Public Interest Technology - University Network (PIT-UN)
Georgetown University was one of 21 founding universities that launched the Public Interest Technology - University Network (PIT-UN) with support from New America, the Ford Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation. As described on New America's website:
The Public Interest Technology University Network is a partnership that fosters collaboration between universities and colleges committed to building the nascent field of public interest technology and growing a new generation of civic-minded technologists. Through the development of curricula, research agendas, and experiential learning programs in the public interest technology space, these universities are trying innovative tactics to produce graduates with multiple fluencies at the intersection of technology and policy. By joining PIT-UN, members commit to field building on campus. Members may choose to focus on some or all of these elements, in addition to other initiatives they deem relevant to establishing public interest technology on campus:
- Support curriculum and faculty development to enable interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary education of students, so they can critically assess the ethical, political, and societal implications of new technologies, and design technologies in service of the public good.
- Develop experiential learning opportunities such as clinics, fellowships, apprenticeships, and internship, with public and private sector partners in the public interest technology space.
- Find ways to support graduates who pursue careers working in public interest technology, recognizing that financial considerations may make careers in this area unaffordable to many.
- Create mechanisms for faculty to receive recognition for the research, curriculum development, teaching, and service work needed to build public interest technology as an arena of inquiry.
- Provide institutional data that will allow us to measure the effectiveness of our interventions in helping to develop the field of public interest technology.
Predoctoral (Ph.D.) Fellow
Michael Kranzlein is a computer science PhD student at Georgetown University working on natural language processing and computational linguistics. His work focuses on modeling language meaning for computers and improving the performance of text-based models via calibration. As a Fritz Family Fellow, Michael is collaborating with faculty of the Department of Computer Science, the Law Center, and the Massive Data Institute on the development of automated systems for detecting relevant linguistic ambiguities in legal texts. This work is informed by his experience working on legal AI at Ernst & Young and his expertise in computational semantics and calibration.
Before Georgetown, Michael earned a master’s degree in computer science from Kennesaw State University and bachelor’s degrees in computer science and French from Belmont University.
Katie Wells is a Fritz Fellow at Georgetown University’s Communication, Culture, and Technology program. She is a geographer who writes about the changing relationship between tech, labor, and cities. She has published findings in academic journals such as Urban Geography, Environment and Planning A, and Antipode, written for popular outlets such as Public Books and CityLab, and discussed the real-time impacts of her research in 60+ media stories in The Washington Post, NPR, ABC National News, CNN, Wired, Reuters, and The San Francisco Chronicle, among others. Her studies have been cited by Axios, USA Today, Politico, and Business Insider. A native of Canton, Ohio, she has lived in D.C. for 17 years. Email Katie here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Esther is a J.D. candidate at Georgetown University Law Center (GULC) and an Allen and Erica Lo Endowed Tech Law Scholar with the Institute for Technology, Law and Policy (ITLP). As a Fritz Fellow, Esther is focused on modeling geopolitical competition to dominate technology markets in emerging economies and its effect on vulnerable groups. Esther is working with Executive Director April Doss, (Institute for Technology, Law and Policy), Professor Anupam Chander, and Dr. Meg Leta Jones (Communication, Culture and Technology) to develop the Global TechNet working group. The group aims to establish a Georgetown Institute-coordinated platform to convene and inspire interdisciplinary research, collaboration, and dialogue on global technology law and policy with a particular focus on perspectives from emerging and developing economies. Esther will also be working with the Center for Security and Emerging Technology to research and develop policies for inclusive digital standards in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Infrastructure.
Before pursuing her legal education, Esther worked for the U.S Department of State, serving as Political and Human Rights Officer at the Embassy in Tajikistan, Consular Officer at the Consulate in Guangzhou, and most recently as an Economic Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, for which she received a top Department award for critical economic reporting. Esther has also worked as a fellow at the U.S. Mission to NATO and the Office of Russian Affairs. Esther completed her Master’s Degree in Regional Studies focused on National Security and Post-Soviet Politics at the Davis Center at Harvard University and worked at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs as a teaching and research assistant, focused on Ukraine and issues in American national security and the press. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies and English with a concentration in Central Eurasian Studies and Diplomacy from the College of New Jersey. Esther is a Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellow, a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow for New Americans, a Fulbright recipient, and was selected as a Forbes 30 under 30 in Law and Policy in 2019.