Ishan Sharma

Ishan Sharma

Fellow & Policy Analyst
Emerging Technologies Digital Authoritarianism Future of Democracy & Human Rights

Ishan Sharma is a Fellow & Policy Analyst at the Federation of American Scientists and Policy Analyst at the Day One Project. He holds a B.S. from Cornell University and has studied jurisprudence and international human rights law at the University of Oxford. Ishan 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.

Ishan has overseen the development of 35+ actionable science & technology policy memos, including a co-authorship with the Executive Director of the Ghana National Media Commission on “Countering China’s Monopoly on Africa’s Digitally Broadcasted Content.” Most recently, he co-led a Technology Policy Accelerator, a 9-week development program that aims to transform the ideas of the 30+ tenured professors, activists, and industry professionals into effective policy. Ishan has also helped brief senior officials at the Department of Commerce, the National Security Council, and the National Economic Council, and the National Science Foundation.

His passions concern the protection of democracy and human rights in the next decade as the second half of the world gains access to the Internet. He led a project focused on blending domestic and foreign policy on emerging surveillance technologies, China’s techno-geopolitical ecosystem, and ways for America to lead by example. For his most recent report “A More Responsible Digital Surveillance Future,” he spoke with over 40 surveillance industry experts, activists, leading scholars, foreign policy specialists, and police chiefs to reduce the abuse of surveillance tech at home and abroad. His work has been featured in BBC’s World Service Radio, Lawfare’s Cyberlaw Podcast, New America’s Future of Security Forum, Cornell TEDx, Just Security, the Internet Governance Lab’s 48th Annual Research Conference, and elsewhere.

Ishan first joined FAS as a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow. Before that, Ishan helped the Government Accountability Project expose abusive conditions at immigrant family detention facilities and widespread corruption with a former EPA Administrator. He spent a year organizing a summit to raise awareness on child sex trafficking in Ithaca, and two years as a mentor for justice-involved youth. Since 2016 he has also helped lead seven mentorship-based service trips in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Orlando, and Ithaca. His grant-funded college thesis, “Colored Lenses,” investigated the influence of racial stereotypes on our perceptions of conflict with one another.

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.