Aspen Digital

Sam Gregory

Executive Director, WITNESS

Sam Gregory's headshot.

Sam Gregory is an internationally recognized, award-winning human rights advocate and technologist and expert on smartphone witnessing, deepfakes, media authenticity and generative AI. He helps ensure we are better prepared globally for deceptive AI and deepfakes as we enter a pivotal election year. He has over twenty years of experience at the forefront of practices, impact and innovations in video, technology, human rights, civic participation and media. Sam has testified to both the US House and Senate on AI and synthetic media and is a TED speaker on how to prepare better for the threat of deepfakes.

In 2018, Sam initiated the first globally focused effort to ‘Prepare, Don’t Panic‘ ( around deepfakes and generative AI images/video –  the first globally focused effort to ground these technologies in realities of frontline journalists and human rights defenders and which has directly influenced platform policies, emerging technologies for trust such as the C2PA and public discussion of who and what to prioritize. He is widely known and consulted as an advocate, researcher and speaker on deepfakes, Generative AI’s promise and perils, innovation in how to understand media authenticity and provenance, and emerging forms of mis/disinformation. 

Sam specializes in foresight and strategic innovation with a track record in anticipating and proactively responding to pivotal shifts in use of cellphones and social media, citizen journalism, live-streaming, and AI. For the past twelve years he has worked on emerging technologies as they impact grassroots media and democratic accountability.

He is currently the Executive Director of WITNESS, a global human rights and civic journalism network.  He leads WITNESS’s new strategic plan to “Fortify the Truth” and champions their global team of activists and partners who support millions of people using video and technology globally to protect and defend human rights.  As an organizational leader he has overall responsibility for a team of 50 and over $7million budget. He has successfully led and helped lead WITNESS through a series of strategic shifts and major growth in staff and budget.
Sam has testified in both the US Senate and House, spoken at TED, Davos and the White House and was a 2012-17 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. From 2018-21 he co-chaired the Partnership on AI’s Expert Group on AI and the Media. Sam has served on the Technology Advisory Board of the International Criminal Court, Twitter Trust & Safety Council and led the Threats and Harms Taskforce within the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA). Among other fellowships/affiliations are a two-time Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Resident on the future of video and future of trust in an era of AI,  and an Institute for the Future ‘Future for Good’ Fellow.