Kay Firth-Butterfield

Close this search box.

New America Future of Work and the Innovation Economy Initiative appointment

New America appointed Kay Firth-Butterfield as a Fellow in the Future of Work and Innovation Economy initiative.

New America’s Future of Work and the Innovation Economy Initiative Welcomes Three Inaugural Fellows

April 16, 2024
Kay Firth-Butterfield appointed Fellow with New America Future of Work initiative

Press Release: Washington, DC – The Future of Work and the Innovation Economy (FOWIE) initiative, housed within the Center on Education and Labor at New America (CELNA), is pleased to announce that three new senior executives are joining its growing team as inaugural FOWIE fellows. Kay Firth-Butterfield, Antonio Delgado Fornaguera, and Joanna Mikulski—representing key expertise from a range of industry, academia, and policy backgrounds—will help FOWIE advance its work in the areas of AI and labor policy; community college job training for emerging industries; and aligning technology and talent development policy.

Established in October 2023, FOWIE is dedicated to strengthening postsecondary education, workforce, labor, and social institutions and seeks to mitigate the risks and maximize the benefits of emerging technologies for workers and students.

FOWIE conducts research, contributes to policy debate, convenes communities, and tells stories to realize the promise of family-sustaining work in an era of rapid technological and social change. It emphasizes building capacity and partnerships for and between community colleges, labor unions, federal agencies, state government, and R&D organizations to ensure that the innovation economy offers good jobs and reliable workforce pathways to those jobs.

The three new fellows will support FOWIE’s work across all areas of emphasis.

“New America’s vision of the new America is an innovative nation, a dynamic country in which all Americans have the opportunity to share in the benefits of scientific and technological innovation and to be safeguarded from unintended harms of those innovations. FOWIE understands that robust participation in innovation ecosystems requires deeply intentional policy design and a willingness on the part of all of our institutions to ensure that new technologies counter rather than deepen current inequities,” said Anne-Marie Slaughter, New America’s CEO. “We are delighted to be welcoming Antonio, Joanna, and Kay to New America to support FOWIE’s mission.”

See also: The work we want – how AI will change our working lives

“The future of work is ours to shape. Maximizing the social and economic benefits of technological change requires thoughtful policies developed in consultation with a broad base of community stakeholders,” said Mary Alice McCarthy, CELNA’s founder and senior director. “We are thrilled to welcome three national experts to guide our research and help bring critical voices to the policymaking table.”

“FOWIE was established to help policymakers harness the power of a thriving innovation economy to rebuild and renew the American middle class and to bring about a future of work that is worth working,” said Shalin Jyotishi, New America’s senior advisor for Education, Labor, and Future of Work and founder of FOWIE. “Antonio, Joanna, and Kay have embodied that vision throughout their careers, and we are honored to be working alongside them to advance this urgent work.”

Meet the FOWIE Fellows

Kay Firth-Butterfield is one of the world’s foremost experts on the governance of artificial intelligence and its impact on people. She is the former head of AI and a member of the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum where she oversaw the forum’s work around AI, business, policy, governance, and ethics. She is currently CEO of Good Tech Advisory, LLC, and a senior research fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. TIME Magazine recently awarded her the 100 Impact Award for her leadership in harnessing responsible AI.

As a fellow, Firth-Butterfield will continue the work she began with FOWIE’s founder, Shalin Jyotishi, at the World Economic Forum within a project that aimed to harness AI and other technologies to improve job quality long before ChatGPT elevated the global dialogue around AI. She will provide strategic advice and support for FOWIE’s growing focus on worker power, job quality, and labor. Learn more about Firth-Butterfield.

Antonio Delgado Fornaguera is the first vice president of Innovation and Technology Partnerships and former dean of Engineering, Technology, and Design at Miami Dade College, one of the largest and most diverse higher education institutions in the United States.

At Miami Dade College (MDC), he developed strategic partnerships and cutting-edge programs that engage MDC students and the community at large with emerging technologies and support MDC’s role at the frontier of innovation. Under Delgado Fornaguera’s leadership, MDC has become a leader in community college AI education, creating the first certificate, associate’s degree, and bachelor’s degree in AI at the community college level.

Delgado Fornaguera has contributed to several New America efforts relating to community colleges and workforce development. As a fellow, Delgado Fornaguera will help advance FOWIE’s growing body of research, storytelling, and technical assistance focused on community colleges in the innovation economy, including its efforts related to AI education, emerging technology job training, and regional economic development partnerships. Learn more about Delgado Fornaguera.

Joanna Mikulski most recently served as senior policy advisor for Labor and Higher Education at the White House Domestic Policy Council. She advised senior Biden Administration officials on education and training needs in response to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act. She led efforts to expand access to good jobs and careers in industries including biotechnology, clean energy, and advanced manufacturing.

Mikulski will help advance FOWIE’s federal policy development, implementation, and advocacy portfolio, which is focused on the intersection of higher education, workforce development, and federal investments, including those related to the Investing in America suite of major infrastructure bills. Learn more about Mikulski.

Learn more about New America’s Future of Work and the Innovation Economy initiative at www.newamerica.org/futureofwork and subscribe to its Future of Work Bulletin. Questions may be directed to New America’s Shalin Jyotishi.