in the contexts of transnational government organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and public-private cooperation global leaders like the World Economic Forum.

Overall, I’m inspired by ambitious tech innovation projects that aim to be ethically bold and globally impactful. Working at the frontiers of emerging tech and seeing an urgent need, I’ve learned to use my PhD-training in neuroscience and ethics to lead strategic tech visioning that incorporates ethics design thinking to help align innovator values with societal interests. I’ve also seen an unmet need for cross-cultural and cross-sectoral dialogue that can stifle neuroinnovation. Dedicated to bridging across geographic and practice communities, I’m frequently called upon as trusted advisor, collaborator, and convener of high-level global stakeholders across academia, industry, and government to create actionable recommendations and policy. You can also find me on the international speaker circuit and featured in the media as commentator on the most breaking neuroscience developments. I find joy in bringing insights and facilitating opportunities for shared discovery and co-creation of solutions for today’s (and tomorrow’s) thorniest ethical issues in tech. I’m looking forward to working with you.

Still curious about me? Learn more at LinkedIn about why and how I know my stuff or listen to my recent podcast on National Public Radio, Difficult Brain science Brings Difficult Ethical Questions.