Alondra Nelson Joins CAP as Distinguished Senior Fellow

Alondra Nelson, Harold F. Linder Professor in the School of Social Science, will serve as a distinguished senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP). According the CAP announcement, “Dr. Nelson will work with CAP to explore and drive forward policy around the interconnections between science, data, economies, equity and justice, and democracy at this unique moment of profound technological change.”

This appointment follows Nelson’s leadership of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as Principal Deputy Director for Science and Society (2021–23) and Deputy Assistant to the President (2022–23). Her work brought social science expertise explicitly into the work of federal science and technology strategy and policy. Her achievements include developing a Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights, expanding open-access to tax-payer funded research, and confronting systemic barriers to participation in science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine (STEMM) fields.

“Integral to every technological innovation and each scientific breakthrough are human beings whose lives are changed and opportunities affected,” said Nelson in the announcement of her new role. “Being a dynamic democratic society means placing people and communities at the center of these new developments. When we make policy for this era, our charge is to harness the promise of this moment for everyone, to balance efficiency with dignity, and to ensure progress never comes at the cost of our rights or potential.”

As part of her scholarly work, Nelson examines questions in science, technology, and social inequality, offering a critical and innovative approach to the social sciences in fruitful dialogue with other fields. Her major research contributions are situated at the intersection of racial formation and social citizenship, on the one hand, and emerging scientific and technological phenomena, on the other.

Nelson will take part in “The Next Wave of Technology Regulation” hosted by CAP and Public Knowledge today (March 2) at 1:00 p.m. ET as part of a discussion with leading scholars on the topic.

CAP is an independent, nonpartisan policy institute dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action.