Bina Venkataraman

Research Affiliate

Bina Venkataraman works at the intersection of science, policy, and public life. She is a writer and leading thinker on emerging technologies, climate change, public health, and public controversies in science, and a policy practitioner who has forged partnerships across the private and public sectors to advance the health of people and the planet.

As Senior Advisor for Climate Change Innovation in the Obama White House, Venkataraman worked with companies, communities, and government agencies to promote resilience to climate disasters. From 2010-2015, she was also the chief policy advisor to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), a role in which she shaped response to the Ebola epidemic, promoted patient access to cancer therapies, and advanced reforms for public school science education in the United States.    A former science journalist for The New York Times and The Boston Globe, she is committed to public understanding of science and to rigorous public dialogues about the societal consequences of technologies.

Venkataraman is now the Director of Global Policy Initiatives at the Broad Institute of Harvard & MIT, and Senior Lecturer and Research Affiliate in the program on Science, Technology and Society at MIT. She is also a fellow at New America. She holds degrees from Brown University and the Harvard Kennedy School and is the recipient of fellowships including the Fulbright, Metcalf, James Reston, and Princeton in Asia. In 2015, the French-American Foundation named her a Global Young Leader. Her first book will be published by Riverhead, an imprint of Penguin/Random House, in August 2019.

Recent Books


The Optimist’s Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age

Bina Venkataraman

A trailblazing exploration of how we can plan better for the future—our own, our families’, and our society’s.
Many of us never learned—or have forgotten—how to make smart decisions for the …