A Dynamic Career: What Grad Students Should Know

Friday, October 8, 2021 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Joseph Byrum is a leader known for constantly questioning how powerful industries use data to inform their decisions and practices. A trained PhD geneticist with an MBA, he is a worldwide leader in AI, “big data,” the financial industry and agriculture.

He is currently Chief Data Scientist at the Principal Financial Group, sought out for his unique ability to build and manage a revolutionary artificial intelligence tool for equity trading, where he manages a diverse team of analysts and leaders with a financial analysis engine that boosts the accuracy of asset selection, reduces operational costs, and builds profitability.

In his past role at Syngenta, Dr. Byrum pioneered data- centric R&D. As Global Head of Product Development (Oilseeds) and Head of Quantitative Sciences, Dr. Byrum led operational, administrative, and financial oversight of R&D operations spanning the Americas. His work in data analytics earned Dr. Byrum and his team the 2015 Edelman Prize—a first for any agricultural firm. He continued to refine his sophisticated suite of analytical tools to better serve individual customers, an innovation that earned him the 2016 Genius Award in Analytics from the Association of National Advertisers.

Dr. Byrum is a frequent thought leadership contributor to companies, higher education institutions, and the national conversation: he has appeared in Forbes, Fortune, Nautilus, MIT Sloan Management Review, Fast Company, TechCrunch, Analytics Magazine and ISE Magazine. Dr. Byrum has also received honors from the Aspen Business & Society Long Term Strategy Group and earned the 2016 DAS Practice Award.

Dr. Byrum holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from Iowa State University, an M.B.A from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and both an M.S. in Genetics and a B.S. in Soil Science from Michigan State University, where he won the 2016 CANR Alumni Association Outstanding Alumnus Award.