Susan Ariel Aaronson
Research Professor of International Affairs, Director, Digital Trade and Data Governance Hub; Cross-Disciplinary Fellow, Elliott School of InternationalAffairs; and Senior Fellow, Economics, Center for International Governance Innovation
The Public Interest Technology (PIT) Foundry of DC
The PIT Foundry of DC is premised on the idea of coordinating resources and building community among institutions committed to Public Interest Technology. It begins with a joint effort among multiple DC schools to initiate a paradigm shift towards a more collaborative and inclusive model of PIT career preparation. Institutions of higher education often view one other as competitors in a zero-sum game. In fields that have traditionally been more exclusive and less diverse, this exacerbates already-existing access and equity challenges faced by students. PIT Foundry will lead DC institutions by example, extending PIT career preparation resources to support all DC students, regardless of each student’s home institution.
GW Coders Scholarship & Internship Program: Building Coding Capacity for Public Interest Technology Engagement
GW Coders is a network that helps students apply coding and data analytics skills they are developing in the classroom to real-world research projects. We propose to develop a “PIT scholarship & internship” program that uses the GW Coders platform to provide (a) scholarships to students from underrepresented groups to take coding and data analytics courses, and (b) stipends to student interns who provide coding support to PIT research projects. GW Coders will match PIT research projects with student interns and will also provide social support and learning resources as students develop and apply workplace-ready skills while advancing the PIT research. The program will also build critical connections between STEM and non-STEM researchers.
Ethical Tech Initiative
GWU’s Ethical Tech Initiative will be a unique cross-disciplinary program led by the Law School, in partnership with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the School of Media and Public Affairs, that engages in research, dialogue, and education to address the myriad issues raised by the societal impacts of digital technology. It will host six embedded technologists and four roundtables; engage in a pilot research project; and produce an Ethical Tech Portal. Initial areas of emphasis include evaluating harms from online speech and social media platforms’ roles in facilitating and combating such harms, including misinformation, voter suppression, and digital privacy violations, as well as bias in algorithmic decision-making.