Technology

Pentagon launches Technology and National Security Fellowship for STEM grads to inform policymakers

Fellows will educate and assist top-level policymakers within the Department of Defense and Congress

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The Pentagon launches the Technology and National Security Fellowship for STEM graduates to work alongside policymakers in Congress and the DoD, so they can make better informed decisions about using cutting-edge technologies.

Politicians, for the most part, don’t have a clue how technology works, yet these are the elected officials who set policies and regulate its use.

The Department of Defense (DoD), on the other hand, is quite knowledgeable about many emerging technologies, but being a federal agency, it is slow to get anything done.

Morgan Plummer NSIN
Morgan Plummer

“By injecting talented technologists and entrepreneurs into the staffs of key decision makers we can help speed the development of our national security policy”

Now, the Pentagon’s National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) is launching the Technology and National Security Fellowship to bring politicians up-to-speed on the latest tech while providing the DoD with the technological knowledge to execute national security strategies.

“By injecting talented technologists and entrepreneurs into the staffs of key decision makers we can help speed the development of our national security policy at closer to the speed of relevancy,” said NSIN Managing Director Morgan Plummer, in a statement.

“Time and time again we have seen evidence that our country’s top tier tech talent will rise to the occasion to support our national security efforts, if we provide an opportunity for them to do so,” he added.

The fellowship has two paths for fellows to follow — working with Congress or working with the Pentagon.

Those selected to work with Congress will be hosted by either member or committee offices in the US Senate and US House of Representatives among the four defense committees of jurisdiction.

“Too often there is a gap between the technical talent residing in academia and the venture community and the policymakers who need that knowledge to effectively evaluate and make decisions that directly impacts our national security”

Those taking the path of the Pentagon will have the opportunity to be placed within the front offices of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the Air Force.

“Too often there is a gap between the technical talent residing in academia and the venture community and the policymakers who need that knowledge to effectively evaluate and make decisions that directly impacts our national security,” continued Plummer.

“The Technology and National Security Fellowship is meant to address this gap by fast tracking talented early and mid-career technologists into positions where they can add substantive value to our country’s national security policymakers the second the fellows arrive in their offices,” the NSIN director added.

Fellows will be placed to maximize their opportunities for impact, and to address explicit needs of decision-makers within the DoD and Congress. Typical work will likely include providing research and writing support, engaging with stakeholders, and developing briefing materials.

Applications are open through May 1, meaning there’s only three weeks to apply, and the program will only select eight fellows, so the selection process will be quick and extremely competitive.

The pilot cohort of the fellowship is scheduled to run from August 17, 2020 through August 27, 2021; just over a year.

The Technology and National Security Fellowship is meant to address a technological knowledge gap for top-level policy makers within the Department of Defense and the US Congress.

You can find out more about the fellowship and who is eligible by visiting the website here.

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Tim Hinchliffe
Tim Hinchliffe is the editor of The Sociable. His passions include writing about how technology impacts society and the parallels between Artificial Intelligence and Mythology. Previously, he was a reporter for the Ghanaian Chronicle in West Africa and an editor at Colombia Reports in South America. tim@sociable.co