Leslie Dewan

National Geographic Emerging Explorer; CEO of Tailfin

A New Approcach to Nuclear Power


A National Geographic Emerging Explorer, Dr. Leslie Dewan is the CEO of Tailfin, a conservation technology company based in San Francisco. Her work focuses on new nuclear power technology, carbon-free energy production, and applications of artificial intelligence for global good.

From 2011 to 2018, she was the CEO of Transatomic Power, a company that designed safer nuclear reactors that leave behind less waste than conventional designs. She is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering at KAIST, the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

Leslie received her Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from MIT, with a research focus on computational nuclear materials. She also holds S.B. degrees from MIT in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering. Before starting her Ph.D., she worked for a robotics company in Cambridge, MA, where she designed search-and-rescue robots and equipment for in-field identification of chemical and nuclear weapons.

Leslie has been awarded an MIT Presidential Fellowship and a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship. She is a member of the MIT Corporation, MIT’s board of trustees. She was named a TIME Magazine “30 People Under 30 Changing the World,” an MIT Technology Review “Innovator Under 35,” a Forbes “30 Under 30,” and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.