David M. Hart

David M. Hart
Senior Fellow
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

David M. Hart is a senior fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and professor of public policy and director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. He is also a former member of ITIF’s board.

Hart’s work at ITIF focuses on clean energy innovation. Prior to joining ITIF as a senior fellow, he co-authored (with Richard K. Lester) Unlocking Energy Innovation (MIT Press) and published numerous articles on energy innovation policy in academic and policy publications.

In 2011 and 2012, Hart served as assistant director for innovation policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he focused on advanced manufacturing issues. He contributed to the National Strategic Plan for Advanced Manufacturing and the reports of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. After leaving the White House, Hart co-authored (with Robert D. Atkinson and Stephen Ezell) the ITIF report “Why America Needs a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.”

Hart served as senior associate dean of the George Mason School of Public Policy during the 2014 and 2015 academic years. He currently co-chairs the Innovation Policy Forum at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. His other books include The Emergence of Entrepreneurship Policy (Cambridge University Press), and Forged Consensus: Science, Technology, and Economic Policy in the U.S., 1929-1953 (Princeton University Press). He earned his Ph.D. in political science from MIT in 1995.

Recent Publications

September 15, 2020

The U.S. government should triple its annual investment in energy innovation over the next five years to speed clean energy transitions around the world and build advanced-energy industries at home.

September 14, 2020

Recent advances in gene editing offer promising opportunities to mitigate emissions from agriculture and other sectors, and to capture carbon from the atmosphere. Governments should accelerate the development and deployment of these solutions.

August 14, 2020

When the world’s first carbon capture facility on a coal-fired power plant came online in Texas in 2017, it was touted as a big step toward transforming the dirtiest fossil fuel into a low-carbon power resource. Now, it’s been labeled “a nightmare for unsuspecting investors” and a “warning sign” for the industry. What happened?

July 17, 2020

The time is ripe for a serious reconsideration of the U.S. energy innovation system and the role of the federal government in it. An upcoming workshop series, sponsored by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Energy and Environmental Systems and open to the public, offers a valuable chance to think through many of the key questions.

July 16, 2020

A new, non-profit foundation that works closely with DOE could help fill the gap and help create partnerships to power new clean energy technologies through the "valley of death."

July 2, 2020

At the turn of the millennium, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) named the electricity grid the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th century.

June 5, 2020

Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 are already putting severe pressure on international student recruitment. Eliminating Optional Practical Training (OPT) would make the problem much worse.

May 18, 2020

Demonstrating the commercial viability of new technologies for deep decarbonization requires federal funding. But the government’s past record is decidedly mixed. So Congress should increase funding for demonstration projects while reforming how they are administered.

May 11, 2020

The United States is struggling to move innovative energy technologies from discovery to scale. This gap could put the climate and U.S. investments at risk. A nonprofit foundation working with the Department of Energy could help fill the gap.

April 15, 2020

In response to a bipartisan request by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, ITIF suggested 16 steps the federal government could take to stimulate clean energy and manufacturing if today’s public health emergency turns into a prolonged economic downturn.

April 2, 2020

A strange twist of fate has aligned to make a “strange bedfellows” coalition of red-state Republicans and environmentalist greens on oil tariffs.

February 28, 2020

The Murkowski-Manchin bill should become a building block of the durable climate policy we need. It deserves the support of everyone who understands the necessity of making radical reductions in global carbon emissions by 2050.

Recent Events and Presentations

September 15, 2020

Join ITIF for a presentation of a new report on gene-edited solutions for climate change and a panel discussion on the implications of these technologies.

September 10, 2020

ITIF hosted a discussion of the future of federal energy RD&D investment with experts from ITIF, Columbia University’s Center for Global Energy Policy (CGEP), and elsewhere, with opening remarks by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR).

May 20, 2020

ITIF released a new report about how the United States can build a robust energy technology demonstration portfolio and a panel of experts assessed leading proposals to better manage it.

May 13, 2020

ITIF presented a new report setting forth a vision and design for an non-profit Energy Technology Commercialization Foundation by ITIF senior fellows Jetta Wong and David Hart. The report draws on more than 140 interviews and two full-day stakeholder workshops as well as extensive documentary research.

December 18, 2019

ITIF hosted a briefing and released a new report on using tax incentives to drive clean energy innovation.

October 30, 2019

ITIF and the Bipartisan Policy Center held an expert panel exploring the history solar energy innovations, China's role and influence on solar's diffusion as a leading manufacturer of solar panels, and the future of clean energy innovation.

September 26, 2019

ITIF hosted an expert panel discussion marking the release of a new report discussing the future of the federal government’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs and the role small businesses can play in driving innovation.

March 5, 2019

ITIF released a comprehensive report on DOD’s energy innovation effort and hosted an expert panel discussion on its relevance to the fight to reduce carbon emissions, including ways civilian agencies might better leverage DOD’s investments.

November 28, 2018

Even with continued improvements and cost reductions to current emissions reducing technologies, the world is not on track to achieve the deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Join ITIF for the release of a new report analyzing hard-to-decarbonize sectors and an expert panel discussion on the limits of current technologies and potential solutions.

November 7, 2018

As the auto industry shifts toward electric vehicles and the electricity grid draws more energy from variable renewables, high-capacity, high-performance and affordable batteries are becoming one of the most important areas of technological innovation needed to reduce carbon emissions.

September 18, 2018

Economic theory suggests a tax on carbon emissions is the most efficient way to reduce them. But another important effect of such a tax would be to induce innovation in clean energy technology.

June 27, 2018

ITIF hosted an expert discussion how the Department of Energy (DOE) can best foster innovation.