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Audrey Tang, a TIME100 “Most Influential People in AI” honoree, is Taiwan’s 1st digital minister and the world’s 1st nonbinary cabinet minister (2016-2024).

As a child, Tang practiced Taoism to moderate all strong emotions to survive a cardiac condition. After attending 10 educational institutions in 10 years, she left formal schooling to pursue self-education at age 14. In her 20s, Tang rose to prominence as a leader in free and open-source software, revitalizing the Haskell and Perl programming languages.

During her 30s, Tang played a crucial role in shaping g0v (gov-zero), one of the most prominent civic tech movements worldwide. In 2014, she helped broadcast the demands of Sunflower Movement activists, and worked to resolve conflicts during a three-week occupation of Taiwan’s Legislature. Tang became a reverse mentor to the minister in charge of digital participation, before holding the role from 2016 to 2024 during the Tsai Ing-wen administration.

Tang helped develop participatory democracy platforms such as vTaiwan and Join, bringing civic innovation into the public sector through initiatives like the Presidential Hackathon and Ideathon.

Other accomplishments for Tang include shaping Taiwan’s internationally acclaimed COVID-19 response, as well as safeguarding the country’s 2024 presidential and legislative elections from cyber interference.