David M. Hart

Professor and Director, Center for Science and Technology Policy; and Acting Senior Associate Dean, School of Public Policy, George Mason University
Chapter Member: Virginia SSN

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About David

Hart is interested in the use of science and technology to tackle major public problems and the role of government in making that possible. For example, the world needs low-carbon energy technologies to limit the impact of climate change, and the private sector on its own will not adequately develop them. Creative policies at the state, federal, and international levels can stimulate this kind of innovation. He is also interested in the global flow of people and ideas that contribute to science and technology, and has studied U.S. immigration policy from this perspective. He sits on the board of a Washington think tank, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. He served as assistant director for innovation policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from July 2011 to August 2012, where he contributed to the development of the President’s manufacturing policy initiative, which was featured in the 2013 State of the Union address.


How America Can Build an Innovative New Energy System

  • Richard K. Lester

In the News

Quoted by Warren Cornwall in "Trump’s Pick to Lead Energy Technology Program Puzzles Observers," Science, July 13, 2018.
Quoted by Ellen Airhart in "Spending Bill Gives Green Energy Its R&D Budget — But That's Not All It Needs," Wired, March 23, 2018.
Quoted by Russell Gold in "Big Batteries are Taking a Bite out of the Power Market," Wall Street Journal, February 12, 2018.
Guest on WVTF Public Radio, May 30, 2017.
Quoted by Warren Cornwall in "Clean Energy Patent Slump in U.S. Stirs Concern," Science, April 26, 2017.
Guest on KERA News, January 19, 2017.
Opinion: "Trump Offers an Extreme, Unbalanced Plan to Revive Manufacturing," David M. Hart, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 13, 2016.
Quoted by Dana Milbank in "Donald Trump, America’s Modern Mussolini," The Washington Post, December 8, 2015.
Guest on NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook, February 25, 2013.


"The Future of Manufacturing: The United States Stirs" Innovations 7, no. 3 (Summer 2012): 25-34.
Sketches the opportunities and challenges facing the U.S. as it seeks to recover from a disastrous decade for the manufacturing economy.
"A National Network for Manufacturing Innovation: Why America Needs It and How It Should Work," (with Robert D. Atkinson and Stephen Ezell), Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, November 30, 2012.
Presents the case for a network of large-scale, regionally-oriented innovation centers to support internationally-competitive, U.S.-based production facilities.
"Immigration and High-Impact, High-Tech Entrepreneurship," (with Zoltan J. Acs), Brookings Institution, January 31, 2011.

Shows that foreign-born entrepreneurs play an important role in the U.S. high-tech sector and describes some policy options that would strengthen their contributions.

"Unlocking Energy Innovation: How America Can Build a Low-Cost, Low-Carbon Energy System " (with Richard K. Lester) (MIT Press, 2011).
Proposes an institutional framework for accelerating the development of low-carbon technologies that takes advantage of America’s great regional diversity.
"Don’t Worry about the Government? The LEED-NC ‘Green Building’ Rating System and Energy Efficiency in U.S. Commercial Buildings," MIT Industrial Performance Center Energy Innovation Project Working Paper no. 1, February 28, 2009.
Describes an unusually successful, privately-run, voluntary program for making buildings more environmentally-friendly, but shows as well that government has a critical role to play in this domain.
"Forged Consensus: Science, Technology, and Economic Policy in the United States, 1921-1953" (Princeton University Press, 1998).
Explores how policy-makers thought about new technologies and their impact on the economy during the Great Depression, World War II, and early Cold War.