May 13, 2024

Horizon joins TechToGov to run first government AI hiring fair

As a member of the TechToGov coalition, the Horizon Institute for Public Service recently supported the first virtual hiring forum focused on bringing more AI talent into government. TechToGov is a coalition of organizations powered by the Tech Talent Project working to create a supportive and vibrant ecosystem of emerging technology talent in government.

As a member of the TechToGov coalition, the Horizon Institute for Public Service recently supported the first virtual hiring forum focused on bringing more AI talent into government.

A panel discussion from the hiring forum

This event was held as part of our partnership with TechToGov, a coalition of organizations powered by the Tech Talent Project working to create a supportive and vibrant ecosystem of emerging technology talent in government. The event was co-sponsored by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and was featured in the White House update on the AI and Tech Talent Task Force, which noted that the event helped

“enable agencies to take advantage of collective recruitment and branding power to hire more effectively, efficiently, and from a higher quality technical talent pool.” 

The virtual event was held on April 18th. More than 100 representatives from state and federal agencies attended, including the Department of Homeland Security, Internal Revenue Service, Department of Veteran Affairs, and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and information technology departments from the State of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York. These employers met 1-on-1 with job seekers to discuss roles they are hiring for with a focus on senior and mid-career individuals in AI and AI-enabling fields who were interested in public interest technology. Over 1,700 people registered to attend from all 50 states.

In preparation for the event, TechToGov coalition partners worked with government staff on how to pitch their work to technologists, streamline the hiring process, and appeal to individuals coming from the private sector. We also provided hundreds of participants with information about the application process for government jobs, including tailored 1-on-1 coaching on how to better design federal resumes and other materials.  

Ensuring that people with AI and AI-enabling backgrounds find roles in the public service ecosystem is crucial for improving the quality of technology programs and policy in government. Many qualified people are eager to enter public sector roles but encounter a lot of friction when trying to break in. At the same time, government leaders know they desperately need more AI talent but struggle to attract and retain the right people. These problems are an important reason that less than 1% of new AI PhDs go into government work. Events like the TechToGov hiring forum help clarify exciting pathways and opportunities in public service, bringing us one step closer to a world where finding an exciting job in government is as frictionless and attractive as getting a job in industry. 

We are grateful to our TechToGov partners for leading this event. Previously, Horizon has also collaborated with the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs and SeedAI on a webinar series on emerging technology policy careers, as well as Brown University’s Pandemic Center on a workshop to promote careers in biosecurity and pandemic preparedness. We look forward to co-hosting more events with our partners to support a vibrant ecosystem of civil society organizations focused on enabling emerging technology policy talent to reach their full potential and contribute their talents to public service.