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Tiffany Oliver, Ph.D.

Jefferson Science Fellow in the Office of Global Food Security


Dr. Tiffany Oliver is a dynamic motivational speaker, author, professor, and scientist. For almost 20 years, she has captivated audiences with her research and presentations on leadership, persistence, and excellence. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Tiffany is celebrated for her TedxTalk – Creating diverse and equitable initiatives in data science.

Dr. Oliver is passionate about increasing diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines. She does this by running a research lab that employs and engages students in scientific research. Dr. Oliver also creates opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration and experiential learning by leading projects that integrate STEM and the arts, better known as STEAM. Studies show that STEAM projects promote inquiry, problem solving, dialogue, critical thinking, and experiential learning. Her students have won cash prizes and scholarships for their participation in activities including but not limited to the Army Research Lab’s Student Design Competition, where they created a fully functional, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), otherwise known as a “drone”, upon being provided with nothing but a sample of the bacteria. Dr. Oliver also worked with an interdisciplinary team of faculty and students that placed second in the International Bio Design Competition (BDC). In her first year of participation, her students placed second out of 51 international institutions for the design of a bio-inspired garment, that imbued modular biosensors and spider silk to provide physical protection as well as enable the communication of health and emotions between wearers via a virtual network.

Dr. Oliver’s passion for increasing diversity, specifically within the field of data science is highlighted by the student and faculty research programs she has created. She currently directs three undergraduate research programs that teach students how to code and provides them with the research experience, networking, and professional development needed to be competitive for careers in the field of data science. These programs have been funded by Fortune 500 companies including the Southern Company and Accenture. Dr. Oliver also serves as the Co-PI on a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), which funds a 3+2 master’s program that allows STEM majors to receive both their Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Data Science in only 5 years. As it pertains to opportunities for faculty, Dr. Oliver a served as a team lead and co-facilitator for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Excelencia’s “Leveraging Big Data to Achieve Equity” program. In this capacity, she taught faculty how to code and about the importance of data integrity, privacy and confidentiality.

Dr. Tiffany Oliver holds the distinction of Carnegie and Rockefeller Distinguished Research Scholar and serves as a Professor of Biology at Spelman College. She has a Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology from Emory University (Atlanta, GA) and has broad expertise in application of data science and computational approaches to the understanding of genetic phenomena. With millions of dollars in scientific research and programmatic funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), she currently serves as a 2023-2024 Jefferson Science Fellow in the Office of Global Food Security, a prestigious honor bestowed by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM)

Science Programs at Allen Institute