Silicon Valley needs to understand Washington. While Valley companies increasingly make decisions that affect millions—even billions—of people, too many technologists still fail to grasp the important role of public policy, how to participate in the policy process, and how to explain their work in language that lawmakers can grasp.
Betsy Cooper is the founding Director of the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. A cybersecurity expert, Ms. Cooper joined Aspen’s Cybersecurity & Technology Program after serving as the Executive Director of the Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity at the University of California, Berkeley. Ms. Cooper, a Senior Advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group, served at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as an attorney advisor to the Deputy General Counsel and as a policy counselor in the Office of Policy. She has worked for over a decade in homeland security consulting, managing projects for Atlantic Philanthropies in Dublin, the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in London, and the World Bank, and other organizations. Ms. Cooper earned a J.D. from Yale University, a D.Phil. in Politics from Oxford University, an M.Sc. in Forced Migration from Oxford University, and a B.A. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University. She also clerked for Judge William Fletcher on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Cooper completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (where she currently is a nonresident affiliate), as well as a Yale Public Interest Fellowship. She has written more than twenty manuscripts and articles on U.S. and European homeland security policy.
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If 2018 was the year that the D.C.-Silicon Valley divide became abundantly apparent, then 2019 is the year that we can and should do more to bridge that divide. To do so, we need more bridge crossers: experts in both technology and policy.