Robert Atkinson

Founder at Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Robert Atkinson

Robert Atkinson

Founder at Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Biography

As founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), recognized as the world’s top think tank for science and technology policy, Robert D. Atkinson leads a prolific team of policy analysts and fellows that is successfully shaping the debate and setting the agenda on a host of critical issues at the intersection of technological innovation and public policy.

He is an internationally recognized scholar and a widely published author whom The New Republic has named one of the “three most important thinkers about innovation,” Washingtonian Magazine has called a “tech titan,” Government Technology Magazine has judged to be one of the 25 top “doers, dreamers and drivers of information technology,” and the Wharton Business School has awarded him the “Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award.”

A sought-after speaker and valued adviser to policymakers around the world, Atkinson’s books include Big is Beautiful: Debunking the Mythology of Small Business (MIT Press, 2018); 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). He also has conducted groundbreaking research projects and authored hundreds of articles and reports on technology and innovation-related topics ranging from tax policy to advanced manufacturing, productivity, and global competitiveness. He has testified before the United States Congress more than 30 times.

President Clinton appointed Atkinson to the Commission on Workers, Communities, and Economic Change in the New Economy; the Bush administration appointed him chair of the congressionally created National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission; and the Obama administration appointed him to the National Innovation and Competitiveness Strategy Advisory Board. He also has served as co-chair of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s China-U.S. Innovation Policy Experts Group; as a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and on the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information.

Atkinson is a member of the Markle Foundation Task Force on National Security in the Information Age and serves on the boards or advisory councils of the Internet Education Foundation, the NetChoice Coalition, the University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy Research and Innovation, and the State Science and Technology Institute. Additionally, Atkinson is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Electronic Government and the Journal of Internet Policy; a member of the Global Innovation Forum Brain Trust; a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; a fellow at the Columbia University Institute of Tele-Information; and a fellow of Glocom, a Tokyo-based research institute.

Atkinson was previously vice president of the Progressive Policy Institute, where he directed the Technology & New Economy Project. He wrote numerous research reports on technology and innovation policy, covering issues such as broadband telecommunications, e-commerce, e-government, privacy, copyright, R&D tax policy, offshoring, and innovation economics.

Previously, Atkinson served as the first executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council (RIEPC), a public-private partnership whose members included the state’s governor, legislative leaders, and both corporate and labor leaders. As head of RIEPC, Atkinson was responsible for drafting a comprehensive economic development strategy for the state and working with the legislature and executive branch of government to successfully implement each element of a 10-point action agenda.

Prior to his service in Rhode Island, Atkinson was a project director at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, where, among other projects, he spearheaded The Technological Reshaping of Metropolitan America, a seminal report examining the impact of the information technology revolution on America’s urban areas.

As a respected policy expert and commentator, Atkinson has testified numerous times before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and he appears frequently on news and public affairs programs. Among others, these appearances have included interviews on BBC, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, and NBC Nightly News.

Atkinson holds a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he was awarded the prestigious Joseph E. Pogue Fellowship. He earned his master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Oregon, which named him a distinguished alumnus in 2014.

Overview
Career Highlights

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

RelSci Relationships

103

Number of Boards

2

Number of Awards

1

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Associate at Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

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Senior Vice President, Communications Networks & Media Group at National Economic Research Associates, lnc.

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Co-Chair of Telecom, Media & Technology Practice at Wiley Rein LLP

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Co-Chair, Government Relations Practice at Arent Fox LLP

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Professor, Director, Center for Science, Technology & Innovation Policy at George Mason University - Schar School of Policy & Government

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Member, Board of Directors at Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

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Chief Operating Officer at Center for a New American Security

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Corporate Vice President, US Government Affairs at Microsoft Corporation

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Advisor at RapidSOS, Inc.

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Chief Public Policy Officer & Vice President for Global Corporate Affairs at Intuit, Inc.

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Robert Atkinson
Founder at Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Education
PhD City & Regional Planning

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill also known as UNC, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, or simply Carolina is a coeducational public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States. North Carolina has been consistently ranked among the highest ranked universities in the United States and is one of the original eight Public Ivy schools that provide an Ivy League experience for a public schooling price. After being chartered in 1789, the university first began enrolling students in 1795, which allows it to be one of three schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States.

Career History
Founder
2006 - Current

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation is a private company headquartered in Washington, DC, that operates organization that focus on technological innovation and public policies.

Director, Technology & New Economy Project
Prior
Political Donations
$300
2008

Former President of United States

$250
2007

Former Senator from New York

Awards & Honors
2011
Washingtonian Magazine - 100 Tech Titans of Washington
Other Affiliations
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