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:

  1. 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.

  2. Develop experiential learning opportunities such as clinics, fellowships, apprenticeships, and internship, with public and private sector partners in the public interest technology space.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Provide institutional data that will allow us to measure the effectiveness of our interventions in helping to develop the field of public interest technology.

Max Brossy

Masters Fellow

Max Brossy has five years of experience in local politics and education. He has interned for the DC Council and a state senator in Los Angeles and worked for a community college foundation in Los Angeles County. Prior to that, he worked on multiple political campaigns throughout Los Angeles. His graduate studies have focused on economics, public management, geopolitics of energy, US defense policy making, urban law and policy, and innovation and public policy.

Max is from Los Angeles. He graduated from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, where his undergraduate studies focused on classical western philosophy. In his spare time, he enjoys all things Star Wars, reading, traveling, and getting spoiled by his wife’s extraordinary cooking.

Esther Tetruashvily

Law Fellow

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.

Neil Pareddy

Masters Fellow

I’m currently in my 2nd semester of Data Science & Analytics Master’s, in the Computer Science department at Georgetown University. I did my Undergrad at Univ. Texas at Austin in Computational Biology. Most of my coursework and work experience has been in statistical inference, machine learning, Natural Language Processing, and general computer programming. My career goal is to work as a Data Scientist, or as another role in the field of Data Analytics. Hopefully my experience at the Beeck Center will shed some light on working in public policy, as an Analyst. 

I’ll be working with Katie Wells, researching the on-demand service economy in D.C., to find out about the working conditions of delivery workers, the accessibility of delivery services to different wards, the impact of delivery-apps on city congestion, and much more. 

Shriya Annamaneni

Undergraduate Fellow

Shriya is a sophomore in the College, majoring in Government with a minor in Statistics. As a Fritz Fellow, she is working with the Massive Data Institute and the Georgetown University Law Center on the Civil Justice Data Commons project, creating a repository for civil legal data in order to better understand eviction and debt. Outside of the classroom, Shriya also enjoys singing and running.

Paul-Emmanuel Courtines

Undergraduate Fellow

Paul-Emmanuel Courtines is a senior at Georgetown pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science and Government. In summer 2021, he was a software-engineering intern at Google Life Sciences (Verily) working on Project Baseline, a new clinical trials platform. He has previously interned at a London-based natural-language processing startup, TrueAI and currently serves as the Vice-President for IT at Students of Georgetown Inc., the largest student-run non profit in the US. As a Fritz Fellow, Paul-Emmanuel works on a joint project between the Massive Data Institute and CSET studying scientific disinformation and misrepresentation of academic findings in AI, nanotech, quantum and other technology topics.

Alexander Lin

Undergraduate Fellow

Alex is a junior in the School of Foreign Service majoring International Politics and minoring in Statistics. He made his big leap from purely qualitative to data-driven research while participating in the Raines Fellowship program, during which he examined US-China narrative wars amidst the COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of computational linguistics. As a result, Alex is particularly fascinated with the critical juncture between data and the social sciences, as well as how this space can transform our understanding of ourselves and the people around us. Beyond his research interests, he edits the science and technology section of The Caravel runs Georgetown’s Chinese Student Alliance. 

As a Fritz Fellow, Alex is investigating the sources of scientific misinformation, the patterns of their proliferation, and their broader societal impact. He is really excited to learn new skills in the realm of data analysis and to uncover any other promises that this research experience holds.

Natasha Dolmon

Masters Fellow

Natasha Dolmon is a first year graduate student pursuing a Master’s in Emergency & Disaster Management at the School of Continuing Studies. She is collaborating with the state of Connecticut to assess the impact of, and determine the readiness of agencies to respond to, climate change-driven natural disasters on state-owned assets. Her fellowship is through the Massive Data Institute and the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation. Previously, she has worked as a project manager with federal and municipal consulting firms in Washington DC.

Katie Wells

Post-doc Fellow

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: kw731@georgetown.edu

Jack Zhang

Undergraduate Fellow

Jack is a senior in the College majoring in computer science and political economy with a minor in math. In the past summer, Jack worked with consultants to provide digital transformation solutions implementing NoSQL databases. As a Fritz Fellow, Jack works with the Massive Data Institute (MDI) and the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) to explore how scholarly articles may have been misrepresented to help spread misinformation. In his free time, Jack enjoys hiking and exploring new restaurants around the DMV.

Beba Cibralic

Ph.D. Fellow

Beba is a Ph.D candidate in philosophy at Georgetown University focusing on the philosophy and politics of emerging technology and artificial intelligence, online influence, and grey zone warfare. As a Fritz Fellow, Beba is exploring whether and how speaker identity is relevant in assessing influence campaigns. Her research is supervised by Professors Maggie Little and Laura Donohue, and she is working with the NatSec360 Research Team. Beba’s dissertation examines the ethical, political, and legal status of online influence efforts. She is also co-authoring a textbook for MIT Press on the philosophy of machine agency. In 2022, Beba will be a visitor at Cambridge University’s Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, and at Australian National University’s Humanising Machine Intelligence Project. 

Previously, Beba worked as a Semester Research Analyst at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), and participated in the Stanford US-Russia Forum, where she researched US-Russia cyber cooperation. Beba holds a BA in philosophy and political science from Wellesley College (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), an MA in China Studies from Peking University, where she studied as a Yenching Academy Fellow, and was a Visiting Student at the University of Oxford. She speaks Bosnian fluently and studies Russian (low advanced) and Spanish (high intermediate).

Kyle Jacobson

Masters Fellow

Kyle is a student in the Law Center’s Master of Law and Technology program. He was born and raised in Lewisburg, PA. Kyle learned to make a website at age 12 and—after jobs delivering newspapers, providing janitorial service, prepping and delivering food, teaching youth sports, and performing clerical tasks—he created and ran a small web design and development consultancy. He obtained a BA in Philosophy from Northwestern University, where he authored an honors thesis focusing on Sartre’s “being-for-others”. Kyle spent the last 12 years as a full-time software developer and manager for several small- and medium-sized startups.

As a Fritz Fellow, Kyle will be conducting research on the topic of software development professionalism, focusing on the feasibility of enacting professionalism regimes and the effects they’d be likely to produce. This work will involve an examination of existing research on professionalism regimes more broadly and on previous and contemporary professional organizations, attempts at enacting licensing regimes, educational standards, and other work done towards professionalizing the software development vocation. Kyle’s work will attempt to identify areas for further research as well as impediments to and reasons for skepticism towards software development professionalism as a solution to problems stemming from the proliferation of digital technologies.

Pooja Thapar

Masters Fellow

I was born, raised, and went to school in the heart of Silicon Valley in California. After graduating from college, I moved to Washington DC to pursue an interest in international development. Prior to returning to graduate school, I spent 6 years working at the World Bank in corporate communications. I am currently pursuing a Masters in Public Policy degree at the McCourt School with an interest in the intersection of gender and tech policy. I will be working this semester with Katie Wells on researching the impact of delivery platforms on city life in DC.

Michael Kranzlein

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 modelling 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.

Meera Kolluri

Masters Fellow

Meera Kolluri is a former Program Assistant and current Graduate Fritz Fellow at Ethics Lab, where she conducts research and programming to support their Humane Technology Initiative. Kolluri is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Communication, Culture and Technology at the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at Georgetown University. Her academic focus lies at the intersection of ethical design, systems of surveillance, and technology policy. Her current projects assess methods and consequences of monetizing the human body through the use of technology. Kolluri advocates intersectional justice and equity practices at the forefront of her work. She aims to create systems of accountability and accessibility to ensure just technological innovation. Through the Fritz Family Fellowship, Kolluri’s work will examine the intersections of surveillance technology, cyberlaw, and design justice in various sectors, with the goal of supplementing theories of control with theories of care. Kolluri earned a dual Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Scripps College in Legal Studies and Politics.

Shuo Liu

Ph.D. Fellow

Shuo is a PhD student at Georgetown University in computer science. His current research interest lies in the area of fault-tolerant distributed optimization algorithms and implementations, including distributed machine learning, specifically Byzantine fault-tolerant models. Prior to that, he obtained his master’s degree in computer science at Georgetown, and undergraduate degree in mathematics at Fudan University, China. His master’s thesis studied a type of possible privacy exposures of users on social media.

J.J. Naddeo

Ph.D. Fellow

In collaboration with the Beeck Center and the Massive Data Institute J.J. is working with the Justice Innovation Lab (JIL) to identify potential racial disparities in incarcerations in local criminal justice systems. While not working at the JIL, J.J. is working on completing his PhD in Economics at Georgetown University, and consulting at the World Bank. His research utilizes spatial data and state of the art econometric tools to answer questions focusing on political economics. Prior to moving to D.C., J.J. finished his bachelor’s degree in physics at Rutgers-University Camden in Camden, NJ. He enjoys spending his free time camping and canoeing with friends and family.

Abhinav Ramaswamy

Undergraduate Fellow

I am a senior in the SFS majoring in International Politics and minoring in Chinese. As an MDI Scholar for the past three semesters, my work focuses on computational approaches to studying American political discourse and behavior. My research uses natural language processing to analyze Congressional candidates’ tweets and determine the drivers of virality on political Twitter. Given the power of social media in defining political discourse, the goal is to understand what sells on Twitter and to provide insights into polarization, misinformation, and voter behavior. I will continue this work under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Bailey as a Fritz Fellow, diving deeper into the political topics and forms of rhetoric that drive engagement and further polarization in different voter publics. In my free time, I enjoy playing chess and watching NBA basketball.

Joyce Yang

Undergraduate Fellow

Joyce is a junior in the School of Foreign Service majoring in Science, Technology, and International Affairs with a minor in Computer Science. She first got involved with research on Tech Policy issues as a Mortara Undergraduate Research Fellow where she worked with Dr. Meg Leta Jones. Joyce has done research analyzing congressional hearings on Big Tech, policy and implementation surrounding contact tracing apps, and the history of Silicon Valley. Outside of the classroom, she also enjoys working with graphic design as creative director at Bossier Magazine and learning to beekeep with Hoya Hive. As a Fritz Fellow, Joyce is working with the Ethics Lab and the Communication, Culture, and Technology Department to better understand the ways in which existing systems of surveillance and cyberlaw policies uphold norms of control. Additionally, she and the team are utilizing design justice principles to think of ways of shifting these harmful systems.