Robert D. Atkinson, Ph.D. President, The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation
Dr. Robert D. Atkinson is one of the country’s foremost thinkers on innovation economics. With has an extensive background in technology policy, he has conducted ground-breaking research projects on technology and innovation, is a valued adviser to state and national policy makers, and a popular speaker on innovation policy nationally and internationally. He is the author of Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage (Yale, 2012) and The Past and Future of America’s Economy: Long Waves of Innovation That Power Cycles of Growth (Edward Elgar, 2005).
Before coming to ITIF, Atkinson was Vice President of the Progressive Policy Institute and Director of PPI’s Technology & New Economy Project. Ars Technica listed Atkinson as one of 2009’s Tech Policy People to Watch. He has testified before a number of committees in Congress and has appeared in various media outlets including CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, and NBC Nightly News. He received his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989.
Frances A. Colón, Ph.D. Deputy Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State U.S. Department of State
Dr. Frances Colón is the Deputy Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State at the U.S. Department of State where she promotes Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) dialogues; global scientific engagement for capacity-building, development and public diplomacy; S&T fellowships; women in science; and transformational technologies as tools of science diplomacy.
Previously, Dr. Colón served the U.S. Department of State as the Science and Environment Adviser at the Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau where she was responsible for providing technical advice on how environmental and scientific issues affected the U.S. Government’s foreign policy objectives in the Americas. During that time, Dr. Colón coordinated climate change policy for the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas announced by President Obama in 2009, and was the lead negotiator for scientific cooperation with the region. As a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow (2006-2008), Dr. Colón led the OES Bureau’s program for Muslim world outreach through K-12 science and math education cooperation. Dr. Colón earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience in2004 from Brandeis University and her B.S. in Biology in 1997 from the University of Puerto Rico.
(Guest speaker) David Brin Author and Scientist
David Brin is a scientist, inventor, and New York Times bestselling author. With books translated into 25 languages, he has won multiple Hugo, Nebula, and other awards. A film directed by Kevin Costner was based on David’s novel The Postman. Other works have been optioned by Paramount and Warner Bros. David’s science-fictional Uplift Saga explores genetic engineering of higher animals, like dolphins, to speak. His new novel from Tor Books is Existence.
As a scientist/futurist, David is seen frequently on television shows such as The ArchiTechs, Universe, and Life After People (most popular show ever on the History Channel) — with many appearances on PBS, BBC and NPR. An inventor with many patents, he is in-demand to speak about future trends, keynoting for IBM, Google, Procter & Gamble, SAP, Microsoft, Qualcomm, the Mauldin Group, and Casey Research, all the way to think tanks, Homeland Security, and the CIA.
With degrees from Caltech and the University of California-San Diego, Dr. Brin serves serves on advisory panels ranging from astronomy, NASA innovative concepts, nanotech, and SETI to national defense and technological ethics. His nonfiction book The Transparent Society explores the dangers of secrecy and loss of privacy in our modern world. It garnered the prestigious Freedom of Speech Prize from the American Library Association.