Lea Witkowsky

Executive Director

Dr. Lea Witkowsky is the Executive Director for the Kavli Center. Formerly, she served as Policy and Engagement Manager at the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI), a non-profit research partnership between UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco, dedicated to improving and applying genome engineering to solve major world problems. Witkowsky runs an ethics and regulation working group that brings together life scientists, social scientists, lawyers, and ethicists. She aims to inspire and facilitate scientifically, ethically, and socially informed discussions about genome editing through communications with regulators, policymakers, and expertise across disciplines, and by convening international events that feature diverse perspectives. Her work includes publications on the science, ethics, and governance of genome editing, leading “CRISPR Consensus?”, an international workshop on public debate and the governance of heritable genome editing, the creation of the firsts Artist Residency program at the Innovative Genomics Institute, participation in congressional briefings on genome editing, and the development of recommendations on behalf of the Innovative Genomics Institute to regulatory and governance agencies on responsible regulation of genome editing. Lea received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2016, where she studied mechanisms of gene regulation and CRISPR-based gene editing in human cells. She joined the IGI in 2017 to work on policy, engagement, and social impacts. In 2022, she officially joined the Kavli Center as Executive Director.


621B Sutardja Dai Hall