Constellation’s mission is to help the world safely navigate the development of transformative AI.

Our goals

Our goals

In alignment with our mission, we have two primary goals:


Accelerate safety research

We bring together people doing cutting-edge work on the safety of powerful AI systems, enabling them to learn from and collaborate with each other. Many researchers tell us that their research is better or even that their research direction has changed as a result of collaboration at Constellation.


Develop safety talent

Via our fellowships and programs, we support high-potential individuals who want to help the world safely navigate the development of transformative AI. Dozens of participants from our past programs now work full-time on leading safety teams.

The Constellation team


Programs at Constellation

Programs are held in Berkeley, CA.

Nate Thomas


Nate was previously co-founder and CEO of Redwood Research, where he led a team researching AI control, interpretability, and other safety-relevant areas. He has published work on AI safety, condensed matter physics, machine learning for biomolecular structure prediction, and quantum gravity. He has degrees in mathematics, physics, and computer science from MIT, Cambridge, Oxford, and Stanford.

Bill Zito


Bill co-founded and helped run Redwood Research while launching and leading Constellation. At Aurora, a now-public autonomous vehicle startup, Bill was the first engineer working on ML labeling pipelines. He helped build three engineering and operations teams around that work as the company scaled from 30 to 300.

James Bregan


James was a key technology leader at PayPal as the company scaled from 100 to 10,000 people, and served as EVP Engineering during its acquisition by eBay. After PayPal, James helped catalyze the charter cities movement as co-founder of an urban development startup in partnership with the Honduran government.

Core team

Programs at Constellation

Programs are held in Berkeley, CA.

Alex Fields

Senior technical program manager

Alex leads our Visiting Fellows program and the Constellation Residency, and he is working to revise and expand Constellation’s other programs. Previously, he was chief of staff at the Atlas Fellowship. Prior to that, he was a management consultant.

Alexandra Bates

Policy and communications fellow

Alexandra supports and accelerates work in Constellation’s policy and communications focus areas. She is concurrently studying math and philosophy at Columbia, and has held several research roles in theoretical physics. She led MIT AI Alignment and worked at the Cambridge Boston Alignment Initiative.

Alexander Beck

Head chef

Beck created, and leads, the culinary program, maintaining wide-ranging menus that provide a good basis for Constellation members and visitors to get to know each other. In addition to AI, he is also interested in data science and politics. Within politics, his interests include campaign management, poll analysis and direct persuasion.

Anjay Friedman

Special projects lead

Anjay helps run a variety of Constellation programs aimed at accelerating research and talent development in the field of AI safety. He studied mathematics and computer science at Vanderbilt University.

David Espiritu

Head of business operations

David’s remit includes financial planning, accounting, HR and compliance. In addition, he advises on IT and works on special projects. He has a background in finance, and he studied mathematics and economics at University of California, Davis. Alongside his work at Constellation, David is a math tutor and mental health coach.

Linh Nguyen

Recruiting operations

Linh manages our hiring pipeline and refines our recruiting processes. Before working at Constellation, Linh spent ten years at a worker-owned collective. There, she learned about democratic decision-making, baked bread, and traveled to Europe to source cheeses.

Lucy Mahaffey

Program operations

Lucy spearheads operations at Constellation, especially around events, programs, and membership requests. Prior to Constellation, she worked at the Association of Marshall Scholars. Lucy’s previous experience includes ten years of research into human trafficking, of which two were spent studying for an MPhil in sociology at the University of Cambridge.

Joe Smith

Operations generalist

Joe manages the logistics of Constellation’s programs. He also manages the operation of Constellation’s premises. He has a degree from Cal Poly SLO, where he focused on industrial engineering and religious studies.