Juan M. Lavista Ferres is the Vice President and Chief Data Scientist of the AI for Good Lab at Microsoft. Leading a team of dedicated data scientists and researchers in the domains of AI, Machine Learning, and statistical modeling, he partners with domain experts, researchers, and organizations worldwide to create a collaborative ecosystem that drives progress toward addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Juan started the Microsoft AI for Good Lab efforts related to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), and his work was published in top academic Journals, such as Pediatrics. This initial success set the stage for him and the team to widen their focus to a multitude of global challenges such as digital literacy, equity, climate change, disaster response, conservation, health, cybersecurity, and more. The outcomes of these endeavors found resonance not only in respected research journals but also in acclaimed news outlets, including Geekwire, BBC, NPR, Fast Company, Fortune Magazine, New York Times, CNN, USA Today, and more, totaling over 100 global news platforms.
A sought-after speaker, Juan has been featured at Strata, IEEE, TedX, Cornell University, and UC Berkeley, among others. His influence extends across borders, as he’s shared insights in the US, Canada, Switzerland, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Africa, and Uruguay. In addition, Juan’s editorial leadership shapes the Microsoft Journal of Applied Research (MSJAR), helping to define AI and Data Science within Microsoft.
Prior to his current role, Juan’s journey encompassed impactful roles in Microsoft’s Experimentation Platform (EXP) and Bing Data Mining team, as well as co-founding Alerts.com. Drawing from a six-year tenure at the InterAmerican Development Bank, he applied data science to understand poverty reduction and equality in Latin America and the Caribbean. Juan dives in to address global challenges armed with a computer science degree from the Catholic University in Uruguay, a graduate degree in Data Mining and Machine Learning from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in AI on Healthcare from Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. Juan resides in Kirkland, WA, with his wife and three children.