Bonnie Lei is a founding member and Head of Global Strategic Partnerships for Microsoft’s AI for Earth program, a five-year, $50 million cross-company effort delivering technology-enabled solutions to global environmental challenges. In this role, she has awarded 700+ grants in 100+ countries, is helping build the first Planetary Computer, and leads Microsoft’s effort to protect more land than it uses by 2025.
She has been recognized as an Aspen Institute First Mover Fellow, a Corporate Eco Forum Emerging Sustainability Leader, and a National Geographic Explorer. Leveraging her experience as a conservation biologist, Bonnie identifies and fosters technology innovations with maximum potential for positive environmental impact and feasible implementation. Previously, in the field, she helped initiate the marine program for Wildlife Conservation Society in Myanmar, discovered a new sea slug species in the Caribbean, and researched climate adaptation of endangered penguins in South Africa.
She received her degree in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, and was an inaugural Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University. Bonnie is based in Seattle, where she is a founding member of The Trust for Public Land’s Next Gen Council and served on the city’s Urban Forestry Commission.
The health of the planet depends on that of ecological communities. With the applications of land-cover mapping to forest management and biodiversity conservation, how can we help maintain the life of the planet?