William O'Brien

Ph.D. Student, History and Peace Studies

Will O’Brien is a PhD student in the Peace Studies and History program in Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Department of History. He holds an M.A. in Religion in Global Politics from SOAS, University of London and a B.A. in Religion and a minor in Arabic from the University of Rochester. Previously, Will worked in foreign policy and international development in Washington, DC; London, England; and Cairo, Egypt. In his most recent roles, he served as a speech writer, research assistant, and executive assistant for senior leaders at the Atlantic Council and the United States Institute of Peace.

As a Graduate Research Fellow with the Notre Dame-IBM Tech Ethics Lab, Will plans to use his skills as a historian and peace researcher to reconstruct historical conflicts surrounding technological advancement and utilize conflict mapping techniques to chart and analyze these conflicts. This historical study will facilitate the creation of educational materials and guidance for policy makers, tech innovators, and business leader facing ethical dilemmas related to emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cryptocurrencies, and robotics. Utilizing the findings of this research will serve individuals developing and regulating emerging technologies and benefit marginalized communities and individuals impacted by these technologies.