Julia Powles

Director, UWA Tech & Policy Lab

Experienced research leader and government advisor in law and technology, known for promoting accountability and effective regulation of digital platforms across three continents.

Julia Powles is an internationally-recognised research leader in law and technology, with expertise in privacy, cybersecurity, digital regulation, intellectual property, health law, and the governance of data, artificial intelligence, and automation. She is a law professor at the University of Western Australia Law School and Director of the UWA Tech & Policy Lab, a unique interdisciplinary research centre driving national and international projects across law, policy, and emerging technology.

In 2019, Julia worked as the inaugural CEO of Frontier Technology at Minderoo Foundation, responsible for a $25m portfolio of projects. From 2020-23, alongside her leadership of the UWA Tech & Policy Lab, she founded and led the Global Tech Impact Network, a three year, $20m international research alliance between UWA, UCLA, NYU, and Cambridge, committed to key accountability reforms in the technology ecosystem.

Drawing on professional experience in legal practice, policymaking, and scientific research, Julia currently serves on three federal and two State government advisory boards, across a breadth of expert domains – artificial intelligence, robotics, privacy, data sharing, and education. At the federal level, she advises the Parliamentary Committee on Generative AI in Education, the Responsible AI Think Tank of the National AI Centre, and the National Robotics Strategy. At the State level, she is the only non-governmental Board member of the Privacy and Information Sharing (PRIS) Implementation Steering Committee, and the Chair of the PRIS Universities Network.

Julia researches and teaches on the responsibilities and duties of Board members within the private and public sector, and she is an active member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Australian Institute of Management Western Australia, and the Law Council of Australia (Business Law Section). Prior to joining UWA, Julia held appointments at New York University, Cornell Tech, the University of Cambridge, The Guardian, and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Julia studied genetics, biophysics, and law in Australia, and received her BCL from Oxford and PhD from Cambridge as a Commonwealth and Cambridge-Australia Scholar.

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