Robert Atkinson is a GOVERNING contributor. He is the founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based technology policy think tank. He is also author of the "State New Economy Index" series and the book, "The Past And Future Of America’s Economy: Long Waves Of Innovation That Power Cycles Of Growth" (Edward Elgar, 2005). He 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.

Before coming to ITIF, Dr. Atkinson was Vice President of the Progressive Policy Institute and Director of PPI’s Technology & New Economy Project. While at PPI he wrote numerous research reports on technology and innovation policy, including on issues such as broadband telecommunications, Internet telephony, universal service, e-commerce, e-government, middleman opposition to e-commerce, privacy, copyright, RFID and smart cards, the role of IT in homeland security, the R&D tax credit, offshoring, and growth economics.

President Clinton appointed him to the Commission on Workers, Communities, and Economic Change in the New Economy. He chairs the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission and served on the Markle Foundation’s Task Force on National Security in the Information Age. He was awarded the Wharton-Infosys Business Transformation Award Silver Medal. Government Technology named him one of 25 “Doers, Dreamers and Drivers of Information Technology.” He received his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989.