Emory University Opens Search for the Inaugural James W. Wagner Chair in Ethics


Emory University seeks the inaugural James W. Wagner Chair in Ethics. This is an endowed chair faculty position with a special focus on the ethics of artificial intelligence or AI, created with the support of the university’s board of trustees to honor and recognize Emory President James W. Wagner (2003-2016) for his “commitment to education and life at Emory.”  

We desire a leading scholar who works in AI ethics, governance, responsible AI, or other fields concerned with the implications of artificial intelligence in public and private settings. As organizations increasingly rely on AI and as novel applications emerge, ethically committed institutions like Emory need to articulate values that can help guide development and respond to emerging problems. Whoever holds the Wagner Chair should thus be comfortable with public scholarship and be able to engage AI theorists and developers in concrete ways.

At Emory, the field of ethics is conceived comprehensively to encompass humanistic, natural scientific, and social scientific inquiry as well the professions. We thus need a scholar with a history of productive, multi-disciplinary research and teaching and an ability to work across units and schools. 

Both Emory and Atlanta are already home to a broad range of AI work. The University also features a large and well-integrated Center for Ethics that brings together ethics scholars from around campus, including some already working in AI ethics. Whoever holds the Wagner Chair therefore will enter an existing community with the task of deepening its ties and helping it grow—and growth is on the horizon. Over the next several years, Emory is committed to recruiting and hiring forty to sixty AI researchers across the university. The Wagner Chair is an initial step in a major initiative that seeks to put Emory at the heart of the AI revolution.