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Xavier Leonard is an information and communications technology designer, researcher and advocate. A graduate of Columbia University, he has been a Media and Communications Specialist with the Center on Policy Initiatives, a Senior Fellow in Emerging Technology at the SDSU Visualization Center and the Public Technology and Data Strategist for the City of San Diego’s Civic Innovation Lab. He was the founding director of Heads on Fire and the Heads on Fire Fab Lab. The program was selected as a national model in the U.S. for teaching technology in out-of-school settings. In 2010, he created Designers for Humanity, a model for delivering science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) experiences through service-learning projects aimed at fostering innovation and providing an engineering solution for a specific community problem.

Leonard has been honored as a Z-Fellow of the Zero Divide Foundation, an Ideas Institute Fellow of the MIT Media Lab, and a TEC Champion by the United States Congress.  His design projects have been presented at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Franklin Furnace, NYC; The Knitting Factory, NYC; and the Centre International Francais, Ouagadougo, Burkina Faso, among other venues. His work has been supported by the Western States Arts Federation Fellowship; the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts; the Institute of International Education; the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and New American Radio.

Leonard has spoken on the deployment of technology to empower and develop communities at the United Nations’ World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, Tunisia; the Air Jaldi Summit on Wireless Technologies in Dharamsala, India; the International Summit for Community Wireless Networks; the Nonprofit Technology Network Conference; the Community Technology Center Network Conference; TEDx America’s Finest City and other national and global events.