Global Risk

FAS Introduces Fall 2020 Scoville Fellow

09.22.20 | 2 min read | Text by Federation of American Scientists

The Federation of American Scientists is pleased to introduce Fall 2020 Scoville Fellow, Ishan Sharma. The Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, established in 1987, is a highly-competitive national program that provides recent college and graduate school alumni with the opportunity to work on key issues of peace and security in Washington, D.C.

Ishan will be working on issues at the intersection of emerging technologies and international security, as well as global biosecurity. From artificial intelligence, surveillance, Internet governance, and China-US cyber strategies, his wide array of interests and skills will be fostered at FAS through various research projects and publications. 

“The exponential increase in the power of science and technology brings with it a tremendous amount of good, but also opens the door for certain individuals, non-state actors, and even governments to misuse those advances for nefarious purposes,” said FAS President Ali Nouri. “We are thrilled to have Ishan Sharma from the prestigious Scoville fellowship, working to reduce those risks.” “I don’t know of many recent college graduates that have the privilege of leading their own research and writing projects.” Ishan said about his placement at FAS. “I am looking forward to working closely with FAS staff and leadership team on this exciting project.”

Ishan Sharma

Recently, Ishan won the New America U.S. Security Policy essay contest, for his proposal that counters digital authoritarianism by imagining a liberal-democratic model of AI surveillance. The article, which will be published soon, is best summarized by Ishan himself: 

“AI surveillance is a technology that isn’t going away anytime soon. Bans are a temporary fix, and in the meantime, China is exporting the technology across the world to empower digital authoritarians to crush dissent. It is incumbent upon the U.S.—the world’s technological powerhouse–not only to produce cutting-edge tech but to work with our allies to design global models for ethical use. And it starts on our home turf.”

Former Scoville Fellows have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in international relations and related fields and have taken prominent positions in peace and security with public-interest organizations, the federal government, academia, and more. To date, 193 fellowships have been awarded.