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Faculty and Students Discuss Technology Policy at the White House

Technology Policy at the White House

SAIS Emerging Tech on the Move

The Emerging Technologies Initiative at SAIS, together with the Johns Hopkins Science Policy and Diplomacy Group and SAIS Technology Club, brought a delegation of national security and tech policy graduate students as well as material science, biology, engineering PhD students to the White House for an important discussion in February. Nick Polk, a SAIS alumnus, hosted the gathering and assembled a slate of prominent speakers across the emerging technologies and science policy space.

The SAIS students and faculty had the opportunity to engage with representatives from key offices shaping technology and science policy at the White House, including the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Office of the National Cyber Director. Topics ranged from government service careers to IT modernization, cybersecurity to semiconductor manufacturing, and the importance of science-first approaches in developing policies for quantum, artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies.

"Being able to hear from the people who lead research and policy efforts around critical technology issues was true privilege and it made me think of the effective ways of translating scientific research to other students at SAIS who aspire to become tech policymakers," said Mariami Tkeshelashvili, a SAIS MAIR student and Emerging Technology Fellow who took part in the discussions.

Gabriel Delsol, another SAIS MAIR student focusing on Technology and Innovation, noted that the opportunity to interface with White House staff working on science policy across the tech space highlighted how quickly the United States Government has mobilized its resources on critical, emerging technologies. “It showed me the importance of social science lens to informing technology governance, through topics of political economy, appropriations authority, research and development funding, and more," he said.

Launched in 2023, the Emerging Technologies Initiative at SAIS is dedicated to exploring transformative technologies and their profound implications on global affairs. The school’s initiative brings together a diverse array of experts, scholars, and innovators across various disciplines to delve into the critical technology ecosystems that shape our world.

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