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Robert D. Atkinson


Robert D. Atkinson is the founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, which aims to help shape the debate and set the agenda on critical issues at the intersection of technological innovation and public policy. Before founding ITIF, he was vice president of the Progressive Policy Institute, where he directed its Technology & New Economy Project. Previously, he served as the first executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council.

Atkinson is the author of several books, including Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage, published in 2012, as well as hundreds of articles and reports on technology and innovation-related topics. He also served on presidential commissions in the administrations of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and has testified numerous times before Congress. In 2002, Government Technology named him one of 25 "Doers, Dreamers and Drivers" of information technology.

Atkinson holds a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned his master's degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Oregon.

The OTA served Congress well until it was defunded. Now there are calls for a fresh start to create a lean, dynamic agency aimed at making sense of the shock of the new tech today.
Governments have been reluctant to use technology to boost productivity and save money. They need to be more aggressive.