These experienced policymakers will shape the Federation’s work supporting a more innovative federal government with the capacity to deliver.
Washington, DC – November 2, 2023 – The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) today announced a collaboration with four exceptional senior scientific policy fellows: Cristin Dorgelo, Jennifer Pahlka, Kathy Stack, and Peter Bonner. The fellows will bring combined 60+ years of technology innovation and government service. They will help grow FAS’ government capacity and innovation portfolio.
Building federal capacity, with particular focus on financial mechanisms, evidence and data, talent and hiring, and culture, will equip the US government to solve the most pressing challenges facing our nation. FAS supports the federal government through scoping and diagnosing research, convening key stakeholders to identify opportunities and build community and momentum, and partnering with agencies to address bottlenecks and identify promising pathways for progress.
FAS is in a unique position to support the federal government in building federal capacity. Since delivering 100 implementation-ready policy proposals for the 2020 presidential transition, FAS has grown, expanding capabilities as an organization. Since the outset of the current administration, FAS has focused on building internal organizational infrastructure to support a variety of federal initiatives.
“Each of these fellows bring tremendous expertise and government service experience to FAS, and a perspective that how government works is as important as what it works on. Their perspectives will guide our work on enhancing government capacity to meet our biggest science and technology challenges” says Dan Correa, CEO of FAS.
Cristin Dorgelo is an independent consultant with more than 25 years of executive leadership experience. She was most recently the senior advisor for management at the White House Office of Management and Budget in the Biden-Harris Administration, and she served as team lead for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Agency Review Team for the Biden-Harris Transition. She was President and CEO of the Association of Science and Technology Centers from 2018-2020. She served in the Obama-Biden Administration’s OSTP from 2012-2017. There, she was the agency’s Chief of Staff and also led the White House “Grand Challenges” and open innovation initiatives, aiming to catalyze breakthroughs towards national priorities.
“An effective and responsive government is essential to addressing urgent problems such as climate change and delivering on priorities such as our national infrastructure,” says Dorgelo. “I appreciate that FAS values a research-driven approach to understand the root causes of barriers and bottlenecks and evaluate new ideas rapidly, and then propose those solutions to agency leaders and policymakers who can put them into practice.”
Jennifer Pahlka is author of the book, Recoding America: Why Government Is Failing in the Digital Age and How We Can Do Better. She is the founder and former Executive Director of Code for America. She served as U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer from June 2013 to June 2014 and helped found the United States Digital Service. Forbes recognized her as among “America’s Top 50 Women in Tech”, among other accolades.
“As I detail in my book, Americans need to reexamine how we build the systems that give ordinary citizens access to government services. In short, we need to modernize so that we reduce our threat surface and provide better services. I see my work at FAS as a continuation of this important need, making sure that Americans have the digital infrastructure they deserve,” says Pahlka.
Kathy Stack is an independent consultant who advises non-profit organizations, foundations, research organizations, and government officials on strategies to advance cross-program innovation and evidence-based decision-making in health, human services, education, and other social programs. She spent nearly three decades in government service in the White House Office of Management and Budget. She is also a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Tobin Center for Economic Policy and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.
“Too many promising policy initiatives have stumbled in recent decades because policymakers haven’t anticipated the bureaucratic and cultural barriers that stand in their way. To succeed, bold and necessary policy reforms require creative collaboration between policymakers and savvy civil servants who know how government rules and processes can become enablers, not blockers, of innovation,” says Stack.
Peter Bonner is a public, non-profit, and private sector innovator. He led federal agencies tasked with hiring the technical, management, and staff talent to implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS and Science Act from his role as the Associate Director, HR Solutions at Office of Personnel Management. This resulted in hiring, in less than two years, more than 5,500 specialists to help build roads, bridges, cell towers, water treatment facilities, and semiconductor plants. As OPM’s HR Solutions team executive, Peter led customer experience innovation that helped federal agencies recruit, hire, train, and manage the performance of the federal workforce.
“Federal workers are the heroes of our society. The work they do every day keeps us safe, helps us get to where we want to go, keeps our economy moving forward, provides us safe food, pharmaceuticals and drinking water, and combats the threats of climate change. The quality of our lives is better because of them. It is an honor to support them in everything they do,” says Bonner.
The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) works to advance progress on a broad suite of contemporary issues where science, technology, and innovation policy can deliver dramatic progress, and seeks to ensure that scientific and technical expertise have a seat at the policymaking table. Established in 1945 by scientists in response to the atomic bomb, FAS continues to work on behalf of a safer, more equitable, and more peaceful world. More information at fas.org.