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The open-source AI advocate

Ibrahim Haddad, PhD 06
November 6, 2023
By Doug Sweet

Portrait of a smiling man wearing a shirt and suit jacket.

With artificial intelligence becoming firmly rooted in today’s digital landscape, Ibrahim Haddad is on a mission to ensure that everyone has access to AI technology — for free – available under an open-source license. As vice-president of Strategic Programs for the San Francisco-based Linux Foundation, he’s focused on facilitating a vendor-neutral environment for advancing the open source AI platform and empowering generations of innovators by providing a neutral, trusted hub for developers to code, manage and scale open-source technology projects.

Before joining the Linux Foundation, Haddad held technology and portfolio management roles throughout his career at Ericsson Research, Open Source Development Labs, Motorola, Palm, Hewlett-Packard and Samsung Research.

As a graduate student at Concordia, Haddad was the recipient of the J.W. McConnell Memorial Graduate Fellowship and the Concordia University 25th Anniversary Fellowship. Following graduation, Haddad lived in Austin, Texas, Los Gatos, California, and Seattle, Washington, before returning to his native Lebanon very recently to be closer to his parents and extended family.

Embracing AI

“Challenges range from computational power to execute these algorithms to legislative issues. I don’t think robots will take over the world, but they will help us run our lives. Today, there is a talent war between top companies to see who can hire the best individuals. If you are a student and considering AI, this is a hot domain — AI is here to stay and open source is dominant.”

Inspiration at Concordia

"Concordia was a very positive experience — studying for a PhD, working as a data analyst and working on my own research. Gregory Butler, my supervisor from 1999 to 2006, and Bill Atwood, who later, on sabbatical, worked on my team at Ericsson, were extremely influential in helping me work with others and grow my collaboration skills. Today, I act as a facilitator across hundreds of organizations and projects.” 

Lifelong learning

“One of the ways I like to spend my downtime is trying to catch up on my knowledge. Education doesn’t stop at your last degree. There are always opportunities to learn more.”

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