Annual Report 2021
Message from the CEO
Earlier this year, I was honored to step forward into the role of FAS Chief Executive Officer.
Seventy-five years ago, a small group of scientists had the revolutionary idea that their voice belongs in the debate over the world’s most pressing public policy issues. What an incredible legacy of impact to inherit: 75 years of work dedicated to ensuring that our world is safer, more productive, and prosperous. So much of the work our stellar team is currently advancing honors that legacy. We are continuing to work to make the world safer while also evolving to meet a range of today’s pressing challenges — from biological and public health threats, to the need to bolster a STEM workforce capable of competing in the 21st century economy, to the perils of a changing climate, and more. FAS is the perfect home for this critical work where scientific and technical expertise is indispensable to any effective policy response.
As we look ahead, our team has recommitted ourselves to a set of core values that guide our work:
- a relentless focus on generating real impact through our work,
- a commitment to working to meet the needs of those who we need to take action,
- an emphasis on entrepreneurial experimentation to pilot, test and scale what works,
- and a shared commitment to embracing humility and individual growth.
Our work at FAS strives to be rigorous, objective, non-partisan, and evidence-based. The organization is an indispensable resource for the public and for policymakers looking for facts in a time of disinformation. But we don’t simply rest on our laurels – we’ve spent this year fostering new voices in science, technology, and security policy, and are excited to see many of their ideas debated by thought leaders, endorsed by Congress and the Administration, and implemented through legislative and executive actions.
In this annual report, we share our strategies for delivering impact and accomplishments over the past year. With so much to build upon, I firmly believe that the best years are ahead.
Table of Contents
Congressional Science Policy Initiative
High-Skilled Immigration Initiative
Emerging Technologies Initiative
Diversity, equity, and inclusion
Understanding the importance of democratizing the policymaking process, FAS is integrating and expanding its existing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) commitments across the organization’s work.
Hiring practices have been reformed to ensure that a diverse set of candidates are interviewed for all open positions, and that future job postings always include salary ranges. Similarly, FAS is continuously working to amplify young, diverse voices in the policy community through an organization-wide internship program.
A key pillar of our work is aimed at democratizing the research and policymaking process. Accordingly, we hope to increase the participation and raise the profile of under-represented voices in science policy, as well as normalize and exemplify fair labor practices within the field.
As a member of the Gender Champions in Nuclear Policy program, FAS has taken steps to reduce bias and improve accessibility in our hiring practices, diversify our board and senior research staff, and ensure equity across the organization.
Nuclear Information Project
The Nuclear Information Project provides the public with the best unclassified information about the status and trends of the world’s nuclear weapons arsenals, and advocates for responsible reductions in the numbers and operations of nuclear weapons to reduce nuclear dangers. The Project has a long and proven record as one of the most widely referenced and reliable sources for providing such information to the news media, lawmakers, scholars, expert institutes, and grassroots organizations. The Project seeks to empower the public debate with new and reliable information to better challenge government nuclear secrecy, promote responsible reductions in the role of and reliance on nuclear weapons, save billions of dollars by reducing excess and redundant forces, and make greater strides towards responsible deep cuts—and eventually the elimination—of nuclear weapons.
In 2021, Project Director Hans Kristensen and Project Manager Matt Korda continued the bi-monthly production of the Nuclear Notebook series published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, co-authored the World Nuclear Forces overview in the SIPRI Yearbook (which was covered in a record 1,900 online news articles or broadcasts in the first five days alone, including in Reuters, ABC, France24, and Deutsche Welle), and the Project’s webpage showing the “Status of World Nuclear Forces” continued to be the go-to resource on nuclear matters for policymakers, advocates, journalists, activists, and the public. In addition, the Project worked with FAS Marketing and Communications Manager Kate Kohn to revamp the Nuclear Information Project web pages in order to improve their readability and interactivity.
Throughout the year, the Nuclear Information Project continued to break major news stories about nuclear weapons. In July, Project staff made global headlines by disclosing the existence of a second Chinese missile silo field in Eastern Xinjiang. Combined with previous discoveries, Project staff assessed that China appears to be constructing approximately 250 new missile silos––the largest expansion of the Chinese nuclear arsenal ever. The Project’s research was featured in the New York Times (including as the top story on The Daily), in addition to stories in CNN, BBC, Associated Press, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and dozens of other high-profile media organizations. The discovery also appeared to have been confirmed by both the State Department as well as U.S. Strategic Command.
Additionally, the Nuclear Information Project conducted deep dives into particular nuclear weapons topics in order to influence the public and political debate in advance of the Biden administration’s upcoming Nuclear Posture Review. One Nuclear Information Project report, “Siloed Thinking: A Closer Look at the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent,” reviewed the fundamental role of ICBMs in U.S. nuclear strategy and examined the Pentagon’s justifications for pursuing an ICBM replacement program. The report was widely covered by national, local, and international media––including The Guardian, Politico, the Daily Beast, the Omaha World-Herald, Democracy Now!, Der Spiegel––and its findings were included in Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Congressman Ro Khanna’s (D-CA) ICBM Act.
Defense Posture Project
Over the past year, the Defense Posture Project has worked hard to inform the new administration’s nuclear weapons policies. In January, Project Director Dr. Adam Mount published a report with then-Carnegie Endowment for International Peace fellow Pranay Vaddi on an integrated approach to deterrence. The report, “An Integrated Approach to Deterrence Posture,” argued that the new administration should not separate its review of nuclear weapons policy from its review on defense policy in general, but develop an integrated concept of deterrence.
The team conducted interviews over several months with former and future senior administration officials, and then briefed the report to groups at the National Security Council and Department of Defense offices for Nuclear and Missile Defense and Strategy and Force Development. Senior officials reported that the work “has been very influential.” The concept of “integrated deterrence” has since become a major priority for the Pentagon, and senior defense officials have pledged that the Nuclear Posture Review will be “nested” in the National Defense Strategy. Dr. Mount also spoke on the subject at the Institut Français des Relations Internationales and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The Project also undertook a new initiative to help the new administration define and understand the implications of President Biden’s commitment to declare that the sole purpose of our nuclear arsenal is deterrence of a nuclear attack. Dr. Mount published an op-ed on the subject in Foreign Policy, and subsequently secured funding from Ploughshares Fund to draft a related detailed report, which was briefed directly to a variety of administration officials as well as to a session of the Nuclear Posture Review working group.
Project on Government Secrecy
Through research and advocacy, the Project on Government Secrecy directed by Steven Aftergood works to promote public access to valuable government information and to reduce the scope of national security secrecy.
The Project provides the public with unique access to essential government records. For example, a 2020 Joint Chiefs of Staff manual on nuclear warfighting (JP 3-72, Nuclear Operations) that the Project obtained this year through the Freedom of Information Act is available on the FAS website, even though it cannot be found in the Pentagon’s doctrinal library. The Project likewise offers the most complete collection of presidential national security directives, reports of the JASON defense science advisory panel, and other high value documents. As a result, online traffic to the FAS website has grown tremendously, regularly reaching millions of viewers.
This is a year of transition for secrecy policy as the new administration formulates its own approach to openness in government, in many cases rejecting or revising past practices. The President has nominally endorsed “the highest standards of transparency,” but achieving this remains a work in progress. The Project works with government agency officials and congressional staff to define and advance specific openness goals, such as a fixed limit to the duration of national security classification and an expanded program of open source intelligence publication.
With a grant from Schmidt Futures, the Day One Project has begun work in coordination with the Department of Defense, the Congressional defense committees, and various non-government centers of influence to shape the establishment of a congressional commission to examine the relevance of the DoD’s Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) system and its associated resource allocation processes against the backdrop of the speed at which the 21st-century international security environment is evolving. The goal of this commission will be to broker a lasting political compromise with actionable, bipartisan recommendations that will result in the most comprehensive reform of the PPBE system since the President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management, the so-called Packard Commission, and the resulting Goldwaters-Nichols Act of 1986. The benefit to the nation will be a modern military capable of fielding new combat capabilities at pace with the speed of commercial innovation and within the decision cycles of our most determined adversaries.
The Defense Budget Project has focused on accomplishing as much foundational work as possible before establishing the commission in early 2022. This effort intends to present the commission with a solid underpinning from which to begin its study. Deliverables include, but are not limited to, a slate of commissioner candidates for the consideration of the appointing officials, a slate of candidates for the commission’s staff, a literature review highlighting the various barriers to overcome, and a series of stakeholder engagements and workshops to scope the problems the commission will have to solve.
Nonproliferation Law and Policy Program
The Nonproliferation Law and Policy Program, led by Senior Fellow Christopher Bidwell, has been a major program within the FAS portfolio over the last eight years. During that time, the program has focused on six key areas:
- The role of microbial forensics in attributing the source of a biological outbreak;
- Verification of nonproliferation compliance as it relates to Iran and the 2015 nuclear agreement, with an emphasis on the intersection of national technical means and growing public technical means;
- The nuanced use of economic sanctions and lawfare in pursuing nonproliferation goals;
- National security threats arising from emerging technologies;
- The creation of a space for quasi-official dialogues between Middle-East countries on sensitive WMD matters; and
- The use of insurance as a leverage tool to improve nuclear power plant safety and security.
Of the six areas identified above, the use of economic sanctions and lawfare will likely be the most salient in the near term, as there is a good chance that nuclear discussions between the U.S. and Iran will restart. This year, Chris Bidwell authored two articles in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, as well as one in the National Interest, outlining the challenges to a revised Iranian nuclear deal and the role that banks, insurance companies, and trial lawyers will play in the ultimate outcome.
Biological Weapons Convention Scientific Advisory Process
FAS is conducting a project on a Science Advisory Process (SAP) for the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The BWC is the first agreement to prohibit an entire class of weapons, and as such, it aims to ensure that the life sciences and biotechnology are not used for military purposes. The BWC has played an important role in preventing the use of biological weapons; however, dramatic advances in technology, rapid exchange of information, and increased activity from non-state actors pose proliferation and security risks that could impact the long-term viability of the BWC.
The objective of this project is to plan an SAP for the BWC that can provide science-based and politically reliable analyses of developments in science and emerging biotechnologies. The SAP would enable all States Parties to make informed decisions by ensuring that they have impartial technical assessments of developments in science and technology, potential risks for use contrary to the Convention, and potential benefits. FAS organized a series of two-day workshops to spur progress on a scientific advisory process through research and discussions with 40 experts from 25 countries, including all five UN Regional Groups. FAS used the results and outputs from the workshops, along with their research, to craft the Findings from the Workshops, which were submitted by the United States as an official document of the BWC Meeting of Experts on Science and Technology held in Geneva from September 1-2, 2021. The U.S. representative introduced the document, and Jenifer Mackby, FAS Senior Fellow, presented the Findings to the Meeting. The Workshops were supported by the Department of State and Open Philanthropy, with assistance in coordination by the InterAcademy Partnership.
Senior Fellow Jenifer Mackby speaking at the Biological Weapons Convention meeting of States Parties in Geneva.
Congressional Science Policy Initiative
The Congressional Science Policy Initiative (CSPI), led by Dr. Mike Fisher, aims to increase the science and technology (S&T) policy capacity of the U.S. Congress by providing the means for scientists, technologists, engineers, and other subject matter experts to contribute nonpartisan, evidence-based information tailored to the priorities of legislative offices, which policymakers then use to build sound public policy agendas.
This year, CSPI established a new model for connecting experts with Congress. In collaboration with Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL), CSPI launched a Science Council composed of seven leading experts specializing in infectious diseases, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, social epidemiology, and more. In this model, CSPI gauges the Foster offices’ legislative priorities and supports the Council in providing evidence-based information tailored around those priorities. After the first meeting between the Congressman and the Science Council, the CSPI team published a report expanding on scientific exchanges between council members and Representative Foster on important issues like mitigating climate change, reducing police misconduct, and safeguarding benchtop DNA synthesis.
Congressional hearings contributed to, by issue area
CSPI also organizes experts from the S&T community to contribute information and questions to congressional hearings on issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. leadership in S&T, and the spread of misinformation. In 2021, CSPI crowdsourced 120 suggested hearing questions from the expert community and provided them for use during 11 key hearings. A significant portion of these questions were raised in some form by Members of Congress during the hearings and facilitated the formulation of evidence-based policy. Additionally, CSPI launched a new web app for connecting the S&T community with policymakers, engineered by and hosted on POPVOX, a nonpartisan online platform for civic engagement and governing.
CSPI is intent on sharing its learnings and models with the S&T and policy communities, and has published its process for engaging on congressional hearings in Inside Higher Ed. Two more articles describing CSPI’s work around organizing experts to contribute to congressional hearings and building science councils are in press with the Journal of Science Policy & Governance and the journal Digital Government: Research and Practice.
The Organs Initiative, led by Senior Fellow Jennifer Erickson, focuses on data-driven solutions to the organ shortage that costs 33 Americans their lives every day, including accountability for the nation’s network of monopoly contractors responsible for organ donation: organ procurement organizations (OPOs) responsible for coordinating organ recovery, and the organ procurement transplantation network (OPTN) responsible for system oversight and technology.
For the first time in 40 years, there is a final rule to hold OPOs accountable to objective data, put into effect by the Biden administration following regulatory review in March 2021. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) projects that these bipartisan reforms will lead to more than 7,000 lives saved each year, and experts estimate this will also save Medicare more than $1B annually through avoided dialysis. Bipartisan leaders of the Senate and House are now calling for the acceleration of reforms as an “urgent health equity issue” given the fact that COVID-19 damages organs. Patient advocates across the country, including Alonzo Mourning and Samantha Bee, highlighted the lives at stake in a video produced by the House Oversight Committee.
In May 2021, FAS launched the OPO Innovation Cohort, with 7 OPOs (representing one-sixth of the country) pledging to disclose their data, including 10 years of organ referrals and outcomes broken down by race/ethnicity, as part of a commitment to transparency, accountability, and equity. This commitment was lauded by House Oversight leaders in a bipartisan hearing, with Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) encouraging all organ contractors (OPOs and the OPTN) to disclose their data in the public interest. The House Appropriations Committee endorsed “swift implementation” of the OPO rule as “an urgent health equity issue,” as well as “all efforts to promote competition for the Organ Procurement and Transplantation work (OPTN) contract, and to use the announced movement of the Division of Transplantation to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health to facilitate coordinated organ donation reforms.” The Day One Project has previously proposed all of these reforms, and key research supported by FAS which has fueled these Congressional actions can be found here, with a data visualization of system failures here.
High-Skilled Immigration Initiative
Technology and Innovation
The High-Skilled Immigration Initiative produces policy analyses and recommendations at the intersection of immigration and technological innovation that advance the nation’s national security and economic growth. Formerly directed by Doug Rand and now led by Lindsay Milliken, the Immigration Initiative brings a data-driven approach to immigration policy, with special attention to the shifting landscape of executive actions and longer-term reform options.
This year, the Initiative published five reports in leading legal journals and think tank publications that included analyses and recommendations on:
- The economic benefits of reviving the International Entrepreneur Rule;
- Executive actions that the Biden Administration can take to attract international professionals with expertise in artificial intelligence to the United States;
- Congressional and executive actions that can improve the immigration system overall for international entrepreneurs;
- An examination of the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) fee fund for H-1B petitions and how it can be best used to support domestic STEM education and workforce training programs; and
- The impact of recapturing unused green cards before they are lost forever.
The Initiative’s timely research has been used to support policy change in the Executive Branch. Earlier this year, the Biden Administration officially revived the International Entrepreneur Rule, just three months after Doug Rand and Lindsay Milliken found that the rule, if properly implemented, could create up to 1 million jobs over 10 years. The Project’s research also informed two public comments submitted by FAS to the Federal Register. One public comment was submitted to the Department of Homeland Security outlining how the agency can reduce administrative burdens and other barriers which prevent people from accessing immigration services and benefits. The other was submitted to the Department of Labor suggesting improvements to its system assessing prevailing wage levels for foreign workers.
The Initiative also grew its footprint this year within the larger immigration policy community. In July 2021, the Niskanen Center showcased the Initiative’s research on recapturing unused green cards during a webinar moderated by esteemed immigration attorney Tahmina Watson. To translate recommendations into action, Doug Rand and Lindsay Milliken launched an international entrepreneurship working group with members from leading immigration law firms and policy organizations. The group aims to help connect entrepreneurship stakeholders with the Department of Homeland Security and be a resource for international entrepreneurs who are interested in starting businesses in the United States. Lindsay Milliken also provided insights to the Utah State University Center for Growth and Opportunity’s process to identify upcoming immigration priorities for 2021, and has been invited to contribute again in 2022.
Emerging Technologies Initiative
Technology and Innovation
This past year, Emerging Technologies Fellow Ishan Sharma has led an initiative to secure the future of democracy and human rights against the threats of emerging digital authoritarianism and 21st century surveillance technologies.
As part of the initiative, Ishan interviewed representatives from Palantir Technologies, the ACLU, and over 40 other experts in academia, civil society, industry, law enforcement, and government to identify 15 actionable policy recommendations for the U.S. to lead by example in regulating the development and export of surveillance technologies. The interviews, insights, and recommendations contributed to the publication of a report titled, “A More Responsible Digital Surveillance Future: Multi-stakeholder Perspectives and Cohesive State & Local, Federal, and International Actions.”
Technology Policy Accelerator
Technology and Innovation
In March, the Day One Project launched its Technology Policy Accelerator to identify, develop, and publish a set of technology policy ideas that could be implemented by Congress or the Biden-Harris Administration. The accelerator was a nine-week process designed to guide the cohort of 30 entrepreneurs, academics, researchers, and technologists to transform an initial idea into a tailored, actionable set of policy recommendations.
Through the Accelerator, the cohort developed their ideas with guidance from policy advisors, met with veteran policymakers to learn more about the nuances of policy implementation, honed their ability to craft actionable policy on the federal level, and built a community with their fellow cohort members. The Accelerator culminated with a showcase featuring several policy presentations from the cohort, complimented by presentations on federal tech policy from Quentin Palfrey, formerly Acting General Counsel at the Department of Commerce, and Cori Zarek, former U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer.
Over the past year, the Day One Project team — led by Dan Correa, Joshua Schoop, Sara Schapiro, and Loully Saney and a larger team that included Erik Martin, Kristina Ishmael, Jamie Graybeal, Faith Savaiano, Andrew Sosanya, Will Rieck, Natalie Ward, Ishan Sharma, Zain Ahmed, Priscilla Guo, and Rujuta Pandit — has focused on engaging a diverse community of scientists, technologists, academics, advocates, and industry leaders to think strategically about a vast range of challenges and opportunities in science, technology, and innovation policy. The Project has leveraged its policymaking expertise to turn novel ideas into innovative, actionable proposals, democratizing the policymaking process and giving anyone with a promising idea the tools to inform the federal government’s S&T policy agenda.
This year, the Day One Project continued its efforts to inform the new Administration’s most pressing science and technology policy priorities by publishing close to 100 actionable proposals across 7 policy focus areas.
The Day One Project also worked to amplify and disseminate its policy memos through social media, targeted newsletters, Day One workshops, conversations, and strategic policy meetings with interested customers. The Project’s proposals have been featured in outlets such as The Washington Post, Politico, NPR, Axios, FedScoop, and The Hill, and our Day One Project Spotlight newsletter series has engaged more than 2,000 subscribers. Lastly, our team has honed its efforts to advance key ideas with executive and legislative branch policymakers. In August, the Day One Project launched a pre-State of the Union Policy Development process to identify, develop, and compile 50 innovative S&T ideas to inform President Biden’s 2022 State of the Union address.
The Day One Project has also worked to advance the implementation of policy ideas across its science, technology, and innovation policy portfolio.
Policy proposals published by focus area
In February, the Project sent a letter to Dr. Eric Lander, President Biden’s Science Advisor (and Day One Leadership Council Member Emeritus), highlighting a set of promising policy ideas sourced and developed from Day One Project contributors. The letter was framed as a response to President Biden’s public letter sent to Dr. Lander when he was nominated to lead the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The Project has successfully advanced the implementation of dozens of Day One Project proposals, including:
Creating the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (HARPA)
President Biden’s FY22 budget request to Congress included a proposal to invest $6.5B in standing up an ARPA-H at the National Institute of Health . Mike Stebbins’ first made recommendations to launch a “DARPA for Health” in a Day One Project proposal published in January 2020. The concept for an ARPA-H continues to generate momentum.
Focused Research Organizations to Accelerate Science, Technology, and Medicine
Adam Marblestone and Sam Rodriques’s Day One Project proposal calling for the Biden-Harris Administration to create focused research organizations (FROs) to tackle scientific and technological challenges that cannot be efficiently addressed by standard organizational structures was featured in The Economist, which wrote that “Two researchers, Adam Marblestone and Sam Rodriques, have proposed Focused Research Organisations, stand-alone research efforts concentrated on solving single, well-defined science or technology problems.” Early indications, including the National Science Foundation’s workshop activity and its FY22 budget request suggest that the FRO approach is gaining traction within the agency.
Banning Noncompete Agreements to Create Competitive Job Markets
In July, President Biden issued an Executive Order that encouraged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to ban or limit noncompete agreements to boost competition across the economy. In January 2021, Stanford University Law Professor Mark Lemley and University of San Diego Law Professor Orly Lobel had brought attention to the issue in a Day One Project proposal focused on, “Banning Noncompete Agreements to Create Competitive Job Markets.”
The Digital Corps
The Administration announced the launch of the “Digital Corps,” an early-career fellowship for the country’s top early-career technology talent to serve in the Federal Government, which the Project championed. The announcement received widespread coverage in the media and an endorsement from entrepreneur Mark Cuban.
National Energy Storage Initiative
Day One Proposal author David Hart, one of the first contributors to the Project, brought attention to the idea for a National Energy Storage Initiative at the Department of Energy, and the Department drew on his recommendations to inform the recent EarthShot challenge on long duration energy storage.
An Initiative to Build the National Climate Bank
Jeffrey Schub, who participated in the first Day One S&T Accelerator, saw recommendations from his proposal for a National Climate Bank make it into the Senate’s budget resolution with a current funding level of $27B under the Environment and Public Works Committee.
Creating a National Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Scientists and Engineers
Ilan Gur’s Day One Project Proposal, “Creating a National Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Scientists and Engineers,” put forward a proposal embraced in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) FY22 budget.
Support Electrification at Regional Airports to Preserve Competitiveness & Improve Health Outcomes
The White House’s recent fact sheet outlining actions for the Advancement of the Future of Sustainable Fuels in American Aviation featured ideas raised in a proposal by Day One contributor Lauren Shum on electrifying aviation earlier this year.
Climate and Biodiversity at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Patrick Gonzalez, a member of the inaugural Day One Accelerator cohort, joined the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to work on climate and biodiversity, where he will have an opportunity to leverage the policy implementation insights acquired through his time with the Project.
Build Back Better Regional Challenge
The Economic Development Administration announced a $1B “Build Back Better Regional Challenge” to invest in industries of the future across America. Our team and collaborators provided valuable input to inform the design of the challenge.
In January 2021, the Day One Project began thinking critically about issues facing federal agencies and has since been actively finding ways to help advance top policy priorities through talent. The Day One Project launched its Day One Talent Hub to provide a pathway for federal leaders to access diverse, leading scientific and technological experts interested in a “tour of service” in the federal government. The Talent Hub focuses its efforts on leveraging flexible hiring pathways (such as fellowships and the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Mobility Program) to identify and place qualified scientific and technical talent (i.e., fellows) into key roles working inside federal agencies.
Based on insights gleaned from federal leaders, the Day One Talent Hub identified significant demand and opportunity for talent placements across the federal government to advance an expansive scope of priorities. Upon publication of this report, the Day One Talent Hub has so far identified, onboarded, and placed 10 fellows into high-impact roles this year. Fellows have been deployed at or are being recruited to enter the following agencies:
Office of Management and Budget to focus on strategies to strengthen technical hiring in government by scaling emerging best practices.
Department of Education to serve as data science subject matter experts leveraging education data to inform decision making and policy creation.
Department of Energy to support the Undersecretary for Science’s office in driving critical market-based efforts to spur a clean energy revolution.
General Services Administration’s Office of Evaluation Sciences to leverage evidenced-based insights to address critical challenges in global health and pandemic recovery.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to focus on the intersection of immigration policy & artificial intelligence in advancing the nation’s national security and economic growth.
White House Office of Science and Technology to serve as subject matter experts on conservation science, wildfire resilience, tech policy, energy science, national security, and more.
In addition to placing fellows, the Talent Hub undertook significant efforts to provide technical assistance to federal agencies in better implementing flexible hiring pathways to bring on critical S&T capacity. The Talent Hub team conducted conversations with 25+ federal agencies and offices to address their talent needs. It also released “Flexible Hiring Resources for Federal Managers,” a guidebook that provides practical information to better leverage available mechanisms to hire scientific and technical talent, including resources and templates to utilize the Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility Program and Schedule A fellowship-hiring authority.
Day One Community
This year, the Project launched the Day One Community, a network of 330 contributors who have attended Day One workshops, written policy proposals, and/or contributed as strategic advisors on policy ideas. Through the Community, contributors exchange resources and opportunities for policy entrepreneurship, hear from other members about their successes, and field offers and requests for help as they seek to advance policy ideas.
The community features a wide distribution of professional backgrounds and policy expertise. Some members are former policymakers themselves with deep networks and knowledge of how to navigate government, while others don’t know the landscape or where to look to help gain traction for their policy idea. The Project’s goal is to push each contributor to be entrepreneurial in advancing their policy ideas.
So far, the Project hosted two policymaker Q&As, conducted 20+ consultations with proposal authors to strategize on policy implementation, and shared policy implementation opportunities with the Community on various elements of policy entrepreneurship, such as Concisely Sharing Your Day One Idea and Mining Agency Budget Requests.
Fundraising and Development
The Federation of American Scientists has had tremendous fundraising success in 2021, bringing in an unprecedented $11.7 million to support the organization and its work across all policy verticals. This is a product of the critical strategic thinking implemented every day by the FAS team to solidify the organization’s presence as an indispensable voice for evidence-based, scientifically-driven policy analysis and research.
in grant funding
The majority of the funding FAS receives (99.59%) is restricted for use of specific projects and initiatives, while unrestricted funding (which only accounts for 0.41% of funding) bolsters the organization’s operational capacity.
The critical work being done at FAS would not be possible without the generous support of its philanthropic partners who continue to believe in the organization’s work and vision for the future.
To carry out and drive this critical work, we have had several new additions to our staff in recent months to advance science, technology, and innovation policy and support critical functions of the organization:
Jordan Mixter, Director of Operations and Strategy
Sara Schapiro, Senior Fellow and Director of Education, Workforce, and Talent
Erica Goldman, Director of Science Policy