Bridget Algee-Hewitt

Bridget Algee-Hewitt
PhD Biological Anthropology, University of Tennessee – Knoxville
MA Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, Bryn Mawr College
BA Classics and Art History, Mount Allison University
Senior Associate Director of the Research Institute

A computational biologist and anthropologist with a commitment to advancing social justice and redefining expectations for human rights policy and practice, Dr. Bridget Algee-Hewitt studies how biology and culture intersect along the lines of personal and group identities, with implications for law, medicine, and technology. Marrying data science, with applied community-based research, she brings interdisciplinary scholarship and social justice advocacy to issues of race and identity across the sciences, humanities, and arts. 

Centering the experiences, perspectives, and needs of the people she serves, Dr. Algee-Hewitt works to expose latent social injustices, disrupt the systems of structural violence, and redress the disparities that together actively marginalize, oppress, and harm the underserved and vulnerable members of local and global groups. As a leader in DEI programming across academic, business and tech sectors, she leverages her deep subject matter knowledge in anti-oppressive praxis and responsible innovation strategies to shape her inclusive and accessible approaches to research, teaching, and mentorship. 

Her research interrogates the hierarchies of identity ingrained within our immigration, medical, and legal systems and explores their relationships to displacement, poverty, and violence among marginalized communities, especially in transborder spaces of the U.S. and across Latin America.  As a data scientist, she develops new computational techniques in ML, AI, and NLP to decompose complex patterns of human biology and behavior at scale, building models that leverage genetic, skeletal, linguistic, life-history, and social-context information to shed light on past and present histories.  As a forensic biologist, she studies how skeletal and genetic traits vary among contemporary peoples across space and through time to help her identify missing and unknown persons, especially along La Frontera. As a practitioner, she provides forensic casework support to the medico-legal community in the service of victims of crimes, disasters, and human rights violations. She also delivers expert testimony for asylum petitions and policy. 

She is a passionate advocate for refugee and immigrant rights, initiatives to improve justice response for the disappeared, and trauma resources for survivors of human trafficking and exploitation in the U.S.. 

Dr. Algee-Hewitt has held faculty, research scientist, lead strategist, and distinguished fellow positions world-wide, in the areas of legal medicine, genetics, biomedical sciences, ethics, computer science, anthropology, business and technology. She has served as an executive member of oversight and standards boards for best practices in science, technology, and justice, often with a special focus on the use of race and ancestry and in response to local and global humanitarian crises. Her work has received funding through major granting agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the National Institute of Justice, and private foundations, such as the Wenner-Gren, Goulandris, and Onassis Foundations.

Dr. Algee-Hewitt  has published extensively on the crisis of deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border and among vulnerable communities in Latin America, the technical estimation of biological parameters  in archeological and forensic contexts, and the application of NLP to questions of code-switching and racialized language in public, social media, industry, academic, educational, legal, policy,  and business discourse.  Her recent volumes include The Reality of the Dead in Brazil (2023), Changing the Landscape of Identity in Forensic Anthropology (2022), and Remodeling Forensic Skeletal Age (2021).