About the
Aspen Tech Policy Hub

The Aspen Tech Policy Hub mixes the best of both Washington and Silicon Valley, bringing together stakeholders in policy and technology to train the next generation of policy entrepreneurs.

At the Aspen Tech Policy Hub, we take tech experts, teach them the policy process through fellowship and executive education programs, and encourage them to develop outside-the-box solutions to society’s problems. We model ourselves after tech incubators like Y Combinator, but train new policy thinkers and focus the impact of their ideas. We’re building new ideas for policymaking — every fellow must complete one practical policy output during their time with us — and an alumni base of technologists who understand policy and want to engage with it.

The Hub is part of the Institute’s Aspen Digital program, which empowers policy makers, civic organizations, companies, and the public to be responsible stewards of technology and digital media in the service of a more just and equitable world.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Building Bridges

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.

Washington policymakers need to understand Silicon Valley. Policymakers must better comprehend today’s technologies and innovate solutions that match the speed and complexity of emerging tech challenges, from social media and artificial intelligence to privacy and security.

Few people can speak to both. Meeting the challenges of tomorrow will require far more people that pair Silicon Valley’s creativity with the impact of Washington.

A Silicon Valley-Style
Think Tank

Our program mixes the best of both Washington and Silicon Valley, bringing together stakeholders in policy and technology to train the next generation of policy entrepreneurs.

  1. We host training programs open to those interested in technology policy. Founder or company staffer? Think-tanker? Faculty or student? There’s something for everyone.
  2. Our program participants are not expected to come into the program with previous policy experience or degrees; in fact, we prefer people who are new to policy (they don’t have preconceived notions of what it should look like).
  3. We teach our trainees policy through fellowship and executive training programs, giving them resources (communications training, design help, etc.) to make them successful.
  4. We encourage our program participants to work in teams to develop new and innovative ideas for solving problems.
  5. Participants “exit” our programs by presenting work to real decision-makers.
  6. Our alumni base will understand the importance of successfully mixing tech and policy no matter what jobs they move onto, and many will continue to contribute to our research and strategy agenda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Team

Betsy Cooper

Director

Betsy Cooper is Founding Director of the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. Previously, she was the founding Executive Director of the UC Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity and…

Betsy Cooper is Founding Director of the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. Previously, she was the founding Executive Director of the UC Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity and was a policy and legal counselor at the Department of Homeland Security. Betsy has a D.Phil from the University of Oxford and graduated from Yale Law School. In her spare time she likes to run experiments to see if her digital devices are listening to her.

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Mai Sistla

Deputy Director

Mai Sistla is the Deputy Director of the Aspen Tech Policy Hub, and recent graduate from the UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. Previously, she was…

Mai Sistla is the Deputy Director of the Aspen Tech Policy Hub, and recent graduate from the UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. Previously, she was a project manager at the University of Chicago Crime Lab—a policy research center that generates evidence to inform crime, criminal justice, and education policy—and a field staffer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mai holds a BA in economics from Northwestern University. Her favorite hobbies include walking, coffee shops, and walking to coffee shops.

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Meha Ahluwalia

Project Manager

Meha Ahluwalia is the Project Manager of the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. Previously, she interned at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation, assisted healthcare cybersecurity research…

Meha Ahluwalia is the Project Manager of the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. Previously, she interned at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation, assisted healthcare cybersecurity research at MIT, and helped develop a new feature for the Edge browser at Microsoft. Meha holds a BA in Cognitive Science from Wellesley College. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to podcasts, taking long drives, and getting lost in museums.

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Sarah Frei

Design Assistant

Sarah Frei is the Design Assistant for the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. Previously, she was a freelance web designer, a web producer at Workday, and an account manager…

Sarah Frei is the Design Assistant for the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. Previously, she was a freelance web designer, a web producer at Workday, and an account manager at Message Lab, an agency focused on combining journalism, data, and design to create more effective content experiences. She holds a BA in Media Studies from the University of San Francisco, where her thesis – a content analysis of pundit media and the left-right divide – was one of ten pieces published in the University’s undergraduate anthology. When she’s not designing for the Hub, she’s usually getting to know the birds and hawks in her backyard or chasing her rescue dog through the trails of the East Bay hills.

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Maeve Sneddon

Intern

Maeve Sneddon is an Intern with the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. She is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley where she majored in Global Studies and minored in…

Maeve Sneddon is an Intern with the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. She is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley where she majored in Global Studies and minored in Spanish Linguistics. She previously worked for the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley, where she worked on investigative projects utilizing open source information. In her free time, she is usually either baking or watching videos on how to bake.

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Ryan Olson

Designer

Ryan Olson is a Designer and former Undergraduate Program Assistant to the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley where he majored in…

Ryan Olson is a Designer and former Undergraduate Program Assistant to the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley where he majored in economics and minored in public policy and computer science. He has worked with UC Berkeley’s disability policy department as a researcher and coordinator; he has also worked as a business strategy intern for Samsung. In his free time, Ryan likes to go on long runs and create digital art (R.I.P. MS Paint).

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Emeritus Staff

David Albán Hidalgo

David Albán Hidalgo was the Program Coordinator of the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. He is currently an Associate Teacher of Computer Science at the Nueva School. Previously,…

David Albán Hidalgo was the Program Coordinator of the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. He is currently an Associate Teacher of Computer Science at the Nueva School. Previously, David was a Tech & Innovation Advisor/Community Impact Fellow for the San José Mayor’s Office, and has experience with a range of projects at the intersection of policy and data, both in academia and industry. David holds a BA with Honors, a BS, and an MA from Stanford University. In his spare time, he likes to create rhythms on the cajón and write short nostalgic stories and poems that remind him of his many homes.

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Madeline Libbey

Madeline Libbey was a Program Assistant at the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. She is a 2020 graduate from Stanford University where she studied Political Science, Computer Science,…

Madeline Libbey was a Program Assistant at the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. She is a 2020 graduate from Stanford University where she studied Political Science, Computer Science, and Ethics in Society, and contributed research to the Stanford Global Digital Policy Incubator. Madeline currently attends the Oxford Internet Institute where she studies Social Science of the Internet. When she is not researching tech policy, Madeline can be found biking, hiking, and running around her home town of Sonoma Valley.

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Molly Naylor-Komyatte

Molly Naylor-Komyatte was a Consultant with the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. Previously, Molly interned at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, researched environmental crime at the International Criminal Court, and spent…

Molly Naylor-Komyatte was a Consultant with the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. Previously, Molly interned at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, researched environmental crime at the International Criminal Court, and spent time in both the public and private sectors. She holds an MSc in Human Rights and Politics from the London School of Economics and a BA in Public Policy from Brown University. In her spare time, she loves to hike and camp, hug dogs, and find new coffee shops.

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Our Funders

In addition, the Aspen Tech Policy Hub occasionally receives small donations (less than 1 percent of our operating budget) from individuals. We do not currently accept any funds from corporations, except where companies provide corporate matches for small individual donations (<$1000). We also do not accept funds from government bodies, nor do we receive any financial support from the broader Aspen Institute. For additional information about our finances, please see our annual report here.


Jobs

Do you love all things tech policy? Are you interested in joining a small but hard working and collaborative team? We are always on the lookout for talented individuals hoping to make an impact. Check below and the Aspen Institute website for our current openings.


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