Ishan Sharma

Ishan Sharma

Advisor, Strategic Initiatives & Fellow
Emerging Technologies Digital Authoritarianism Future of Democracy & Human Rights

Ishan Sharma advises FAS leadership on a range of strategic initiatives. Over the past two years, Ishan has contributed to several projects, including supporting a moonshot infrastructure R&D initiative at the Department of Transportation, designing cluster-based economic development strategies designed to bring innovation from the coasts to the heartland through the Economic Development Administration’s $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, leading an initiative on industrial strategy for science and technology alongside the White House’s National Economic Council and National Security Councils, project-managing the ideas of 50+ external experts into actionable policy proposals, helping launch a new initiative for the science of science known as the Impetus Institute, and creating a new early-career science and technology fellowship ( designed to provide individuals similar exposure to high-leverage, strategic, and creative pursuits of impact.

As a Fellow, Ishan also directed the FAS Special Project on Emerging Technologies and International Security, which devised cohesive domestic and foreign policy recommendations to counter the emergence of digital authoritarianism that has been featured in BBC, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief reports, AAAS Science, Technology, and Human Rights Conference, Lawfare’s Cyberlaw Podcast, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and at TEDx. He has also worked with experts in Ghana, Mexico, and Nigeria to develop novel, country-specific solutions to digital authoritarianism.

Ishan holds a B.S. from Cornell University and has studied jurisprudence and international human rights law at the University of Oxford. Sits on the board of two nonprofits that aim to empower youth through mentorship and media literacy, and is one of 24 Senior John Lewis Fellows investigating the future of democracy, oppression, and human rights in the 21st century. Has also helped lead seven mentorship-based service trips in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Orlando, and Ithaca since 2016. Previously has supported Government Accountability Project expose abusive conditions at immigrant family detention facilities and widespread corruption with a former EPA Administrator; spent a year organizing a summit to raise awareness on child sex trafficking in Ithaca; worked for two years as a mentor for justice-involved youth; and received a grant to pursue an experimental college thesis on “Colored Lenses” that explored the impact racial stereotypes on 3rd-party perceptions of conflict.

Other Coverage

Lawfare Cyberlaw Podcast, March 2021
China's exportation of artificially intelligent surveillance systems (AISS) to developing countries is a a form of exploitation that shares characteristics with 19th century British and French colonialism.