Advancing AI Safety: Biden Administration Appoints Director for New Institute


  • Biden administration appoints Elizabeth Kelly as director of the newly established AI Safety Institute.
  • Kelly, a top White House aide and economic policy adviser, played a key role in shaping the executive order that created the institute.
  • The AI Safety Institute, housed within the National Institute for Standards and Technology, aims to develop rigorous safety standards for AI systems.
  • By July, the institute plans to finalize “red team” testing standards to ensure AI safety for consumers and businesses.
  • Standardized safety testing is seen as crucial for unlocking the full potential of AI technology and fostering broader adoption.
  • Elizabeth Kelly’s extensive background includes experience at Yale Law School, the Obama administration, and Capital One, positioning her well for this role.

Main AI News:

In a strategic move aimed at fortifying the nation’s stance on artificial intelligence (AI) safety, the Biden administration has appointed a seasoned White House aide to helm the newly established AI Safety Institute. Elizabeth Kelly, currently serving as an economic policy adviser to President Joe Biden, will take the reins as director of this pivotal institute housed within the National Institute for Standards and Technology, a division of the Commerce Department.

Kelly’s appointment underscores the administration’s commitment to prioritizing technological safety and regulation. She played a pivotal role in shaping the executive order signed in October that paved the way for the establishment of the AI Safety Institute, according to a statement released by the Commerce Department.

Lael Brainard, director of the White House National Economic Council, commended Kelly’s efforts, noting her instrumental role in crafting the president’s tech and financial regulatory agenda and her success in rallying diverse stakeholders around shared objectives.

The primary objective of the newly formed institute is to foster the responsible development and deployment of AI technologies. Central to this mission is the establishment of rigorous “red team” testing standards by July, aimed at ensuring the safety and reliability of AI systems for both consumers and businesses.

Recognizing the pivotal role of standardized safety testing in unlocking the full potential of AI, the administration views the institute’s work as critical to building trust and facilitating broader adoption of AI technologies across various sectors.

While the federal government has initiated requirements for AI companies to conduct safety testing, existing standards remain fragmented. The AI Safety Institute aims to address this gap by consolidating and finalizing a comprehensive set of standards by the summer, providing much-needed clarity and consistency in safety assessments.

Elizabeth Kelly brings a wealth of experience to her new role, with a background that includes tenure at Yale Law School, previous work within the Obama administration, and corporate experience at financial powerhouse Capital One, as detailed on her LinkedIn profile. Her multifaceted expertise positions her well to navigate the complex intersection of technology, policy, and industry interests inherent in the AI safety landscape.


The appointment of Elizabeth Kelly as director of the AI Safety Institute underscores the Biden administration’s commitment to advancing responsible AI development. By establishing comprehensive safety standards, the institute aims to mitigate risks and build trust, paving the way for greater innovation and adoption of AI technologies in the market.