Davar Ardalan is the Founder and Storyteller in Chief of IVOW, an early stage startup specializing in AI-driven cultural content, aiming to make navigating the global marketplace easier via cultural analysis. She is also the former Deputy Director of the White House Presidential Innovation Fellowship Program in Washington D.C.
Prior to this, she was a public broadcasting journalist for two decades at NPR News, where she designed stories anchored in multiculturalism and steeped in historical context. In 2015, her last position at NPR was senior producer of the Identity and Culture Unit. Realizing that there is a gaping hole in AI algorithms that will define our future, she created IVOW, bringing together a team of journalists and technologists to design cultural IQ in AI.
At NPR, as a Senior Producer of Weekend Edition and Morning Edition, Ardalan was responsible for editorial and production decisions that required elaborate coordination and planning, such as shaping Morning Edition broadcasts from Baghdad, Kabul and New Orleans. Ardalan has also served as Director of Storytelling at the open innovation agency SecondMuse. There, she helmed storytelling efforts for various campaigns, including NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge and Australian Aid innovation programs in Timor-Leste, Tonga and Fiji.
Ardalan, who has also served as Executive Producer at Hanson Robotics, has been recognized with a 2017 NASA Team Leadership award for Space Apps, a Gracie Award from the American Women in Radio and Television and a shout-out in the popular comic strip Zippy. In May 2014, she was the recipient of a United States Ellis Island Medal of Honor for individual achievement and for promoting cultural unity.
Ardalan began her radio career as a reporter in 1991 at NPR Member Station KUNM in Albuquerque, NM. In 1984, she was an English news anchor at IRIB News broadcasting throughout the Persian Gulf Region.