Eleonore Fournier Tombs

Eleonore Fournier-Tombs

Head of Anticipatory Action and Innovation

PhD, University of Geneva
MI, University of Toronto
MSc, University of London School of Oriental and African Studies
BA, McGill University

Eleonore Fournier-Tombs is a senior researcher at UNU-CPR and Research Lead for the UN's High-Level Advisory Body on Artificial Intelligence. 

During her career, Eleonore Fournier-Tombs has worked as a data scientist throughout the United Nations system and conducted research at the intersection of technology and gender, migration, democracy and health.

In 2012, she was awarded the UN21 Award by Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for her work at UN-OICT on the Rio+20 Conference. She then worked for the Human Development Report Office from 2012 to 2015, where she managed human development data and online communications. Between 2015 and 2018, she obtained her PhD from the university of Geneva, during which she developed a machine learning method to measure the quality of political deliberations online. She was then awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at McGill University, where she worked on using this tool to analyse parliamentary debates in the Canadian territories of Nunavut, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories.

From 2018 to 2020, Eleonore worked as a data scientist at the Centre for Humanitarian Data, OCHA, where she contributed notably to modelling COVID-19 in countries experiencing humanitarian crises. She continued this work in 2020 and 2021 at the World Bank, where she also participated in climate-related policy research in Afghanistan, Morocco, and Jamaica.

In 2021, Eleonore founded a research lab in the research chair on Accountable AI in a Global Context at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, where she was one of the recipients of an IDRC grant on AI for COVID-19 in Senegal and in Mali. Eleonore has also lectured at the Université de Montréal in new technologies for international cooperation and is a member of the editorial board for Data & Policy journal.

Research Interests

  • AI and Data Policy
  • Deliberative Democracy
  • Technology and Sustainable Development


Working Paper

Diversity Among Peacekeepers: Who Is Involved in UN Peace Support Operations and How Does It Matter?

Identifying potential correlations between the personnel characteristics of peacekeeping missions and national and cross-border stability dynamics.

18 Apr 2024


Regulating Cross-Border Data Flows: Harnessing Safe Data Sharing for Global and Inclusive Artificial Intelligence

This technology brief proposes a strategy to promote global cooperation to synergize conversations on cross-border data flow and AI.

26 Oct 2023


A Global Architecture for Artificial Intelligence

Consolidating key questions surrounding global AI governance.

17 Oct 2023


Artificial Intelligence-Powered Disinformation and Conflict

New policy brief explores recent developments in Artificial Intelligence and their impact on disinformation-fueled conflict.

08 Sep 2023


The Use of Synthetic Data to Train AI Models: Opportunities and Risks for Sustainable Development

This technology brief explores the potential of synthetic data to accelerate the attainment of the SDGs through AI in the Global South.

04 Sep 2023

Blog Post

Developing inclusive AI policy in Southeast Asia

UNU Macau investigated gaps and opportunities in gender and other societal biases of AI in Southeast Asia to inform future policy development.

02 Feb 2023

Blog Post

Addressing (Un)intelligence: Gender Stereotyping in Collective and Artificial Intelligence

What happens if those with different perspectives are unable to participate? Or if the collective is so large that any new ideas are diluted?

13 Sep 2022

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