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TechCongress

TechCongress gives talented technologists the opportunity to gain first-­hand experience in federal policymaking and shape the future of tech policy through a one-year Congressional Innovation Fellowship (CIF) with a Member of Congress or Congressional Committee. We bring diverse tech talent, ideas and training to Congress and is building a practical and pragmatic understanding of Washington within the tech community. We bridge the divide of knowledge and experience between DC and Silicon Valley for better outcomes for both. The CIF provides a unique opportunity to change Congress by injecting desperately needed technological expertise into the Legislative Branch. TechCongress is committed to building an ecosystem of diverse, cross-­sector technology policy leaders.

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https://www.linkedin.com/company/techcongress/
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https://www.techcongress.io
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Sara Swann/The Fulcrum

Maurice Turner was a 2017 fellow of TechCongress, which sends technologists and computer scientists to help the Hill understand how the world works in the 21st century.

Congress has a tech problem. This fellowship wants to change that.

Technological expertise has always been a rare, if not seemingly nonexistent, commodity on Capitol Hill.

This legislative branch's limitations were famously underscored for the country last year, when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress (and on national TV) and several members made plain they needed a crash course in Internet 101. Among the most memorable moment was when GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah asked Zuckerberg how Facebook sustains its business since it's free to use. "Senator, we run ads," was the social media titan's understated reply.

The Zuckerberg hearing is just one example of how Congress lacks the tech proficiency it needs — a shortcoming that, in the eyes of many working to improve democracy, is hobbling the legislative branch's functionality and ability to stand up to the president in balance-of-power tussles.

There's a technology policy fellowship, though, that's working to change this.

TechCongress offers stipends for a year to mid-career professionals in the tech industry willing to take a break from their regular work and bring more technological and computer science savvy to Capitol Hill.

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