Dr. Mahendra Samarawickrama

Manager of Data Science and Analytics at Australian Red Cross

Dr. Mahendra Samarawickrama (GAICD, MBA, SMIEEE, ACS(CP)) is the ICT Professional of the Year 2022 in the ACS Digital Disruptors Awards. He is a senior leader in the AI and data science sector with rich experience across a wide range of people, cultures, technologies and governance. He is a founding director of the Center for Ethical AI and the Center for Sustainable AI, focusing on AI for sustainability. He is extremely passionate about empowering people, innovations, and creativity to enhance the businesses and customer experience. His experience spans across conceptualising, building and managing a variety of AI and data science teams, systems and processes.

In the Australian Red Cross, he leads the AI and data-science strategy while building capabilities for social justice and sustainability with diversity, equity and inclusion in AI and data science by mobilising the power of humanity. He is an author, inventor, mentor, advisor and regularly speaks at various tech forums, conferences and events worldwide.

He is an industry collaborator who actively leads technology innovation-and-transformation initiatives and partnerships toward humanity, social justice and sustainability. In these perspectives, he is an Advisory Council Member in Harvard Business Review (HBR), an Expert in AI ethics and governance at Global AI Ethics Institute, an industry Mentor in the UNSW business school, a senior member of IEEE (SMIEEE), an honorary visiting scholar at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), an Advisor for D4SG (Data for Social Good) Hackathon in Data Science and Ai Association of Australia (DSAi), and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

In recognition of these contributions, his team became finalists in 1) the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Action Award in the 2021 IoT Awards, 2) the Best Use of Technology to Revolutionise CX Award in 2021 Ashton Media CX Awards, 3) the Service Transformation for the Digital Consumer for Not for Profit / NGO in 2022 ACS Digital Disruptors Awards, and contributed to winning the CX Team of the Year Award in 2021 Ashton Media CX Awards. All of these awards are prestigious national awards.