AIR Forum Denver, CO May 28-31, 2024

Keynote Speakers

Please note: All times are listed in U.S. Mountain Time Zone.

Opening Keynote | Wednesday, May 29


Paul Zikopoulos, leading expert in artificial intelligence (AI), is an award-winning author and speaker, future trends expert, and the VP of skills at IBM. Widely regarded for his forward-looking insights, Paul has authored 21 books and more than 360 articles on AI, tech, data and analytics.

With more than 29 years of experience in data, Paul has been consulted by “60 Minutes” and NATO on this topic and has been named in dozens of global “Experts to Follow” and “Thought Leader” lists, including Analytics Insight’s “Top 100 Global AI & Big Data Influencers.”

X | LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram | Video: Ethics, Bias, and Things That Go Bump in an AI Night

Paul Zikopoulos

Closing Keynote | Friday, May 31


Dr. Kofi Nyarko

Kofi Nyarko, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Director of the Center for Equitable Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Systems, Morgan State University 

Kofi is a tenured Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Morgan State University. He serves as the director for the Center for Equitable Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Systems (CEAMLS). He has over 25 years of experience performing both fundamental and applied research in machine learning, computer vision, and intelligent and autonomous systems. In 2020, he was a recipient of the US Black Engineer HBCU STEM Innovation Award. He also holds two U.S. patents in building occupant localization via visible light communication and one in wearable devices for improved pulmonary health. 

Mr. Orkun Toros

Orkun Toros, Associate Vice President and Chief Budget Officer, University of Texas at Dallas 

Orkun currently serves as the Associate Vice President and Chief Budget Officer at the University of Texas at Dallas, overseeing the budget, bursar, central business services and finance IT areas. He has led numerous system development and process improvement initiatives focused on strategic planning, budgeting, shared services, business analytics, personnel actions, and financial planning across three institutions. 

Dr. Mike Urmeneta

Mike Urmeneta, Chief Analytics Officer, The Urmeneta Group 

Mike is the founder of The Urmeneta Group (, a consultancy empowering higher education to make data-informed decisions. With over two decades of experience in institutional research and analytics, Mike has collaborated with a diverse range of organizations, from community colleges and private universities to public, land-grant, and international institutions. As a sought-after speaker and author on AI's practical and responsible use, he has shared insights through keynotes, webinars, and publications, including The AIR Professional File. Holding degrees from NYU and Northeastern University, Mike is passionate about helping colleges and universities navigate the complexities of data-informed decision-making in today's ever-evolving educational landscape. 


Christine Keller



Christine Keller, Executive Director & CEO, Association for Institutional Research (AIR)

An active member of the association for many years, Christine has spent her career working to make the world a better place through higher education and data. With a background in institutional research, federal data policy, and association leadership, she understands that the current focus on data literacy and the use of evidence in decision-making provides significant opportunities for the AIR community. Christine is committed to positioning AIR and its members to advance and flourish during this exciting time of growth and change.