Dr. Maya Shankar

Maya Shankar is a cognitive scientist who served as a Senior Advisor in the Obama White House, where she founded and served as Chair of the White House Behavioral Science Team. She also served as the first Behavioral Science Advisor to the United Nations under Ban Ki-moon, and as a core member of Pete Buttigieg’s debate preparation team during his presidential run. Maya has a postdoctoral fellowship in cognitive neuroscience at Stanford, a Ph.D. from Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, and a B.A. from Yale. She has been profiled by The New Yorker and has been featured in The New York Times, Scientific American, and Forbes. She’s also been the featured guest on NPR’s All Things Considered, Freakonomics, and Hidden Brain. She’s a former private violin student of Itzhak Perlman and graduate of The Juilliard School’s pre-college program. Maya is currently a Senior Director of Behavioral Economics at Google.

Photo: Kirsten Lara Getchell