Zia Khan

Senior Vice President/ChiefInnovation, The Rockefeller Foundation

Zia Khan is the Senior Vice President for Innovation at The Rockefeller Foundation where he oversees the Foundation’s approach to developing solutions to create transformative impact on people’s lives using novel technologies and techniques. He serves on the Boards of Atlas AI, Benefits Data Trust, DataKind, and Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of the University College London Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose and Stanford Social Innovation Review Books.

He has been with the Foundation for 13 years in a range of strategy and program leadership roles. Working with talented Foundation staff and innovative partners, he has incubated, launched, and overseen initiatives related to clean energy access, food waste, inclusive economic opportunity, Sustainable Development Goals advancement, data science for social impact, and the future of institutions. He has led teams ranging from research to implementation in the Foundation’s New York, Bangkok, and Nairobi offices.

Before joining the Foundation, he led the San Francisco office at Katzenbach Partners where he advised clients on leadership, strategy, and organizational performance and co-authored the book Leading Outside the Lines.

Zia holds a B.S. from Cornell University and a M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Authored Content

  • Jan 19 2021
    Perspective Let the Great Transition Begin Given the scale and shock of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is understandable that many leaders would seek a rapid return to the status quo ante. But now that vaccines have created a long-awaited opportunity to build anew, re-creating the conditions that led to the crises of 2020 would be a mistake. With Covid-19 vaccinations underway […] Zia Khan
  • Oct 27 2020
    Perspective Innovating for a Bold Future At The Rockefeller Foundation, we’ve always tried to stay one step ahead – imagining futures that inspire bold action and making catalytic bets that can lead to long-term change. As an institution deeply rooted in science and technology, we understand their transformational power to address today’s challenges – and help plan for those we haven’t […] Zia Khan
  • Jul 08 2020
    Perspective A Bretton Woods for AI: Ensuring Benefits for Everyone If “intelligence” helps us solve problems, we need as much as we can get right now. The Covid-19 virus, having killed over 500,000 people in just six months is also sparking a cascade of economic and social disruptions. And it’s only July. We benefit from intelligence when it helps us find a vaccine. But we […] Zia Khan
  • Jun 19 2020
    Perspective Rebuilding Towards the Great Reset: Crisis, Covid-19, and the Sustainable Development Goals The year 2020 will forever be associated with crises. First came the Covid-19 pandemic, a joint public health and economic emergency that spread around the world with unprecedented speed and scope.  Next came a crisis of international cooperation, as countries struggled to coordinate their efforts in tackling a common viral foe. Then came a compounding […] Zia Khan