Dr. Ayesha Khanna is Co-Founder and CEO of Addo, a global artificial intelligence (AI) solutions firm headquartered in Singapore and San Francisco. She has been a strategic advisor on artificial intelligence, smart cities and the metaverse to leading corporations and governments around the world.
In 2017, Addo was featured in Forbes magazine as one of four leading artificial intelligence companies in Asia and Ayesha was named one of Southeast Asia's groundbreaking female entrepreneurs by Forbes magazine in 2018. Addo's clients have included SMRT, Singapore's largest public transport company; Mercy, one of the largest hospital networks in the United States; Singtel, Singapore's largest telco; SOMPO, Japan's largest insurance firm; Habib Bank, Pakistan's largest bank; and Smart Dubai, the government agency tasked to transform Dubai into a leading smart city. Prior to founding Addo, Ayesha spent more than a decade on Wall Street developing large scale trading, risk management and data analytics systems for leading financial institutions.
Ayesha is an active advisor and board member to companies and smart city projects. Ayesha serves on the board of AVEVA Group, a British FTSE 100 multinational technology firm that is a global leader in industrial software. She also serves on the board of NEOM Tech and Digital Holding Company, which is responsible for formulating the vision and delivery of the technology infrastructure (which includes AI, robotics, blockchain, and virtual reality) for NEOM, the $500 billion smart city under development in Saudi Arabia. Ayesha also serves on the global Scientific Advisory Board of L’Oreal, the world's largest cosmetics company, where she advises on the future of new technologies, disruptive innovations and changing consumer preferences.
Ayesha serves on the board of Ngee Ann Polytechnic, a leading polytechnic in Singapore with 44 full-time programs through 9 academic schools and a student population of almost 15,000. She is also a member of the board of Sport Singapore, the lead government agency tasked with developing a holistic sports culture for the nation.
From 2018-2022, Ayesha served on the board of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the Singapore government agency that develops and regulates its world-class technology sector to drive the country's digital economy and power its Smart Nation vision. In 2014, Ayesha was a member of the Singapore’s Ministry of Education’s steering committee that resulted in Skills Future, an innovative national program that aligns education with economic demand, career guidance and lifelong learning to prepare citizens for the fourth industrial revolution.
Ayesha is the Founder of 21C GIRLS (21st Century Girls), a charity that delivers free coding and artificial intelligence classes to girls in Singapore. Programs include Code in the Community, a program sponsored by Google and that has taught thousands of children (8-14 yrs) coding, and Empower, which has partnered with Ngee Ann Polytechnic to teach girls (18-24 yrs) the basics of artificial intelligence. Ayesha is also the Founder of Squad, a global collective for women who want to learn, build and invest in the Metaverse and Web3.
Ayesha has presented at major financial, technology and other industry conferences, provided high level government briefings, chaired symposiums such as AI Asia, and spoken at TEDx events. She is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Councils, a community of international experts who provide thought leadership on the impact and governance of emerging technologies.
Ayesha is the author of Straight Through Processing (2008) and co-author of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization (2012). She has been published and quoted on technology, innovation and smart cities in The New York Times, BusinessWeek, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Strategy+Business, and Foreign Policy.
Ayesha was featured in ZDF’s (Germany’s largest TV channel) documentary on twelve “Leading Women” around the world (2019). She has been named one of Singapore's leading women in tech (Singapore Computer Society), and been recently profiled for her work in artificial intelligence in leading publications including Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland), Focus Magazin (Germany), Corriere della Sera (Italy), Dagens Næringsliv (Norway), Lëtzebuerger Journal (Luxembourg), Computer Sweden (Sweden), Information Age (Nordics), Peak (Singapore), and In The Black (Australia).
Ayesha has a BA (honors) in Economics from Harvard University, an MS in Operations Research from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Information Systems (focused on digital innovation in smart cities) from the London School of Economics.