Former State Department official joins New America to lead technology policy efforts

Ben Scott, a former policy adviser for innovation to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will join the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) as a senior adviser, the think tank has announced.

Scott will expand OTI’s international policy work and provide strategic guidance on Internet freedom and other technology policy issues.

“As the power of networks becomes increasing clear in international politics, civil society leaders must create new forms of networked advocacy to develop ideas, strengthen coalitions, and coordinate initiatives across the world,” Scott said.

At the State Department, Scott helped develop the 21st Century Statecraft agenda, which focuses on technology, networks and economic development.  

“Ben Scott’s expertise combines extensive domestic and foreign policy knowledge with the ability to work both inside and outside government to guide long-term strategic interventions,” said Sascha Meinrath, New America vice president and director of OTI.

OTI first received attention on a broader scale last year, when their “Internet in a suitcase” project with the State Department to help dissidents circumvent repressive regimes with self-reliant communication tools became known. 

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He blogs and hosts a podcast at and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.


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