hillary clinton

68. Hillary Clinton’s Top Advisor on Technology, Innovation, Biotech and Future of Politics | Alec Ross

Alec Ross - Obama administration innovation advisor

Alec serves as an advisor to investors, corporations and government leaders to help them understand the implication of factors emerging at the intersection of geopolitics, markets and increasingly disruptive network technologies and is on the board of directors (or advisors) for companies in the fields of technology, media, telecommunications, education, health care and cybersecurity.

He recently served for four years as Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and acted as the diplomatic lead on issues including cybersecurity, Internet Freedom, disaster response and the use of network technologies in conflict zones. Previously, Alec served as the Convener for the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Policy Committee on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and served on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team.

In 2000, he and three colleagues co-founded the technology-focused nonprofit organization One Economy and grew it from modest origins in a basement into a global organization serving millions of low-income people, with programs on four continents.

His many awards include: Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine, U.S. Department of State Distinguished Honor Award, Oxford University Internet and Society Award, Huffington Post’s 10 Game Changers in Politics and Tribeca Film Festival Disruptive Innovation Award. Alec has served as a guest lecturer at numerous institutions including the United Nations, Oxford University, Harvard Law School, Stanford Business School and a number of parliamentary bodies and his writing has appeared in academic publications including the Johns Hopkins SAIS Review of International Affairs and the NATO Review.

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In our wide-ranging conversation, we cover many things, including:

  • The reason Obama was such a special, charismatic leader and what other leaders can learn from him
  • Why Alec left a successful entrepreneurial career to help Obama on his first campaign
  • The possibly existential problem with social media
  • How politics changes post-Trump and where we are headed
  • Why Alec isn’t that worried about tech monopolies
  • How the US government thinks about and promotes innovation, here and abroad
  • Which industries Alec believes become $1T markets
  • Why biotech and human enhancement are inevitable
  • The big difference between CEOs and politicians
  • Why health, genomics and personalized medicine as passions of Alec
  • The reason the US trumps China in long term innovation and growth
  • Why Hiliary’s loss felt inevitable and drawn out

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