Philip Dawson

Philip Dawson

Technology and Human Rights Fellow

Philip Dawson is Public Policy Lead at Element AI, a leading AI solutions company headquartered in Montreal, Canada, where his policy research and advocacy work focuses on data and AI governance.


Phil is active in both national and international policy making efforts related to data and AI. He is the Co-chair of the Canadian Data Governance Standardization Collaborative, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on the Future of Human Rights and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the UN Global Pulse Expert Group on the Governance of Data and AI, and an active participant in OECD policy initiatives on AI. He has spoken at several international conferences and summits, including the Internet Governance Forum, meetings hosted by UN Global Pulse and UN Human Rights, UNESCO's conference on principles for AI, RightsCon, MozFest, and the Open Government Partnership Summit.


A licensed attorney, Phil began his career in civil and commercial litigation before working at the UN aviation agency, advising on the development of international standards for data protection and unmanned aircraft systems. He holds degrees in political science, comparative politics and law from McGill University and the London School of Economics and Political Science.


As a Technology and Human Rights Fellow at the Carr Center, Phil’s research will focus on the human rights implications of smart city projects, drawing on his experience leading a preliminary human rights impact assessment of innovations proposed for the City of Toronto, with a view to developing guidance for appropriate policy and regulatory responses.