Ro Encarnación

researcher, technologist, tech policy wonk, and a tiny bit creative


Where I’m at – I am a PhD student in the Penn HCI lab and am fortunate to be advised by Dr. Metaxa. I am broadly interested in transdisciplinary research at the intersection of algorithmic justice, technology policy, and society. In particular, I am interested in examining unobservable and complex bias and inequity in sociotechnical systems to understand and address the immediate and delayed impacts of consequential decision-making algorithms on historically excluded communities. My ultimate goal is to bridge community-centered, -informed, and -guided sociotechnical action research with practical technology policy and regulation.

Where I’ve been – My research journey began in the DS3 program at Microsoft Research NYC (I recommend all interested undergrads to apply!). Before Penn, I had the privelege and opportunity to serve as a TechCongress Congressional Innovation Fellow in the office of Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke. I’ve also worked as a software engineer at the Stanford Computational Policy Lab, Capital One, and as a Civic Technology Fellow at Microsoft Cities.

Where my roots are – I was born, raised, and educated in the Bronx and am a proud NYC public school system and CUNY grad. I hold a B.A. in Computer Science from CUNY Lehman College.


May 2023 I am excited to be joining the IBM Responsive and Inclusive Technologies team as a Research Scientist intern this summer!
Apr 2023 “Representation, Self-Determination, and Refusal: Queer People’s Experiences with Targeted Advertising” was accepted to ACM FAccT 2023!
Jun 2022 I will officially be starting my PhD journey at Penn HCI under the advisement of Dr. Danaë Metaxa!
Apr 2022 “Adaptive Sampling Strategies to Construct Equitable Training Datasets” was accepted to ACM FAccT 2022!