Enzai announces major push into the US with senior hire

Max CluerMax Cluer
Max Cluer
1 Jun
Enzai announces major push into the US with senior hire

New York, USA and Belfast, Ireland May 14, 2024Enzai, a Belfast-based startup providing AI governance software, has opened an office in New York (its first in North America) and hired Var Shankar to build out the team. Before joining Enzai, Var Shankar led the Responsible AI Institute, an independent non-profit organisation in the AI governance space. Enzai is opening its US office due to increasing customer demand and to be better able to serve the company’s North American customer base.

“We are experiencing an incredibly high level of demand from companies based in the US and Canada for best-in-class AI governance software. In order to ensure a world-class experience for these customers, we are hiring a leader for this region, based in New York. I’m thrilled to announce that Var Shankar is joining Enzai, and I know our customers are going to very much enjoy working with him," said Ryan Donnelly, co-founder of Enzai.

Var Shankar joins Enzai to lead New York office, advance AI governance thought leadership

Var joins Enzai as its Chief AI and Privacy Officer. Var is a leading voice in AI governance, having worked at the intersection of law and technology for over ten years, most recently as the Executive Director of the Responsible AI Institute.

“Enzai has developed a market-leading product for compliance with the EU AI Act, federal regulation in the US and global AI regulations and standards. Large enterprises everywhere are looking for solutions that bridge the gap between business, legal and technical teams in an industry-relevant way. I am incredibly excited to be contributing to such a dynamic and growing organisation”, commented Var Shankar.

Var is a member of the OECD Network of Experts, the Brookings Forum for Cooperation on AI, and the World Economic Forum’s AI Governance Alliance. He previously practised law in the Capital Markets and Banking divisions of Cravath, Swaine and Moore LLP in New York. Var is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

“Var has a wealth of experience and is one of the most knowledgeable people out there on the topic of AI governance. His mix of legal and technological background matches that of Enzai and is a perfect fit for the company.  We can’t wait to start working with Var.'' adds co-founder of Enzai, Jack Carlisle.

Growing demand for domain-specific AI governance solutions

As organisations integrate AI into their operations, they encounter a multitude of challenges around understanding, managing and complying with AI-related regulations. The exponential growth of AI capabilities often outpaces clarity around regulatory requirements, leading to uncertainties in areas such as data privacy, bias mitigation, accountability and transparency. 

Recent regulatory developments, such as the EU AI Act, require businesses to adhere to stringent AI development and deployment guidelines. As each regulatory regime takes a different approach, it becomes hard for organisations to manage regulatory requirements, which further highlights the pressing need for robust AI governance. Enzai’s platform allows organisations to build up an inventory of their AI systems, apply policies and procedures to those systems and measure compliance in real time.

About Enzai

Enzai was formed in 2021 by a team of leading lawyers and engineers concerned about the risks that computational models could pose to society at large. With expert lawyers in their team, they know that governance is a vital tool in understanding and managing risk. Based out of the Ormeau Baths in Belfast, Northern Ireland, their mission is to ensure that powerful AI technologies can gain the level of trust necessary to fulfil their true potential.

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