Washington, DC — An innovative think tank at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, soon to enter its third year, has a new vote of confidence from its main funder – both for the work that it has done and its policy outcomes – with an enhanced grant agreement that boosts total funding to more than $100 million.
The Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) was founded in early 2019 to provide policymakers with high-quality analysis of emerging technologies and their implications for national and international security.
“As technological collaboration becomes the policy watchword in Washington, CSET has provided a successful model for helping support decision-making with innovative data-driven policy research and recommendations,” said the center’s director, Dr. Dewey Murdick. “This model is unique among think tanks in that it provides funding that allows researchers to pursue the most important topics without being wedded to short-term project deliverables.
“Rather, the research agenda is shaped by experts, and the research outcomes are guided by rigorous methodology and evidence-based analysis drawing upon significant data holdings from diverse sources. Policymakers across the political spectrum, both in the United States and abroad, have relied on this research to make decisions on a range of key matters knowing that CSET offers nonpartisan, factual information.”
Murdick said credit is due not only to the CSET team, but also their supporters at Open Philanthropy, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Public Interest Technology University Network, and Georgetown who have trusted their approach. Open Philanthropy, CSET’s main funder, has just completed agreements with university officials to increase its grant by $42 million, boosting total funds to more than $100 million from 2019 to 2025.
In a relatively short time, CSET has grown to more than 50 full-time staff who have produced more than 120 data-rich reports focused on the nexus of emerging technology and national/ international security policy. CSET has established itself as a leader in understanding the implications of AI for global security and in helping to shape policy responses in Washington and beyond. And CSET is helping to prepare the next generation of leaders in this field and others by preparing its staff for positions in government and academia.
Former CSET staff are now working for the National Security Council, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Congress and other parts of the U.S. government, as well as Stanford University. Current staff are serving as fellows in both the legislative and executive branches.
CSET research has been cited in reports by the White House, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Congressional Research Service, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and think tanks including the Brookings Institution, the American Enterprise Institute and the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).
“As the oldest school of international affairs in the United States, our mission is to understand the forces that shape our global order,” noted Joel Hellman, dean of Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. “No issue is more urgent than to explore with rigorous data and analysis how new technologies will transform that global order. In just a few short years, CSET has established itself as a leader in this critical area and has helped us fulfill the historic mission of our school for the good of the country and the world.”