Dr. Marc Aidinoff works at the intersection of technology policy and social policy. Aidinoff’s current research traces the computerization of the welfare state and the rise of new liberal politics. He argues that digitization of government services has shaped expectations about what government can and should be. Most recently, Aidinoff served as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he helped lead a team of 150 policymakers on key initiatives including the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights and guidance to ensure federally funded research is publicly accessible. Previously, he was a senior strategist at Civis Analytics, a policy advisor for then Vice-President Biden, and the Monell Foundation Fellow in Technology and Democracy at the University of Virginia Jefferson Scholars Foundation.

Talk: Speaking Politically: How Tech Policy Makes Itself Heard

Abstract: This talk explores the narrative and conceptual strategies through which policymakers and politicians have developed a shared language to converge on decisions about the values and technical choices that should guide IT policy in the United States. Drawing on national case studies from the Clinton-Gore, Obama-Biden, and Biden-Harris Administrations, I show how shared democratic touchstones, from ubiquitous references to Thomas Jefferson to the elusive invocation of rights, have offered an unwieldy but necessary set of tools for making IT policy. The talk argues for a methodological shift as well: for scholars across disciplines to account more robustly for the traces of democratic expression in their analyses of technical policymaking and its consequences.

Note: While Aidinoff has recently served as chief of staff and senior advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and previously served as policy advisor for then Vice-President Joe Biden, Aidinoff is not affiliated with the White House and speaks on his own behalf.