Dr Najwa Aaraj

Chief Researcher
Cryptography Research Centre

Dr Najwa Aaraj is the Chief Researcher at the Cryptography Research Centre at the Technology Innovation Institute (TII), a cutting-edge UAE-based scientific research centre. In her role, she leads the research and development of cryptographic technologies, including quantum safe (post quantum) and quantum cryptographic technologies, lightweight cryptographic libraries, cryptanalysis, and applied machine learning for cryptographic technologies.

Dr Aaraj earned a PhD with Highest Distinction from Princeton University in the USA. She has an extensive expertise in applied cryptography, embedded and cyber physical systems security, trusted platforms, software exploit detection and prevention systems, and biometrics. She has over 15 years of experience with global firms, working in multiple geographies from Australia to the United States.

Before joining TII, Dr. Aaraj was Senior Vice President of Cryptographic technologies development at DarkMatter, a cyber-security firm based in the UAE. She was formerly at Booz & Co., where she led engagements in the telecommunications and information technology industry for clients globally. She also held research positions with the Embedded Systems Security Group at IBM T.J. Watson, at Intel Portland, Oregon, where she worked on Trusted Platform Modules early firmware prototypes, and at NEC Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey, working mainly on hardware engineering.

Dr Aaraj has written multiple conference papers, IEEE and ACM journal papers and book chapters, and received technology patents. Areas cover applied cryptography, trusted platforms, embedded systems security, and machine learning-based protection of IoT systems.

She is a Board Member and adviser to multiple security and Machine Learning startups.