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Dr. Fay Cobb Payton, PhD

Program Director at the National Science Foundation in the Computer, Information Sciences and Engineering (CISE) Directorate

Biography

Dr. Fay Cobb Payton recently completed a rotation as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation in the Computer, Information Sciences and Engineering (CISE) Directorate.  At NSF, she initiated the CISE Minority Serving Institution Research Expansion Program and worked on several initiatives, such as INCLUDES, Smart Health and Biomedical Research in the Era of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Data Science; AI Fairness, Equity, Accountability & Transparency Dear Colleague Letter; Research Expansion and Cloud Computing Dear Colleague Letter with partnerships with Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

She received the NSF Director’s Award in 2020.  Now Professor Emerita, she was a Full Professor (with Tenure) of Information Technology/Analytics.  She is the co-chair DEI Committee for the Association for Computing Machinery Education Board. She is an American Council on Education Fellow and worked with higher education leaders from the United States and Ghana on strategic collaborations and public-private partners. 

She is a graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology, Clark Atlanta University and Case Western Reserve University.  She is a member of the National Academics of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Committee on Advancing Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in STEM Organizations.  She led the NSF funding to commission and support the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine Women of Color in Tech Consensus Report. 

Her research explores AI bias and data quality/curation which impacts health equity and disparities, talent management, and tech innovation along with ecosystems shaping lived experiences particularly among minoritized groups.  Dr. Payton has over 100 peer-reviewed journal publications, conference proceedings and book chapters.

She worked in the tech industry as a consultant and systems engineer at several corporations. She is the author of Leveraging Intersectionality: Seeing and Not Seeing. She serves on several advisory boards in the higher education, computing and tech sectors.