March 8, 2023

Update on the Horizon Institute for Public Service

We’re excited to share our first update about the Horizon Institute for Public Service, a non-partisan, non-profit organization helping the US government navigate our era of rapid technological change by fostering the next generation of emerging technology policy talent.

Updated: May 5, 2023

Horizon’s two main focus areas, artificial intelligence and biotechnology, are technology areas on which the US government could have a profound and positive impact in the years to come. Yet in order to do so, decision-makers require access to the knowledge and talents of subject-matter experts, who remain in short supply. Our goal is to help fill this gap by encouraging professionals with technology backgrounds to embark on careers of public service.

The primary way we currently pursue this mission is through our flagship program, the Horizon Fellowship, which places fully-funded fellows at federal agencies, congressional offices, and think tanks. Our initial cohort of fellows are currently serving at host organizations including the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security; at the Senate Commerce and House Science committees and multiple congressional member offices; and at think tanks including the Center for Security and Emerging Technology, the Center for Health Security, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In addition to placing fellows, we also engage in other activities to create and promote pathways into public service for emerging technology experts, such as offering training programs and workshops, conducting career advising sessions, and creating career guides.

Horizon was co-founded by Remco Zwetsloot and Joan Gass. We are proud to partner with a variety of public interest organizations that share our mission, including the Aspen Tech Policy Hub, the Brown University Pandemic Center, the National Security Career and Leadership Institute, SeedAI, and TechCongress. Additionally, the members of our advisory board contribute expertise built throughout their long track records of service, spanning every presidential administration in the last three decades, to advising Horizon’s fellows and our programmatic decision-making. They include:

  • Kari Bingen – Director of the Aerospace Security Project at CSIS and former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security
  • Elizabeth (Beth) Cameron – Professor of the Practice, Brown University School of Public Health; Former Senior Director for Global Health Security and Biodefense, National Security Council
  • Richard Danzig – Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab; Former Secretary of the Navy
  • Michael Kratsios – Managing Director at ScaleAI; Former Chief Technology Officer of the United States and Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering
  • Jason Matheny – CEO of the RAND Corporation; Former White House Coordinator for Technology and National Security and IARPA Director
  • Nadia Schadlow – Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute and former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy at the National Security Council
  • Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Shanahan – Former Inaugural Director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center at the Department of Defense
  • Andrew Weber – Senior Fellow at the Council on Strategic Risk; Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs

Founded as an independent 501(c)(3) public charity in 2022, the Horizon Institute for Public Service’s founding was inspired by the initial success of Open Philanthropy’s Technology Policy Fellowship. We are grateful to Open Philanthropy for supporting Horizon’s initial operations, and look forward to expanding our network of supporters as we scale up our programs.

We look forward to sharing more information about our work in the coming months, including the placements of our 2023 fellowship cohort, who are currently wrapping up training and will be seeking placements to start during the summer of 2023. You can sign up for our newsletter to be notified of future updates, which we’ll share periodically.

If you work at an organization that might be looking to hire a Horizon fellow, please visit our Host a Fellow page, where we have a variety of resources that explain our placement and onboarding process. If you are a student or professional with a background in emerging technology and an interest in public service, please visit our Become a Fellow page.