Najwa Aaraj

Since May 2019, Dr. Najwa Aaraj has been the Chief Researcher of the Cryptography Research Center and the Autonomous Robotics Center at the Technology Innovation Institute (TII), United Arab Emirates (UAE) where she leads the research and development of cryptographic and quantum communication technologies, as well as the advancement of autonomous robotics and self-navigating vehicles.
She has over 18 years of experience with global firms, working in multiple geographies from Australia to the United States. Before joining TII, Dr. Aaraj was Senior Vice President of Products & Cryptography Development at DarkMatter. She was also formerly at Booz & Company, where she led consulting engagements in the communication and technology industry. She also held a Research Fellow position with the Embedded Systems Security Group at IBM T.J. Watson Security Research in New York State, and with the Intel Security Research Group in Portland, Oregon, where she worked on trusted platform modules and contributed to an early protype of a TPM 2.0 based firmware. She was also a Research Staff Member at NEC Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey.

Dr. Aaraj is on the advisory board of New York-based Neutigers and Florida-based Everything Blockchain. She is also Advisor within the Strategic Advisory Group at Paladin Capital Group (Cyber Venture Capital) and Adjunct Professor at the Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence. In addition, she is an adviser to multiple security and machine learning start-ups, including Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University.

Dr. Aaraj has written multiple conference papers, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Association for Computing Machinery journal papers and book chapters, and received patents on applied cryptography, embedded system security, and machine learning-based protection of IoT systems.
She received a Special Recognition award at the Arab Woman Awards 2021, held in partnership with the United Nations to recognize the notable achievements of the region’s women.

Dr. Aaraj earned a PhD with Highest Distinction in Applied Cryptography and Embedded Systems Security from Princeton University. She has extensive expertise in applied cryptography, trusted platforms, security architecture for embedded systems, software exploit detection and prevention systems, and biometrics. She also specializes in shaping the robotics and self-organized autonomous vehicles ecosystem in the UAE and beyond – exploring their application across air, land, on-sea and underwater.

OIST Center for Quantum Technologies

This unit is a member of the OIST Center for Quantum Technologies (OCQT)

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Najwa Aaraj portrait
Najwa Aaraj
Professor (Adjunct)
Princeton University, PhD, 2009
Princeton University, MA, 2009