Tan Le is recognized as one of the most influential pioneers in the emerging field of brain-computer interface. An inventor, explorer, and entrepreneur, she is the founder and CEO of EMOTIV, a San Francisco-headquartered neuroinformatics company that is on a mission to improve understanding of the human brain and to develop a platform for researchers, developers, and consumers around the world to be part of a global innovation task force. Her first-of-its-kind “brainwear” reads user’s brainwaves, making it possible to control virtual objects with mere thoughts. Her company’s brainwear is leading the way to a bold new future, tapping into the power of the human brain and pushing the boundaries of our cognitive powers to open up new possibilities for improving performance and health, and ultimately, to prevent disease.
Born in South Vietnam, Tan migrated to Australia as a refugee with her family in 1981. She began university studies at the age of 16 and went on to complete a bachelor’s degree in law (honors) and commerce (honors) in 1998 at Monash University. In 1998, Tan was named Young Australian of the Year, catapulting her into a prominent role as a social activist and public speaker. She was voted one of Australia’s 30 Most Successful Women Under 30, and her story was featured in the “Hope” section of the Eternity Exhibition of the National Museum of Australia. Tan was featured in Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology in 2010 and Forbes’ 50 Names You Need to Know in 2011. She was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2013 and has been honored by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a Young Global Leader since 2009. Tan currently serves on the WEF’s Global Future Council on the Future of Neurotechnologies and Brain Science. The WEF’s Network of Global Future Councils is the world’s foremost interdisciplinary knowledge network dedicated to promoting innovative thinking on the future.