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Technology Policy Concentration

Technology continues to impact society across all industry sectors and aspects of daily life. Sanford’s focus on technology policy prepares students to address issues of government support for innovation and actions to mitigate the negative impacts that technology can make on individuals’ lives. The Technology Policy Concentration prepares students to assume positions in public service, the private sector and nonprofits dealing with public policy issues associated with technology innovation. These positions include roles as legislative staff, executive agency analysts, national security and law enforcement jobs, company government affairs managers, lobbying consultants and civil society advocates. 

This concentration equips students to understand the different roles that organizations play in the development of technology public policy, including legislatures, regulatory agencies, international organizations, standards setting bodies, civil society organizations, private sector technology companies, telecommunications companies and lobbying consultants. The concentration focuses on the technology policy implications in national security, healthcare, media and gender violence prevention. The overlapping issues of ethics, privacy, cybersecurity, free expression and the impact on historically disenfranchised populations cut across all aspects of the curriculum.

Students can benefit from:

  • Inter-disciplinary ties to other Duke schools and academic programs (e.g., the Dewitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy, the Democracy Lab, the Duke Center for International Development, The Kenan Institute of Ethics, Science and Society, the Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke Law Center for Innovation Policy, the Triangle Privacy Research Hub, American Grand Strategy, Duke Forge, the Center for Computational Thinking, the Duke Center for Law and Technology, the Pratt School Masters in Cybersecurity Engineering Program, the undergraduate Cyberclub, and the Duke Office of Information Technology);
  • Faculty members with an outstanding combination of academic and practical credentials in the world of technology policy, including professors of the practice with years of relevant government, non-profit and private sector experience;
  • Campus visits and speeches by current technology policy leaders; and
  • Strong connections to faculty with expertise on technology policy worldwide.

Knowledge and skills students can acquire:

  • A global view of technology policy with an understanding of the impact of each country’s history, culture and economic environment.
  • Understanding of the roles different organizations play in technology policy;
  • Knowledge of the impact public policy has in fostering innovation;
  • A perspective on the privacy and cybersecurity risks created by new technologies;
  • The ability to participate in practical research on technology’s role in national security, healthcare and media;
  • Knowledge of the implementation of artificial intelligence across many domains;
  • Connections to internships and capstone projects with technology policy leaders; and
  • Practical skills in writing, presentations and teamwork.